OTTAWA — The Bethel College football team’s defense made plays against the Ottawa Braves, but the offense, not so much.
The results was a 34-10 Ottawa win Saturday in KCAC play in Ottawa.
The defense started strong, but was ground down as the game went on. The offense was stymied until late in the game.
“That’s the story of Bethel College football right now,” Bethel coach Morris Lolar said. “I think we secured some things. We found some ways to move the ball, but that’s not good enough. We’re still playing like it’s week 2. We’re working on week six now. The season is still salvageable. We put 10 points on the board. We need to put up more. We had a runaway touchdown, and their guy makes a play (forces a fumble). That’s college football. We’re not making those plays. I don’t know if it’s guys being timid. We need to be sure of it.”
For Ottawa, 2-4 overall and 2-2 in KCAC play, De’Shawn Jones had 18 carries for 148 yards and two touchdowns. Over half that yardage came on one play. Connor Byers hit 15 of 29 passes for 218 yards with two touchdowns and an interception. Byers added 50 yards rushing with a touchdown. Ethan Paul-Davis had two catches for 73 yards and a score.
Bethel’s TyShawn Simon had five carries for 71 yards. Dominic Webb hit seven of 19 passes for 69 yards with two interceptions. Montero DuBose had four catches for 57 yards.
The Bethel defense held Ottawa on the Braves’ first two possession, but on the third, Byers hit a screen pass to Paul-Davis for a 61-yard touchdown play. The defense again made a stop, but Ottawa was able to score on a 24-yard pass from Byers to Dylan Wheeler.
Bethel’s offense finally came alive late in the first half, but the first drive ended with an interception at the Ottawa 12. The second drive ended with a 45-yard field goal attempt for Brett Mathis tailing wide left.
Ottawa mounted a long drive that stalled out at the Bethel 13 with 12 seconds left in the half. Kyle Wokutch missed a 30-yard field goal wide left.
Bethel was outgained 247-103 in the first half.
Bethel opened the second half with a three-and-out series that lost yardage on each play. The defense held the Braves on downs at the Bethel 29.
Simon broke free on a long run but fumbled the ball inside the Ottawa 10. Bethel got the ball back on a Charles Johnson interception at the OU 13. Bethel got just two yards on the possession, settling for a 28-yard Mathis field goal.
Ottawa took advantage of a short-field possession to go 42 yards in 11 plays, scoring on a one-yard Byers run with 13:10 to play.
Bethel’s next possession led to an interception at the OU 10. Two plays later, Jones ran 89 yards for a touchdown, putting the game out of Bethel’s reach.
Bethel came back with a Johnson interception that set up a 43-yard touchdown pass from R.J. Rhiner to DuBose with 7:31 to play. Ottawa put its offensive starters back in on the next series. A penalty on a short on-side kick gave Ottawa a short field to work with, scoring on a four-yard Jones run on a 42-yard drive.
Bethel hosts Saint Mary at 7 p.m. Saturday for Fall Fest. Saint Mary is 2-4, 1-3 in KCAC play after a 33-29 win over Bethany.
“We have to win that one,” Lolar said. “We’re on a down streak right now. That has to be the start of our good streak. We can stop this streak and start another one. That’s what we have to do. We have a good core of players, but our twos have to step up. They’re young. We’ll turn it around. They’re getting better every week.”
1q. O Paul-Davis 61-yd. pass from Byers (Wokutch kick) 5:22
2q. O Wheeler 24-yd. pass from Byers (Wokutch kick) 12:29
3q. B Mathis 28-yd. field goal 6:07
4q. O Byers 1-yd. run (Wokutch kick) 13:10
4q. O Jones 89-yd. run (Wokutch kick) 9:32
4q. B DuBose 43-yard pass from Rhiner (Mathis kick) 7:31
4q. O Jones 4-yd. run (kick failed) 3:24
Time of poss.;25:36;34:24
RUSHING — Bethel: Simon 5-71, Jolivey 3-19, Phorn 2-13, Harrison 2-11, Webb 17-9, Rhiner 5-2, Palmore 1-2. Ottawa: Jones 18-148, Byers 17-50, Paul-Davis 8-20, Reed 1-17, Williamson 6-12, Godfrey 1-(-10).
PASSING — Bethel: Webb 7-19-2, 69 yards; Rhiner 2-4-0, 48 yards. Ottawa: Byers 15-29-1, 218 yards; Valentine 0-2-1, 0 yards; Paul-Davis 2-73, Foos 4-37, Reed 2-32, Williamson 1-25, Wheeler 1-24, Uribe 3-17, Jones 2-10.
RECEIVING — Bethel: DuBose 4-57, Palmore 2-41, Hill 1-11, Marshall 1-7, Harrison 1-1. Ottawa: .
Missed field goals — BC: Mathis 45 (WL). OU: Wokutch 30 (WL).