WICHITA — The Bethel College football team would make a play and miss a play in a 44-6 loss to Friends Saturday at Austin-Adair Stadium in Wichita. “We just made mistakes,” Bethel coach Jim Dotson said. “Right before half, we made two big mistakes that if we hadn’t made, we’d be right in the ballgame. I kept listening to the PA guy saying ‘freshman, sophomore, freshman, sophomore.’ (Injuries) are a problem obviously, but they keep fighting.” Bethel’s Ben Suchsland rushed for 66 yards on 22 carries with a touchdown. With the Threshers’ top two quarterbacks out with injury, third-string freshman D.J. Bronson, in his first start, his 11 of 21 passes for 122 yards. The Bethel offensive line didn’t allow a sack. “We did some good things today, we just couldn’t avoid the mistakes,” Dotson said. “That’s characteristic of a young football squad. They’re trying hard.” Friends runningback Thomas Hankerson rushed for 164 yards on 14 carries with three touchdowns. Quarterback James Bristow passed for 124 yards and a touchdown. Derrick Racette also passed for a touchdown. Chris Allen caught two passes for 80 yards and two touchdowns. The Bethel defense got a stop on Friends’ first possession via a recovered fumble. Friends came back with a long drive on its second possession, scoring on a 16-yard Hankerson run. Bethel came right back with a drive of its own. One touchdown was called back for holding, but the Threshers overcame the setback with a three-yard scoring run for Suchsland. The PAT kick was missed. Hankerson scored on Friends’ next play, an 80-yard run. Hankerson added a four-yard touchdown run. An interception by Bethel’s Garrett Garcia stopped a Friends drive late in the half. Bethel went three-and-out. On the next play, Bristow hit a 64-yard pass to Chris Allen. The PAT kick missed. Friends held a 331-141 advantage in total offense in the first half. The Bethel defense made two stops to start the second half, but Friends scored on its third possession on a 33-yard Taylor Lewis run. Racette hit a 26-yard touchdown pass to Lewis on fourth down with nine seconds left in the third quarter. The Thresher offense failed to complete a first down in the third quarter. Friends capped the scoring with a 38-yard field goal by Burrton native Keylyn Pohlman against the wind. Friends improves to 4-2, 3-1 in KCAC play, moving to within a half a game of conference leader Kansas Wesleyan. Bethel falls to 0-5, 0-4 in KCAC play. Bethel hosts 0-5 Sterling at 7 p.m. Saturday for Fall Fest. Sterling is coming off a bye week. “They’re struggling like we are,” Dotson said. “Hopefully, we can get excited for Fall Fest, avoid mistakes and win the ballgame.”
Bethel 6 0 0 0 —6 Friends 14 13 14 3 —44 Scoring 1q. F Hankerson 16-yd. run (Pohlman kick) 8:56 1q. B Suchsland 3-yd. run (kick failed) 6:56 1q. F Hankerson 80-yd. run (Pohlman kick) 6:47 1q. F Hankerson 4-yd. run (Pohlman kick) 8:51 2q. F Allen 54-yd. pass from Bristow (kick failed) :39 3q, F Lewis 33-yd. run (Pohlman kick) 5:12 3q. F Allen 26-yd. pass from Racette (Pohlman kick) :09 4q. F Pohlman 38-yd. field goal 2:25 Team stats BC Fr. First downs 12 22 Rushing-yards 39-70 40-356 Passing yards 125 187 Comp-att-int 12-22-1 15-17-1 Punts-avg. 9-25.7 1-37.0 Fumbles-lost 0-1 2-2 Penalties-yards 6-55 5-32 Individual stats RUSHING — Bethel: Suchsland 22-66, Sykes 11-19, McCall 1-2, Jones 2-1, Johnston 1-0, Shields 1-(-7), Bronson 1-(-11). Friends: Hankerson 14-164, Taylor 7-57, Racette 5-50, Bristow 5-47, Oliver 3-20, Johnson II 3-18, Scott 2-2, team 1-0. PASSING — Bethel: Bronson 11-21-1, 122 yards; Johnston 1-1-0, 3 yards. Friends: Bristow 11-12-0, 124 yards; Racette 4-5-1, 63 yards. RECEIVING — Bethel: Ortega 3-41, Shields 2-32, Jones 2-19, Sykes 2-14, Regier 1-12, Suchsland 1-4, Sturgis 1-3. Friends: Bauer 5-33, Kelly 3-35, Butts 3-11, Allen 2-80, Johnson 1-25, Becker 1-3. Missed field goals — none.