By Mark Schnabel
Newton Kansan
The Bethel College football team will look to win two games in a row for the first time this season when the Threshers head to Southwestern College at 1:30 p.m. Saturday for a Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference matchup.
Bethel is coming off a 32-29 triple overtime win over rival Tabor last week, improving to 2-5, 2-4 in KCAC play.
“We had a pretty good week of practice,” Bethel coach Mike Moore said. “Our kids have been unbelievably resiliant this season. A lot of that is youth, and a lot of that is the experienced kids we have know how quickly things can turn around. They are still going hard out there.”
Southwestern is 1-6, 1-5 in KCAC play. The Moundbuilders lost to 16th-ranked McPherson College 48-7 last week in McPherson.
“They are very comparable to Tabor,” Moore said. “They have several pretty good guys who can hurt you. They remind me a lot of Ottawa two years ago. They haven’t won a lot of games, but they have 40 guys back from last year — a ton of kids back on their two-deep. They have done a nice job of retention, and that’s how Ottawa built their program.”
Southwestern quarterback Jordan Bennett has hit 77 of 49 passes for 820 yards with five touchdowns and six interceptions. (Last week’s stats were missing).
Lance Evans has 128 carries for 452 rushing yards and a touchdown.
Jeff Schaefer leads the Moundbuilders in receiving with 28 catches for 326 yards and two touchdowns. Dillon Fowler has 21 catches for 209 yards and a touchdown.
The defense is led by Zak Tazkargy with 65 total tackles, 25 solo. Blake Ridgeway has 38 total tackles, including 7.0 sacks. Nick Koch has two interceptions.
“Their defense is a lot like Tabor’s,” Moore said. “It’s nice that we got to see that last week. They line up in a four-man front. Their offense has a lot of different looks. They like to use two-back twins, which we haven’t seen much of.”
Bethel is led by quarterback Garrett Hiebert, who has hit 113 of 249 passes for 1,450 yards with 13 touchdowns and eight interceptions. Jarret Abell has 129 rushes for 461 yards with two touchdowns. Hiebert has 89 carries for 136 yards and three touchdowns. Abell had 101 yards last week, his second 100-yard performance of the season.
Lance Francis has 35 receptions for 484 yards and four touchdowns. Lee Voth-Gaeddert has 28 catches for 408 yards and seven touchdowns.
The Threshers got several different people in the offense last week. Kyle Berg had three catches for 59 yards. Matt Regier had just his second catch of the season. Senior fullback Jeremy Newhouse had his most productive day of the season last week with 11 carries for 11 yards. Newhouse came into the game with just three rushes for three yards.
“Kyle Berg is only a sophomore,” Moore said. “He finally got an opportunity last week and did well. Matt has been doing a good job for us. He’s such a big kid. We need to find ways to get him the ball. It’s nice that we had some young kids step up for us. Jeremy rushed for 80 yards last week. He started here as a tailback, and we moved him to fullback. We’ve also used him at tight end, and he’s had some nice catches there.”
Moore said the Thresher need to continue to run the ball, something the team has been able to do the past three weeks. He said the team needs to sustain and finish drives. The Threshers have had trouble in the red zone the past two weeks.