The Kansan - Newton, KS
  •  Bethel gridders to face Ottawa in finale

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  • A long, hard season comes to an end for the Bethel College football team at 1:30 Saturday at Joe W. Goering Field, when the Threshers host 16th-ranked (NAIA) Ottawa University. The Braves are 7-2, 7-1 in Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference play. Bethel is 0-9, 0-8 in KCAC play. Ottawa downed Friends 35-3 last week, while Bethel fell to Saint Mary 86-6. An Ottawa win, or losses for Kansas Wesleyan and Tabor, clinches the KCAC title for the Braves. If Ottawa wins and stays in the top 20 of the NAIA poll, the Braves advance to the NAIA playoffs. “They just need a win over us to clinch the KCAC championship,” Bethel coach Jim Dotson said. “They are a good football team in every phase of the game. We’re going to be outmanned, like we have been the last few games.” Ottawa is led by quarterback Shane Gizmo with 638 yards rushing and 2,000 yards passing. Gizmo has scored 10 rushing touchdowns. He hit 160 of 243 passes with 21 touchdowns and eight interceptions. Michael Baer has 293 yards rushing with two touchdowns. Dexter Hayes has 302 yards rushing with two touchdowns. Jon Hillinger has caught 73 passes for 880 yards and 11 touchdowns. Travis Adamson has 34 catches for 488 yards and three touchdowns. Sean Wilkerson has 20 catches for 267 yards and five touchdowns. On defense for the Braves, Matt Gross has 76 total tackles, followed by Nate Bruto with 68 and Weston Coomes and Chris Magdalena with 56 each. Zach Van Deusen has 4.0 quarterback sacks. Logan Schultz and Donald Anderson each have nine interceptions. “On defense, they do a lot of stunting, and bring a lot of pressure,” Dotson said. “Their offense is very balanced. They run and pass well.” Bethel will enter the game with about 42 to 45 players dressed, the most the Threshers have had in several weeks. The Thresher offense is led by Ben Suchsland with 119 carries for 396 yards and four touchdowns. Marquis Sykes has 71 carries for 273 yards and a touchdown. Sykes also has 18 catches for 214 yards and a touchdown. Rigel Jonec has hit 31 of 72 passes for 269 yards, a touchdown and three interceptions. D.J. Bronson has hit 28 of 61 passes for 272 yards with five interceptions. On defense, Garrett Garcia has 97 total tackles, followed by Nathan Murphy with 91, Josh Kaufman with 85 and Nick Bartholomus with 80. The four each have two interceptions. “We’re going to be underdogs again,” Dotson said. “I just hope we continue to fight and keep playing hard. That’s all you can ask of them.” Among seniors being honored Saturday include Jacob Stucky, Grady Stultz, Levi Minkevitch, Edward Davila and John Regier. This also will be Dotson’s last game as head coach. Dotson came out of retirement just before the start of practice to lead the team on an interim basis.
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