Bethel looks to follow opening win

Mark Schnabel
The Kansan

After the longest night of football in the modern era of Bethel College history, the question on some people’s mind was “did the players make it to class later in the morning?”

Fortunately by playing their season opening 24-0 win over McPherson College on a Thursday, the Threshers were able to get back into a normal routine to prepare for Saturday’s home opener against the Friends Falcons at 6 p.m. at Thresher Stadium.

“More than I would have guessed,” Bethel coach Terry Harrison said about player attendance following a game that ended at about 1 a.m. “We gave them a pass on the 8 a.m. classes, but many of them had tests, so many of them sucked up and went to class. We did really well. For our first game out with no scrimmage, we played pretty well. The 3 1/2 hours of lightning delays, the players handled that real well.”

The game was Bethel’s first shutout in a season opener since 1975 and just the fourth since 1946.

Bethel made several red zone stops in the game.

“Our defense has progressed so much over the years,” Harrison said. “That was probably the most impressive defensive game we’ve played since I’ve been at Bethel. Those guys did an awesome job of getting off the field. They were in some tough situations. We haven’t had a ton of practice and you don’t get those scenarios very often in practice.”

Friends opened the season with a 65-7 loss to 24th-ranked Kansas Wesleyan last week. Friends was led by Laken Clowdus with 75 yards rushing and a touchdown. Quarterback Joshua Morris hit seven of 28 passes for 31 yards and two interceptions.

Friends was held to 166 yards total offense, 31 yards passing.

Marco Torres had 10 total tackles for the Falcons.

“That score doesn’t indicate how good of a team Friends is,” Harrison said. “They were down in the second half. The biggest issue they had in the game was field position. If you flip the field position, they’re not in such a bad spot. They did some OK things. The first-game jitter kicked in. Friends has always been one of the more talented teams in the conference, and that hasn’t changed.”

Mark Schnabel can be reached at mschnabel@thekansan.com