A pair of teams that struggled through their season openers will clash in this year’s edition of the “Menno Bowl” at 7 p.m. Saturday at Wiens Stadium in Hillsboro.
Both the Bethel and Tabor football teams suffered stinging losses two weeks ago in the KCAC-GPAC Challenge. Bethel fell to Dordt 44-10, while Tabor fell to fourth-ranked (NAIA) Morningside 65-14.
The loss sent the Bluejays from 10th in the NAIA pre-season poll to 18th in this week’s poll.
Tabor is the defending KCAC champion and an NAIA playoff team from last year.
Against Morningside, Tabor had 167 rushing yards and 189 passing yards on offense, but gave up 232 rushing yards and 606 yards passing. The Bluejays also turned the ball over twice with an interception leading to a touchdown.
The Bluejays are led on offense by quarterback Curry Parham, who hit 13 of 33 passes for 189 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions. Zach Johnson caught four of those passes for 96 yards and a score. Ontre’Von Cooper had nine rushes for 72 yards. Drevion Cooper had six rushes for 58 yards and a score.
On defense, Donald Harris had 14 total tackles for Tabor, followed by Kaleb Neuschafer with 11.
The bright spot for Tabor was Bryson Casmir’s 49.0 yards-per-punt average, with a long of 60 yards.
Bethel stayed relatively close with Dordt in the first half, trailing 22-7 at the half, but after settling for a field goal on a drive that took more than eight minutes to complete, the Threshers were outscored 22-0 the rest of the way.
Dordt held a 559-287 advantage in total offense in the game — 385-149 rushing and 174-138 passing.
Bethel quarterback Dominic Webb hit 13 of 21 passes for 128 yards with an interception. Webb also had 87 yards rushing on 15 carries. Tyshawn Simon added 13 carries for 56 yards and a touchdown. Montero DuBose led the receiving corps with five catches for 60 yards.
Special teams also was a bright spot for the Threshers. Brett Mathis had a 37.0 average punting, a substantial improvement for the Threshers over last season. Mathis also hit a 38-yard field goal on his only attempt.
The Threshers turned the ball over five times last week and recovered two.
RoShawn Brown led the Bethel defense with nine total tackles.