The Bethel College football team found itself physically outmatched Saturday in a 58-14 loss to Southern Nazarene in non-conference play at Thresher Stadium.


The Bethel College football team found itself physically outmatched Saturday in a 58-14 loss to Southern Nazarene in non-conference play at Thresher Stadium.

Bethel falls to 0-4. SNU improves to 4-0 and moved up one place in the NAIA poll to 11th. The Crimson Storm are in the first season of a four-year transition to NCAA Division II. It was the third loss for the Threshers this season to a ranked team.

“They are a very good football team up front, and they took it to us,” Bethel coach Travis Graber said. “We did some OK things. We still made some mistakes. In certain things, we got better. In other things, we didn’t. I told the guys the most important thing was to stay together. They were older — juniors and seniors. We were playing a lot of freshmen and sophomores. It’s a process. We’re a year or two out. If everybody stays together and works together, things will start clicking.”

For Southern Nazarene, Brady Wardlaw passed for 225 yards and four touchdowns. Derick Perkins rushed for 149 yards and two touchdowns. Jarod Martin caught two touchdown passes.

For Bethel, Levi Keffer passed for 143 yards and two touchdowns. Bethel was held to 11 yards rushing.

Bethel went three and out on its opening possession. The Crimson Storm then scored two touchdowns in a 10-second span. Jakell Evenhart scored on a six-yard run. SNU then recovered the kickoff at the BC 12, where Wardlaw hit a pass to Derik Perkins.

Keffer connected on several passes to mount a drive that ended on a 15-yard pass to Kyle Berg.

The Storm scored late in the first quarter on a six-yard Perkins run.

Southern Nazarene scored three more touchdowns in the second quarter, including a one-yard pass from Wardlaw to Martin as time expired.

The Storm was held to one score in the third quarter and opened the fourth quarter with a 20-yard field goal. Bethel came back with a drive of its own that ended on a pass from Keffer to D.J. Scott. SNU capped the scoring on a 25-yard pass play by backup quarterback Trey Cloud to B. DiChiara.

Bethel hits the road at 1:30 p.m. Saturday to face 2-2 McPherson, which is coming off a win over Friends.

“It’s going to continue to be a learning process,” Graber said. “We just need to get the kids to stay here for four years and to buy in and get this thing going. It’s tough when you are 0-4.”