The Bethel College football team has been working hard this season trying to improve for both this year and the future.
The next step in the process for the Threshers comes at 1:30 p.m. Saturday at Richard L. Jantz Stadium in Winfield against 3-3 Southwestern College.
The Threshers are 1-5, 0-4 in KCAC play, after a 54-9 loss to Sterling last week at home. The loss was the largest margin of defeat for the Threshers this season. Southwestern held off Bethany 28-21, scoring with 14 seconds remaining to claim the win.
"We had a great practice today," Bethel coach Marty Mathis said. "We got the guys going at 6 a.m. We worked on offense, defense and special teams. We're raring to go this weekend."
Southwestern is led by quarterback Brady May, who has hit 79 of 184 passes for 1,067 yards with five touchdowns and six interceptions. Spencer Pullen has 109 rushes for 586 yards and six touchdowns. Tanner Strohl, a Halstead High graduate, has 66 carries for 310 yards. Ceth Bannister leads the receivers with 25 catches for 364 yards. Joe Vargas has 22 catches for 220 yards and three touchdowns. Both Bannister and Vargas are Winfield High grads.
"They did a good job against Bethany," Mathis said. "They moved the ball very well. Their defense played well. That was their homecoming, so it was a big win for them. They like to run the ball. They can throw it as well, but they start with the run. They have a very good tailback. (Vargas) is a very good receiver. On defense, they have been getting better every week. They run a 4-3."
For the Moundbuilders on defense, Paul Mata has 49 total tackles, followed by Ttorbin Harper with 44 and Melvin Gilliam with 42. Mata has three fumble recoveries. Justin Speers has 3.0 sacks.
The Southwestern defense has picked off 14 passes, led by Lorenzo Fouts with six.
Bethel freshman Stephen Scott has 142 carries for 883 yards rushing, which leads the conference. Scott is fourth in the NAIA in rushing yards and in all-purpose yards (1,032). Quarterback Bo Pratt has hit 90 of 203 passes for 1,172 yards with 11 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. Freshman John DeBus has taken the primary backup role with the injury to Cody Peterson, and hit 11 of 22 passes for 184 yards with one interception.
Tommy Alexander leads the receiving corps with 37 catches for 591 yards and four touchdowns. Four other receivers are over the 100-yard mark this season. Raul Silva has four touchdown catches, followed by Ruben Hernandez with two.
Taylor Morris leads the defense with 54 total tackles, followed by Kipp Credeur with 39 and Leland Brown with 37. Creduer has three interceptions.
"We can't have mistakes like we've had the past two weeks," Mathis said. "We had a lot of mistakes on special teams the past two weeks that have really cost us."