Bethel awaits road clash at McPherson

Mark Schnabel
mschnabel@thekansan.com

The Bethel College football team will face a substantial test on the road this week, facing the McPherson Bulldogs at 6 p.m. Saturday at McPherson Stadium.

Both teams enter play 1-0 overall and in conference play.

Bethel opened the season last week with a 34-24 win over Avila. McPherson downed Sterling, which received votes in the NAIA pre-season poll, 58-40.

Bethel trailed 14-0 against Avila, but was able to pull ahead by halftime and stay ahead in the second half.

McPherson outscored Sterling 25-9 in the second quarter to lead 32-19 at the half. The Bulldogs pulled further in the fourth quarter.

McPherson quarterback Joshua Pisik hit 31 of 39 passes for 432 yards with five touchdowns and two interceptions. Pisik also rushed for a touchdown. Ben Nikkel caught 10 passes for 123 yards. Melvin Reid had five catches for 106 yards and two touchdowns. Reid also had a 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown. Jae'Lon Oglesby had four catches for 90 yards and two touchdowns. Austin Neely had eight catches for 73 yards and a score.

LaMeshio Hill led the McPherson rushing attack with 10 carries for 70 yards and two touchdowns.

For the McPherson defense, Kaden Tichenor had six total tackles, followed by Bailey Sites with five. Christopher Boutte, Drew Labertew and Kollin Goering each recovered a fumble.

Bethel’s offense was led by Chantz Scurry with 28 carries for 122 yards and a touchdown. Amondr'e Schumptert-Street had just two carries, but each one went for 40 yards. Quarterback Zach Esau had 16 carries for 67 yards and two touchdowns. Camryn Harrison also rushed for a touchdown. Easu hit three of four passes for 70 yards and a touchdown. Tanner Galliart had two catches for 21 yards. Brayden Francis had one catch for 49 yards and a score.

The defense was led by Josh Seabolt with nine total tackles. Dominic Brown had seven total tackles. The Bethel defense posted six quarterback sacks. Mark Lanier had two sacks.

Around the KCAC

All games 7 p.m. unless noted

No. 6 Kansas Wesleyan (1-0) @ Bethany (0-0)

Kansas Wesleyan opened the season with a 70-17 win over Friends. Bethany’s game at Saint Mary was postponed.

The Coyotes led Friends 28-10 at the half and started the rout with a 21-0 third quarter.

KWU used nine different ball carriers with Quincy Sandoval rushing for 68 yards and two touchdowns. Five other ball carriers scored.

Isaiah Randalle hit 10 of 11 passes for 202 yards and two touchdowns. Stevie Williams had five catches for 105 yards and a score.

Saint Mary (0-0) @ Avila (0-1)

(1 p.m.)

This one is a battle of the conference’s two Kansas City metro area Catholic schools.

Saint Mary’s season opener against Bethany was postponed. Avila fell to Bethel 34-24.

Avila quarterback Tristan Askan hit 21 of 35 passes for 261 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions. Devin Senerius had seven catches for 113 yards. Malik Nesbitt rushed for 57 yards and a touchdown and had 91 receiving yards. Ryan Petitfrere returned a fumble 80 yards for a touchdown.

Friends (0-1) @ Tabor (0-1)

Friends fell to Kansas Wesleyan 70-17, while Tabor fell to Southwestern 41-21.

Tabor led 21-14 at the half, but gave up a 21-0 third quarter.

Tabor’s Trey McGee hit 23 of 37 passes for 308 yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions. Dejuan Jones had 134 yards receiving with a touchdown. Derrick Harper had 69 yards receiving and two touchdowns. Jordan Dixon led the rushing attack with 48 yards.

Friends quarterback Dan Dawdy hit 19 of 35 passes for 191 yards and a touchdown. Waylon Chance led the Falcon receivers with 83 yards and a score. Dawson Marcum led the rushing attack with 62 yards and a score.

RV Sterling (0-1) @ Ottawa (1-0)

Postponed

The Sterling athletic department issued the following statement:

“Ottawa University reported Wednesday afternoon that a football player has tested positive for COVID-19. The Franklin County Health Department (FCHD) has since tested three additional members of the football team. Out of an abundance of caution, and in accordance with the recommendation of the FCHD, the University has placed the entire football team under quarantine until September 26.”

A make-up date will be determined later. Sterling will host Bethel Sept. 26. Ottawa will likely be off until Oct. 3, when the Braves host Tabor.

Southwestern (1-0) bye

Southwestern will play Sept. 26 at home against Bethany.