The season comes to an end for the Bethel College football team following the 1:30 p.m. KCAC clash against Sterling College at Joe W. Goering Field.
Bethel is 2-7 after a 38-20 loss to Friends last week in Wichita.
“We had a good week of practice this week so far,” Bethel coach Terry Harrison said, “The seniors have one more chance to play, and we’re excited about that. We want to continue to improve.”
Sterling is 4-5 overall and in conference play after a 41-18 win over McPherson at home, snapping a three-game losing streak.
“They have been a little like us,” Harrison said. “They have been up and down. They have played very well at times and they have struggled as well. They are well coached. They are a good, young team.”
Sterling is led by quarterback Eric Butler, who has 107 carries for 661 yards and eight touchdowns. Butler also has hit 85 of 152 passes for 1,196 yards with 11 touchdowns and four interceptions.
Cevon Mitchell-Ford has 80 carries for 450 yards and three touchdowns. Eric Haynes and Darryl Terrell each rushed for five touchdowns.
Terrell is the leading receiver with 42 catches for 678 yards and eight touchdowns. Raphael Williams has 11 catches for 175 yards and three touchdowns.
On defense, Kwame Sexton has six interceptions with 119 return yards and a touchdown. Twon Collymore has three interceptions.
Sexton leads the defense with 85 total tackles, followed by Nicholas McGrew with 50 and Braydon Lock with 48. Lock and Tre Newton each have 2.5 quarterback sacks.
The Warrior defense has forced 15 turnovers and only given up seven. The Warriors also have 14 sacks and only given up 12.
“They run the spread,” Harrison said. “They are similar to what we have seen from other teams this year. Their quarterback makes them go. He can throw the ball downfield. He runs the ball well. They are going to be a challenge for our secondary. They run a three-man front on defense. Their defensive line is a little undersized, a lot like ours is, but they work very hard and come at you. We’ve seen three very big defensive lines the last three weeks. I think we match up well with them.”
For Bethel. Zach Esau has 172 carries for 779 yards rushing and seven touchdowns. Esau has hit 50 of 102 passes for 987 yards with eight touchdowns and five interceptions.
Camryn Harrison, who missed last week because of injury and is expected to return this week, has 51 carries for 485 yards and four touchdowns. Braedon Starlin-Driver and Gary Jolivet each have six rushing touchdowns with 422 and 296 yards respectively.
Tanner Galliart has 25 catches for 513 yards receiving and six touchdowns.
Joshua Seabolt has 80 tackles to led the defense, followed by Jordan Bell with 79 and Keondre Churchwell with 58. Curtis Bent has 5.5 sacks.
Khalif Majied has three interceptions.
Bethel has lost 16 turnovers and forced 16 turnovers this season.
Terry Harrison is a Sterling grad, while Sterling coach Chase Hansen, is a Bethel grad. Both are first-year head coaches at the college level.
“I don’t think it’s going to be too weird,” Harrison said. “Most of the people I knew at Sterling have moved on. I do know Chase well and am good friends with him.”
Bethel has 13 seniors on the roster who will be honored Saturday — Jolivet, Majied, Charles Johnson, RoShawn Brown, Tyshawn Simon, Shavane Morrison, Churchwell, Bell, Bent, Henry Baxter, Miguel Ballesteros, David Kinnicutt and Dante Powell.
“What a good group of kids they have been to step up to the challenge and play college football at Bethel,” Harrison said. “They have stayed through some struggles and the coaching changes. They have dedicated themselves to establishing a foundation here at Bethel. We’ve all been disappointed at times on how this season has been, but we have been competitive in every game this season. Our goal was to make some relevant noise in the conference and be competitive and we have done that. We’d like to continue that this week and send these guys out with a win.”