Threshers get back to action against Ottawa

Mark Schnabel
Bethel sophomore Dominic Brown (2) and Quinterious Miller (10) bring down a MidAmerica Nazarene runner during the Threshers last game. Bethel returns to play after two weeks off, hosts 2-0 Ottawa at 1 p.m. Saturday.

After two weeks off because of the COVID-19 outbreak, the Bethel College football team returns to play at 1 p.m. Saturday to host 2-0 Ottawa.

The Threshers are 4-0, but haven’t played since a record-breaking 83-35 win over MidAmerica Nazarene back on Oct. 3.

“We haven’t done anything different,” Bethel coach Terry Harrison said of the time off. “We’ve practiced like normal until we get the opportunity to play, so it hasn’t been any different. I think there’s something to playing every Saturday and being in the flow, but we’re not the only team in America that has dealt with this. We’ll be fine.”

Ottawa took down McPherson 31-13 last week, returning to play after more than a month off.

“We’ve watched a couple of their films,” Terry Harrison said. “Their coach has won a bunch of games there. They are pretty talented, so we have our work cut out for us. They won some games. They beat Panhandle State and they beat McPherson. Their undefeated and won every chance they got to play. We have to respect that and they have our full attention.”

Ottawa is led by running back Derrick Curtis, who has 44 carries for 327 yards and three touchdowns. Quarterback Eugene Sainterling has hit 18 of 31 passes for 126 yards with three touchdowns and an interception. He hasn’t played since a 27-21 season-opening win against Oklahoma Panhandle State. Against McPherson, Bailey Shire hit seven of 10 passes for 54 yards and a touchdown. Newton grad Colton Davis has nine catches for 82 yards receiving and a touchdown.

The defense is led by Colby Johnson, who has 28 total tackles with a sack, six tackles for a loss and an interception. Jacob Garcia has 16 total tackles. Grant Golemon returned a fumble for a touchdown.

“With their defense, you never really know until they play,” Terry Harrison said. “Offensively, they had a running back run for a bunch of yards and a touchdown last week. Prior to that, they liked to throw a ton. We’re preparing for a little more balance than in the past because of their running back.”

For Bethel, Chantz Scurry has 368 yards rushing with six touchdowns. Camryn Harrison has 314 yards rushing and five touchdowns. Zach Esau has 272 yards rushing with seven touchdowns. Kayden Christiansen has 264 yards rushing. Mason Murray has 202 yards rushing and three touchdowns. Rudy Juarez III has 186 yards rushing and three touchdowns.

Esau has hit 14 of 22 passes for 332 yards and six touchowns. Brayden Francis has six catches for 185 yards and three touchdowns. Tanner Galliart has six catches for 111 yards and three touchdowns.

The defense is led by Josh Seabolt with 33 total tackles, 8.0 for a loss and 4.5 sacks. Dominic Brown has 25 total tackles with an interception. Steven Marks has 20 total tackles with an interception.

The conference race was thrown wide open last week when Kansas Wesleyan was upset by Southwestern 42-21 in Salina. Bethel, Southwestern and Ottawa are the sole remaining unbeaten teams in the conference.

“When a team has won that many conference games in a row, it’s a big deal,” Terry Harrison said. “It speaks to how much better the conference has gotten the past couple of years. I think Southwestern is a really good team. I think it’s good to see. It’s good for everybody to be competitive. It’s good for the conference on a national level. It speaks to how much improvement gets made. Hopefully, two or even three three in the playoffs is a possibility.”

Bethel was set to play Southwestern two weeks ago, but that game was postponed until Nov. 7 at North Newton. The Threshers get a bye week following Ottawa.

Around the KCAC: Week 7

Around the KCAC: Week 7

All games 1 p.m.

Avila (2-1) at Kansas Wesleyan (3-1)

Kansas Wesleyan had a 25-game conference winning streak snapped by Southwestern 42-21. Avila has won two straight since an opening-game loss to Bethel. The Eagles downed Bethany 41-6 Oct. 3, but has been off the last two weeks.

For KWU, Isaiah Randalle has 1,305 yards passing and 11 touchdowns. Quincy Sandoval has 308 yards rushing and five touchdowns. Stevie Williams has 493 yards receiving and six touchdowns.

For Avila, Tristan Askan has 416 yards passing with two touchdowns. John Jacobs III has 220 yards passing and two touchdowns and 193 yards rushing and two touchdowns. Malik Nesbitt has 274 yards rushing with five touchdowns. Devin Senerius has 222 yards receiving and a touchdown.

Saint Mary (0-1) at Southwestern (3-0)

Southwestern had the aforementioned upset of Kansas Wesleyan last week. Saint Mary finally got to open the season, but fell to Tabor 20-0.

Southwestern is led by Brad Cagle with 592 yards passing and eight touchdowns. Keyshawn Wyatt has 345 yards rushing and five touchdowns. Keyshawn Jones has 364 yards receiving and three touchdowns.

For Saint Mary, Cameron Hudson has 83 yards passing and 45 yards rushing. Fred Daughtry has 30 yards receiving.

Bethany (1-2) at Tabor (1-3)

Bethany edged Sterling 26-21 last week, while Tabor downed Saint Mary 20-0.

Tabor’s Trey McGee has 741 yards passing with four touchdowns, along with 98 rushing yards with a score. Javien Creary has 115 rushing yards with one touchdown. Derrick Harper has 200 receiving yards with three touchdowns, followed by Dejuan Jones with 184 receiving yards and a touchdown.

Bethany’s Austin Desnson has 465 passing yards with five touchdowns. J.J. Allen has 298 rushing yards with three touchdowns. Darren Rittwage has 232 receiving yards with two touchdown.

Sterling (0-4), McPherson (3-3), Friends (2-3)

Friends was supposed to play Southwestern, but that game was postponed with no make-up date set. McPherson was to host Saint Mary, but that game has been postponed with no make-up date set. Sterling has a bye week.