By Mark Schnabel
The young Bethel College football team has done some good things, and has had its share of struggles in the first three weeks of the season.
The Threshers will have a good measuring stick of where it is and where it aspires to be when the team hits the road to face 2-1 Ottawa University at 6 p.m. Saturday at People's Bank Field in Ottawa.
The 1-2 Threshers are coming off a 51-31 loss against McPherson on the road last week. The Threshers were within a touchdown in the fourth quarter, but gave up two field goals and a touchdown late.
Ottawa downed Bethany 41-15 last week. The Braves led 34-0 at the half.
Ottawa opened the season with a 25-24 loss to rival Baker, ranked 13th in the NAIA poll, followed by a 20-6 win over then no. 2 Missouri Valley.
The Braves are ranked 12th in the current NAIA poll.
Ottawa is led by quarterback Michael Behr, who has hit 47 of 70 passes for 540 yards, six touchdowns and no interceptions. Luke Lundy has 47 rushes for 255 yards and a touchdown. Jon Hilliger has 15 catches for 172 yards and three touchdowns. Joshua Stangby has seven catches for 109 yards and a touchdown.
On defense for the Braves, John Walker has 32 total tackles and a fumble recovery, followed by Dean Bisterfeldt with 29 and Matt Sandgren with 27. Deron Bruce has 24 total tackles and 5.0 sacks. Erik Brown has four interceptions.
Bethel is led by quarterback Bo Pratt, who has hit 52 of 110 passes for 710 yards, 10 touchdowns and three interceptions. Pratt is ranked 23rd in the NAIA in passing yards, 21st in passing yards per game (236.7), 22nd in total offense (756 yards) and 24th in total offense per game (252 yards).
Stephen Scott leads the Threshers in rushing at 357 yards with two touchdowns. Tommy Alexander leads in receiving yards at 198 with two touchdowns. Ruben Hernandez has 179 receiving yards and two touchdowns. Raul Silva has 146 receiving yards and four touchdowns.
On defense for Bethel, Kipp Credeur has 33 total tackles, followed by Taylor Morris with 30 and Leland Brown with 23. Credeur and Ja'Terious Pouncey each have two interceptions. Alshmeire Fields has two fumble recoveries.
Bethel has forced 13 turnovers this season, and given up the ball just four times.
Bethel has 1,192 yards of total offense, but has given up 1,651. The Threshers are less than 500 yards away from matching its entire offensive output from last season. Bethel's 103 points through three games almost doubles last season's entire output of 58 points.