Barnes takes over at QB as Threshers weather delays
McPHERSON — Last season, the Bethel College football team rewrote much of its record book.
Thursday night’s (and Friday morning’s) 24-0 win over McPherson College at McPherson Stadium may have set another — longest game.
With three lightning delays lasting a total of about four hours, the game didn’t get over until about 1 a.m.
When play was going on, junior quarterback Justin Barnes took control of the offense with 126 yards rushing on 14 carries with two touchdowns. He fell five yards shy of his personal best rushing effort posted against Bethany last season.
“I saw 11 guys just getting after it,” Barnes said. “I’m nothing without those guys — my linemen, my slots, my d-backs. It was great. It was the opportunity I’ve been waiting for. I had a lot of guys put their faith in me, so it was just another day in the office.”
Barnes spent the last two seasons backing up Zach Esau, who set the career rushing touchdown record at Bethel. Barnes was making his second start at quarterback. He sai the stopping and starting presented a challenge.
“I think it’s tough, but here in the brotherhood, we’re warriors — Christian warriors,” Barnes said. “We’ll play in the parking lot if we have to.”
Chantz Scurry added 110 yards rushing for Bethel in 16 carries. Camryn Harrison had six carries for 74 yards and a touchdown.
McPherson was held to -10 yards rushing total. Joshua Pisik hit 25 of 49 passes for 178 yards with an interception. Melvin Reid had eight of those catches for 65 yards.
McPherson got inside the Bethel red zone three times, but was stopped on downs, picked off and saw time expire on the final play of the game.
The Threshers dominated in the first half, but had little to show for it. After the first BC drive ended on a fumble, the second stalled out, giving Logan DeMond a 25-yard field goal.
McPherson had a couple of strikes that were reversed on penalty, including a 100-yard kickoff return.
On the first play after the first lightning delay, punter Cole Schroeder mishandled a snap, giving Bethel the ball at the McPherson 30. Barnes finished the drive with a 15-yard touchdown run.
Bethel had two time consuming drives in the third quarter. One ended on a fumble. The other ended on downs.
Harrison and Barnes each added a fourth quarter touchdown.
Taeylon Garland had 13 total tackles on defense for McPherson. Cory Chairs had 10 total tackles.
Josh Seabolt led Bethel in tackles with six, but he was ejected in the second half for targeting.
Bethel plays Sept. 11 at home against Friends. McPherson plays Sept. 11 at Tabor.
1q. BC DeMond 25-yd. field goal 4:12
2q. BC Barnes 15-yard run (DeMond kick) 2:37
4q. BC Harrison 62-yd. run (DeMond kick) 11:44
4q. BC Barnes 3-yd. run (DeMond kick) 3:40
Time of poss.;33:16;26;44
RUSHING — Bethel: Barnes 14-126, Scurry 16-110, Harrison 6-73, Christianson 11-41, Murray 3-17, Powell 1-16, S.Grider 1-4, Quintero 1-0, team 3-(-28). McPherson: Smyth 3-13, Turma 5-15, Moody 1-(-1), Pisik 5-(-6), team 1-(-13), Reid 1-(-16).
PASSING — Bethel: Barnes 0-2-0, 0 yards. McPherson: Pisak 25-49-1, 178 yards.
RECEIVING — Bethel: none. McPherson: Reid 8-65, Johnson 2-40, Santi 4-33, Reddick 4-22, Smyth 2-12, Davis 2-12, Turma 3-(-6).
Missed field goals — none.
Mark Schnabel can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org