The Bethel College football team’s schedule has been fluid since the start with games added and subtracted for much of the season.
This was supposed to be a bye week for the Threshers, but with two games postponed back in early October, Bethel will instead play at 1 p.m. Saturday against Bethany at Lindstrom Field in Lindsborg.
The date Bethel was supposed to play Bethany, Nov. 21, will instead see the Threshers host Friends.
Bethel enters play 5-0, 4-0 in KCAC play. Bethel is coming off a 78-28 win over Ottawa last week. Bethel’s last two games are the team’s two highest-scoring games in school history.
Bethany is 1-3 overall and in conference play. The Swedes were edged by Tabor 27-21 last week. Tabor led 27-12 early in the fourth quarter, holding off a late Swede comeback.
Bethany’s win came against Sterling two weeks ago, 26-21. Other losses were to Kansas Wesleyan 59-34 and Avila 41-6.
"They are pretty talented," Bethel coach Terry Harrison said. "They had a pretty hectic first couple of weeks with a coaching change, but they are definitely a very talented team. We’re healthy and we’re playing pretty well. We’re excited to be playing a game. We had a bye week, but the way things are going, we went ahead and got this game scheduled. We’re excited to be able to play."
Bethany is led by J.J. Allen, who has 298 yards rushing with three touchdowns. Austin Desnson has hit 34 of 84 passes for 465 yards with five touchdowns and seven interceptions. As a team, Bethany has 807 passing yards with seven touchdowns and five interceptions.
Darren Rittwage is the team’s leading receiver with 11 catches for 232 yards and two touchdowns.
On defense, Austyn Fletcher has 30 total tackles with a sack and a fumble recovery. Christopher King has 25 total tackles.
"On offense, the throw the ball quite a bit," Terry Harrison said. "They don’t run the ball very much. They throw it more than they run it. They run a spread offense. They’re a lot like Ottawa. On defense, they are very aggressive. They have some pretty good looking players on the perimeter. We’ll have to play really well to give ourselves a chance to win."
Bethany has turned the ball over 11 times this season with just five takeaways. Bethel has eight turnovers this year, while forcing 12.
"That’s a big part of the game," Terry Harrison said. "Turnovers are huge. We want to be able to put pressure on people to create turnovers. Protecting the ball is also very important. That’s something we can capitalize on, get the ball back more often and give ourselves more of a chance to score."
Bethel’s Zach Esau has 369 yards rushing with nine touchdowns and 496 yards passing with nine touchdowns. Last week, he broke the school record for rushing touchdowns. Chantz Scurry has 413 rushing yards with six touchdowns. Camryn Harrison has 337 rushing yards with five touchdowns. Rudy Juarez III and Mason Murray each have four rushing touchdowns.
With six games remaining, Bethel has 2,124 yards on the ground with 32 touchdowns.
Brayden Francis leads the receivers with 222 yards and five scores. Tanner Galliart has 153 receiving yards and three scores.
On defense, Josh Seabolt has 41 total tackles with 10.5 for a loss, 6.5 sacks and a fumble recovery. Dominic Brown has 35 total tackles with an interception and a fumble recovery.
"We’re proud of the season we’ve had, but we’re not overlooking our flaws," Terry Harrison said. "Over confidence is not an issue. We’re going to do what we always do, try to establish a run game, get some big plays out of the pass game and play-action. Defensively, our goal is to put a ton of pressure on the quarterback and see if we can’t get them to throw the ball to us."
Around the KCAC: Week 8
Kansas Wesleyan (3-2) at McPherson (3-3)
Kansas Wesleyan lost its second straight game last week, falling to Avila 46-38. McPherson had the week off after falling to Ottawa 31-13 the previous week.
KWU quarterback Isaiah Randalle has 1,509 passing yards with 11 touchdowns. Quincy Sandoval has 374 rushing yards with seven touchdowns. Stevie Williams has 556 receiving yards with six touchdowns.
For McPherson, Joshua Pisik has 594 passing yards with eight touchdowns. LaMeshio Hill has 193 rushing yards with two touchdowns. Ben Nikkel has 299 receiving yards with a touchdown, followed by Melvin Reid has 265 yards and six touchdowns.
Ottawa (2-1) at Saint Mary (0-2)
Ottawa fell from the ranks of the unbeaten after a 78-28 loss to Bethel last week. Saint Mary fell to Southwestern 59-3.
Ottawa’s Derrick Curtis has 413 rushing yards with four touchdowns. Bailey Shire has 217 passing yards and three touchdowns. Colton Davis has 189 receiving yards and a touchdown.
For Saint Mary, Cameron Hudson has 110 passing yards. Cole Nequette has 60 rushing yards. Zachariah Harris has 32 receiving yards. The Spires have yet to score a touchdown.
Tabor (2-3) at Avila (3-1)
Tabor downed Bethany 27-21 for its second straight win. Avila topped Kansas Wesleayan 46-38 for its third straight win.
Tabor’s Trey McGee has 117 rushing yards with a touchdown and 948 passing yards with six touchdowns. Tyson Nonette has 168 receiving yards.
For Avila, Malik Nesbitt has 463 rushing yards with eight touchdowns. John Jacobs III has 285 rushing yards with four touchdowns and 533 passing yards with four touchdowns. Devin Senerius has 265 receiving yards with a touchdown, followed by Andrew Williams with 246 receiving yards and two touchdowns.
Sterling (0-4) at Southwestern (4-0)
Sterling fell to Bethany 26-21 two weeks ago. Southwestern topped Saint Mary 59-3 last week. Southwestern is on a five-game winning streak dating back to last season. Sterling has lost six straight.
For Southwestern, Brad Cagle has 913 passing yards with 13 touchdowns. Keyshawn Jones has 543 receiving yards with five touchdowns. Keyshawn Wyatt has 489 rushing yards with six touchdowns.
Sterling’s Ethan Richardson has 430 passing yards with five touchdowns. Alexander Harbour has 154 rushing yards with a touchdown, followed by Chance Whitehead with 153 yards and two touchdowns. T.C. Smith has 258 receiving yards and a touchdown.
Friends (2-3) bye
Friends was supposed to play Bethany this week, but had to postpone. The Falcons have been off the past two weeks and have postponed next week’s game at home against Ottawa