The Friends University Falcons spoiled Bethany’s senior day, as the Swedes dropped their third consecutive game, 49-18.
Bethany’s offense turned the ball over on four of their first seven series in the matchup. Friends cornerback MacKenzie Evans recorded five interceptions in the tilt, one shy of tying the NAIA record. He returned his second pick of the day 35 yards to the house with 10:23 to go in the 2nd quarter, ballooning the Friends lead to 28-0. Cornerback Sherman Arthur also returned an interception for a touchdown in the first half as Friends built a 35-0 lead at the break.
After back-to-back Bethany interceptions to start the second half, Bethany’s Deauntre Roberts recovered a fumble and dashed 80 yards to the end zone to get the Swedes on the board, 42-6 with 5:24 left in the 3rd.
Bethany then trotted their third different quarterback onto the field, this time sending freshman Bryce Banks into the fire. On his first career throw, he found Mike Milbourne down the seam for a 53 yard touchdown, Bethany’s longest offensive play of the day. That made it 42-12 Friends with 3:11 to go in the 3rd.
In the 4th quarter, Banks found Milbourne again from 26 yards away with 3:49 to go in the game, making it 49-18 Friends.
Banks looked poised in his initial campaign, completing 4-7 passes for 131 yards, 2 touchdowns, and 1 interception. He also completed a 3rd-and-2 for Bethany when he found Dalton Goodwin for a 35 yard completion in the 4th quarter.
The Falcons were led by freshman quarterback Kevin Folsom, a former Wichita Northwest product. He carved up the Swedes for 141 yards rushing, and 120 yards passing, with 1 touchdown. Running back Triton Douglas had 109 yards rushing on 25 carries, and 3 scores.
Bethany had nearly a quarter of their roster sidelined for the contest, and was without their top two centers, leading receiver, and leading rusher. On defense, the Swedes were missing four starters. Bethany coach Paul Hubbard said after the game that Bethany’s quarterback position is now a wide open competition heading into the season finale against Tabor.
Bethany enters that matchup 5-4 overall, 4-4 in KCAC play. Kickoff is set for 1:30pm. Pregame can be heard at 1pm on KVOB, 95.5 The Rock.
By James Westling