Bethel ended multiple droughts on Saturday night with a 34-14 victory over Bethany.
The Threshers ended a two-game skid at the hands of the Swedes and they also ended a dubious streak of no opening season wins over conference opponents in a decade.
It was a slow start for both squads as the defenses came to play early. However, Bethel struck first with a 50 yard score by Rudy Juarez to put the Threshers up 7-0 late in the first quarter.
The Swedes struggled to put together drives for the all of the first quarter, but were given new life when Bethel fumbled inside of its own 20 yard line.
Bethany made the Threshers pay with a 13 yard touchdown pass from quarterback, Austin Denson, to receiver, Antoise Fields. Early on in the second, the Swedes tied the game at 7-7.
The score remained the same in to the third quarter, when Bethel made some halftime adjustments and decided to run the ball more with its quarterback, Zach Esau.
Esau ran for three touchdowns in the second half, as Bethel established its powerful rushing onslaught–which was second in country in 2018.
Meanwhile, the Bethany offense continued to be stymied by the much improved Bethel defense. The Swedes started multiple drives with good starting field position, but never threatened getting deep in Thresher territory.
Bethel (1-0, 1-0 KCAC) opens their season with a league win for the first time since 2008–its last winning season. The Threshers accounted for over 300 rushing yards on Saturday night.
Bethany (0-1, 0-1 KCAC) saw its defense battle hard for three-in-a-half quarter but eventually falter after being left out on the field all game. The Swedes racked up just 104 yards of total offense.
Next up for Bethany, the Swedes have their home opener with winless Saint Mary next Saturday. Listen to live coverage on 95.5 The Rock.