The Bethel College football team saw its season come to a merciful end Saturday in a 51-6 loss to Ottawa Saturday at Joe W. Goering Field. Bethel ends the season 0-10, on a 14-game losing streak. Ottawa, 8-2, ends the regular season 8-2, ranked 15th in the final National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics poll. The Braves win the KCAC title for the second straight year, advancing to the NAIA playoffs Saturday at Missouri Valley College. The game also marked the final contest for interim head coach James Dotson. Dotson was complimentary of the way Ottawa played. The Braves rested many of their starters by the end of the third quarter. “We played a team that showed a little bit of class,” Dotson said. “We’re in a Christian conference, made of up Christian schools. The way some of these teams were running the score up on us, I was really disappointed in them. You’re scoring 70 or 80 points, and there was no reason to. Ottawa showed a little compassion to a downtrodden team. “We fought hard the whole game. We were outmanned again, like we have been all year long. We lacked some experience, but we’ve had a lot of people get a lot of experience this season. I hope these guys decide to come back next year and get this team to where it needs to be.” Ottawa was led by quarterback Shane Gimzo, who rushed for 111 yards and two touchdowns, rushed for 177 yards and a touchdowns and caught a touchdown pass. Tanner Staats rushed for 81 yards and a touchdown. Jon Hillinger had 128 yards receiving and a touchdown. Bethel was led by Marquis Sykes with 62 yards rushing, followed by fullback Ben Suchsland with 43 yards. Suchsland completed a pass. Sykes caught a pass. Riger Jonec had 39 yards passing. John Regier had 43 yards receiving. The Bethel defense made a stop on Ottawa’s first possession, recovering a fumble, but the Threshers fumbled it right back, setting up an 11-yard Gimzo run. Another Bethel turnover set up a 37-yard Staats touchdown run. Ottawa scored on an 80-yard drive, a 15-yard pass from Gimzo to Jon Hillinger. A zero-yard punt against the wind set up a 15-yard touchdown pass from Jacob Johnson to Gimzo. Bethel’s defense made a stand, stopping the Braves at the Thresher 10, where Jeff Stamp hit a 27-yard field goal. Bethel finally scored, setting a school record in the process. Jerrell Williams picked off a pass at the Thresher goalline, running it back 100 yards for a pick-six. The two-point conversion attempt was stopped just short of the goalline. The Threshers stopped Ottawa on downs at the BC 34 with 1:15 remaining in the half. Ottawa scored on its first three possessions of the second half. The second score came off a blocked punt. The Braves then started playing second and third string player for the remainder of the game. Bethel loses seven seniors. “There’s a lot this team needs,” Dotson said. “A new coach is going to need to fight attrition, keeping these guys here. There’s going to be a lot of recruiting to be done. The guys coming back will have a lot of experience. We had to use a lot of freshmen this year.”
Ottawa 13 17 21 0 —51 Bethel 0 6 0 0 —6 Scoring 1q. O Gimzo 9-yd. run (Stamp kick) 10:53 1q. O Staats 37-yd. run (kick failed) 6:30 2q. O Hilliger 34-yd. pass from Gimzo (Stamp kick) 14:54 2q. O Gimzo 15-yd. pass from Johnson (Stamp kick) 10:57 2q. O Stamp 27-yd. field goal 6:26 2q. B Williams 100-yd. interception return (run failed) 3:31 3q. O Gimzo 35-yd. run (Stamp kick) 12:34 3q. O Johnson 5-yd. run (Stamp kick) 10:12 3q. O Dydell 2-yd. run (Stamp kick) 4:32 Team stats OU BC First downs 24 14 Rushing-yards 44-210 48-101 Passing yards 247 88 Comp-att-int 21-31-1 6-19-1 Punts-avg. 2-17.0 7-19.6 Fumbles-lost 1-1 5-2 Penalties-yards 6-87 4-36 Individual stats RUSHING — Ottawa: Gimzo 12-111, Staats 12-76, Case 5-7, Dydell III 5-5, Stuart 1-5, Cabrales 4-3, Cooper 1-2, Johnson 4-1. Bethel: Sykes 18-62, Suchsland 16-43, McCall 3-11, Minkevitch 1-3, Jones 2-(-3), Tarrant 1-(-6), Jonec 7-(-9). PASSING — Ottawa: Gimzo 15-24-1, 177 yards; Johnson 5-7-0, 71 yards. Bethel: Jonec 3-12-1, 39 yards; Johnston 1-3-0, 31 yards. RECEIVING — Ottawa: Hillinger 10-128, Hernandez 5-68, Adamson 2-12, Gimzo 1-15, Dydell III 1-10, Wilkerson 1-9, Staats 1-5. Bethel: Regier 2-43, Sykes 2-15, Jons 1-15, Ortega 1-15. Missed field goals — none.