Bethany’s new coaching staff won their home opener Saturday night in Lindsborg, 21-12 over the Saint Mary Spires. The Swedes notched their first win over their foes from Leavenworth since 2009, and snapped a three-game losing streak in the series. It was also Curran White’s first victory at the helm of the Bethany program.
The game was a defensive slug fest in the first half. Saint Mary controlled the clock and tempo in the first two sessions, and led 7-0 after a 16-yard touchdown pass from Jalil Grimes to tailback Matt Graham with 14:37 to play in the second quarter.
Bethany’s defense continued to protect short fields in the second period, but seemed to be running out of gas prior to halftime. However, with 1:36 to go before the half, the Swedes found the big play they were looking for. With Saint Mary marching towards the end zone, Grimes had the ball wrenched loose by defensive end Rakeem Savusa around the 8-yard line. Freshman Jimmy Pitts scooped it up and raced 92 yards to the end zone to tie the game 7-7 with 90 seconds to play in the second.
A Saint Mary field goal, and team safety in the third quarter gave the Spires a 12-7 lead heading into the fourth.
Early in the final period, Bethany engineered their longest drive to that point in the night. A 7-play, 49 yard drive was capped off by a 6-yard touchdown toss from Austin Denson to wide receiver Rodney Molette. Following a disappointing week one performance, Molette had a big night with 9 catches for 122 yards, and a touchdown. Bethany led 13-12 with 13:40 remaining.
After another defensive stop, Bethany added one more touchdown when freshman running back Marcos Harris broke loose for a 58-yard run up the gut. The Swedes led 19-12 with 10:30 left to play.
Bethany’s defense imposed their will the rest of the contest, and forced a safety with 6:50 in the fourth quarter to make the score 21-12. The Swedes forced four turnovers, and lead the KCAC with nine takeaways through two games. Bethany is plus-6 in the turnover margin.
The Swedes are in action next Saturday against reigning KCAC Champions the Kansas Wesleyan Coyotes for a 2pm kickoff. Pregame coverage begins at 1:30pm on KVOB, 95.5 The Rock.