The Bethel College football team didn’t get much going on either side of the ball in a 44-10 season opening loss to Dordt College as part of the KCAC-GPAC Challenge.
“It’s a learning experience,” Bethel coach Morris Lolar said. “I expect better things out of this team and the team expects better things. We’re going to get better. It’s an embarrassing game for us. It’s a humbling game for us. We knew it was going to be a tough, competitive fight. I just thought we’d do a little bit better. We’ll learn from this, get a little bit better and come together as a team.”
Dordt was led by Keithen Drury, who had 18 carries for 198 yards and a touchdown. Brock Lamle hit nine of 21 passes for 174 yards with an interception and four touchdowns. Levi Jungling had three catches for 79 yards and two touchdowns.
Bethel was led by Dominic Webb who hit 13 of 21 passes with an interception for 128 yards. Webb added 15 carries for 87 yards rushing. Tyshawn Simon had 13 carries for 56 yards and a touchdown. Montero DuBose had five catches for 60 yards.
An area of improvement from last season was punting. Last season, Bethel averaged just 30.1 yards a punt. Against Dordt, Bethel had four punts for a 37.0 average.
Dordt broke a couple of big plays on its first possession of the game, including a 42-yard pass touchdown pass from Lamle to Jungling. Lamle hit a pass to Jake Dodge for the two-point conversion.
Bethel picked up the on-side kick attempt and ran it deep into Defender territory, but a pair of sacks ended the drive and Bethel gave it up on downs.
Dordt got the ball to the Bethel 16, where Jeff Paepke hit a 33-yard field goal.
Bethel finally made a drive late in the first quarter, scoring on a one-yard Simon run on the first play of the second quarter.
An interception by 23 in the end zone stopped a Dordt drive, but Bethel failed to move the ball. Dordt scored on its next two possessions — a four-yard Drury run and a 30-yard Papke field goal with 5.6 seconds left in the half, putting Bethel down 22-7 at the half.
Dordt held a 301-107 advantage in total offense in the first half.
Bethel controlled the ball for more than eight minutes to open the second half, but a 15-yard penalty tacked to a run that lost yardage, took the Threshers out of the red zone and the Threshers had to settle on a 38-yard Brett Mathis field goal.
On the following possession, Dordt was flagged for a 15-yard penalty in the red zone, but Lamle hit a 23-yard pass to Jungling on the next play. Bethel lost the kickoff on a fumble on its own 20. Four-plays later, Lamle hit a three-yard pass to Ben Heuvelhorst. For the first time in the game, Dordt hit a PAT kick.
“That’s just the discipline side of it,” Lolar said. “We have to be more disciplined.”
A long Bethel drive ended with an interception at the BC 4 early in the fourth quarter. It took the defenders four plays to go 96 yards, scoring on a 28-yard pass from Lamle to Corey Patulea.
Another Bethel drive ended with an interception near midfield when the receiver tipped the ball. Two plays later, Bethel recovered a fumble, but turned the ball over on the following play. Dordt got to the Bethel 5, where Paepke missed a 22-yard field goal.
Bethel gets a week off before opening conference play Sept. 16 in Hillsboro against 10th-ranked (NAIA) Tabor in the annual “Menno Bowl” clash. The Bluejays opened with a 65-14 loss to fourth-ranked Morningside.
“We’ll take this and we’ll learn from it,” Lolar said. “We have two weeks to get this thing done. We’ll be better.”
KCAC-GPAC CHALLENGE — The KCAC finished 2-7 against the GPAC. Along with the Bethel and Tabor losses, Midland downed Friends 29-24, Ottawa lost to Northwestern 41-16, Hastings downed Southwestern 52-35, 11th-ranked Doane downed 14th-ranked Sterling 34-28 and 17th-ranked Dakota Wesleyan downed Saint Mary 44-10.
The only KCAC teams that won were 20th-ranked Kansas Wesleyan over Concordia (Neb.) 28-13 and Bethany over Briar Cliff 36-23. McPherson downed non-GPAC school Texas Wesleyan 43-14 in TWU’s first-ever game.
1q. D Jungling 42-yd. pass from Lamle (Dodge pass from Lamle) 13:38
1q. D Paepke 33-yd. field goal 5:39
2q. B Simon 1-yd. run (Mathis kick) 14:56
2q. D Drury 4-yd. run (Lamie run) 2:57
2q. D Paepke 30-yd. field goal 2:57
3q. B Mathis 38-yd. field goal 6:42
3q. D Jungling 23-yd. pass from Lamle (Lamle run) 3:56
3q. D Heuvelhorst 3-yd. pass from Lamle (Paepke kick) 2:31
4q. D Patulea 28-yard pass from Lamle (Paepke kick) 12:33
Time of poss.;20:59;39:22
RUSHING — Dordt: Drury 18-198, Tamondong 8-44, Lamle 4-44, Jungling 5-36, Ybarra-Brandt 5-24, de Jong 1-23, Patulea 1-13, Schoonhoven 1-3. Bethel: Webb 15-87, Simon 13-56, Green 4-2, Rhiner 1-5, Majied 1-0, team 1-0, DuBose 1-(-1), Esau 3-(-6).
PASSING — Dordt: Lamle 9-21-1, 174 yards. Bethel: Webb 13-21-1, 128 yards; Esau 1-3-2, 10 yards.
RECEIVING — Dordt: Heuvelhorst 4-37, Jungling 3-79, Dodge 1-30, Patulea 1-28. Bethel: DuBose 5-60, Harrison 2-24, Jolivet 2-16, Marshall 2-15, Green 1-11, Brown 1-10, Simon 1-2.
Missed field goals — DC: Paepke 22 (WR).