HILLSBORO — There were very few positives for the Bethel College football team in a 53-0 loss to rival Tabor Saturday and Sunday at Wiens Stadium in Hillsboro.
The game was halted in the first quarter because of lightning and resumed Sunday afternoon.
“(Saturday) was three plays,” Bethel coach Morris Lolar said. “It’s a learning thing. I’m tired of saying that because in certain spots, we have veterans, and they haven’t stepped up yet. Tabor is where we want to be at. I talked to their coach before the game, and asked, ‘How did you get your guys to buy in and turn around?’ It was, ‘We had to go out and recruit guys. We had to spend money to get guys who are a little bit better than this league.’ Defensively, we got going a little bit. Offensively, it takes a little while for us to get things rolling, but we’re on the right track.”
Tabor was led by quarterback Curry Parham, who passed for 240 yards and three touchdowns and added a rushing scores. Parham, at 6-foot-3, 250 pounds, was bigger than all but a few Bethel defensive linemen. Zach Johnson had eight catches for 119 yards and three touchdowns. Johnson added a rushing score.
Bethel was held to 61 yards total offense, minus 21 yards rushing.
After Bethel’s offense went three-and-out to open the game, Tabor needed just eight plays to go 62 yards, scoring on a one-yard Parham run.
Bethel made a defensive stop, but again couldn’t move the ball. After a Tabor run play went for an 11-yard loss, Parham hit Johnson for a 60-yard touchdown pass. Johnson then hit Wyatt Bell for the two-point conversion.
After a Bethel penalty put the kickoff at midfield, the Threshers recovered an on-side kick at their own 40. The drive again went for negative yards. A bad punt snap gave Tabor the ball on the Thresher 23, where Parham hit Johnson on the next play. The game was suspended from that point because of lightning and resumed about 17 hours later.
“We just let them rest,” Lolar said of the suspension. “We made some adjustments. We came out and held our own, but we got a little tired. You can only do so much when you take that many smacks. At some point, you start giving things up.”
When play resumed, Bethel had a false start penalty on its first play. Bethel went three and out on the drive.
Bethel forced a punt on Tabor’s next three drives. A Tabor touchdown on the second was called back for holding. Bethel fumbled the punt return on the third at midfield, setting up a 12-yard run by Johnson with 1:04 left in the half.
Bethel fumbled the kickoff, setting up a 22-yard Austin Smith field goal as time expired.
Bethel gave up 269 yards total offense in the first half and gained just 9 — including minus 28 yards rushing. Bethel failed to get a first down in the first half.
Tabor scored on its second possession of the second half, a three-yard pass from Parham to Johnson.
Bethel made its first first down of the game on the following drive on a five-yard Webb run, but still had to punt four plays later.
Tabor scored on an Ontre'Von Cooper 12-yard run with 20 seconds left in the third quarter. Bethel’s next possession lasted one play, losing a fumble at the BC 8. A penalty on Bethel moved the ball to the 2, where backup quarterback Trey Schmidt, a Goessel grad, ran the ball in.
Bethel got two first downs on its next possession, and even got to the Tabor 37, but a pair of sacks forced a punt.
Both teams emptied the benches in the remaining time.
Bethel falls to 0-2 and hosts Bethany at 7 p.m. Saturday. The Swedes are 2-0 after downing rival McPherson 57-43. Like Bethel, Bethany needed two days to complete the game.
“Our second-team has to get better,” Lolar said. “Right now, they are not there. That’s the job of the coaching staff. We started breaking Bethany downed Wednesday. We have to worry about what we need to do. It’s a quick turnaround, so we’ll go tomorrow.”
1q. T Parham 1-yd. run (Smith kick) 11:25
1q. T Johnson 60-yd. pass from Parham (Bell pass from Johnson) 5:53
1q. T Johnson 23-yd. pass from Johnson (Smith kick) 4:04
2q. T Johnson 12-yd. run (Smith kick) 1:04
2q. T Smith 22-yd. field goal :00
3q. T Johnson 3-yd. pass from Parham (Smith kick) 10:31
3q. T O.Cooper 12-yd. run (Smith kick) :20
3q. T Schmidt 2-yd. run (Smith kick) :00
Time of poss.;27:22;30:05
RUSHING — Bethel: Simon 9-(-2), Mathis 1-(-13), Webb 11-(-26), Phorn 2-11, Pickens 2-9. Tabor: O.Cooper 14-62, Parham 12-37, Jones 7-34, D.Cooper 6-37, Schmidt 5-24, Johnson 1-12, Logologo 1-8.
PASSING — Bethel: Webb 10-23-0, 82 yards; Esau 0-1-0, 0 yards. Tabor: Parham 21-33-0, 240 yards.
RECEIVING — Bethel: Palmore 2-28, DuBose 4-22, Marshall 3-19, Jolivet 1-13. Tabor: Johnson 8-119, Beale 4-36, O.Cooper 2-23, Logologo 2-21, Valencia 1-21, Bell 1-11, Swims 2-7, Tate 1-2.
Missed field goals — none.