The Bethany football team ended its season on Saturday on a high note as the Swedes took down Ottawa, 30-22 at Anderson Stadium.
Saturday marked the unofficial return of the “Swedish Air Force” as Bethany would throw the ball 66 total times in the game while only handing it off 13 times total–only once in the first half. However, the offense was productive as the Swedes racked up 433 yards of total offense.
A star was born in Lindsborg as well, as the Swedes playing without its top play maker in Rodney Molette, turned to freshmen, Aderias Ealy at Wide Receiver. Ealy started the scoring as Quarterback, Austin Denson, found Ealy late in the first quarter for a 12 yard touchdown pass to put the Swedes up 7-0 after the made PAT.
After an Ottawa answer in the early part of the second quarter, Bethany and the Braves would trade possessions without scoring until late in the second quarter when once again Denson found Ealy. It might have been the play of the year for not just Bethany, but the entire KCAC. With the Swedes backed up at its own 12 yard line, Bethany ran a pass pattern for Ealy. Denson threw the ball high and Ealy went up for a spectacular one-handed grab at the BC 30 yard line. The play wasn’t done there however, as Ealy ran in to a group of three Ottawa tacklers and somehow came out without being tackled. Ealy then broke two more tackles and outran the entire Brave defense for a thrilling 88 yard touchdown catch.
The score put Bethany ahead 14-7, which was the score at halftime.
Unfortunately for the Swedes, Ottawa would own the third quarter. The Braves opened up the period with 50 yard pick-six, as linebacker, Matthew Blankenship, intercepted Denson and returned the ball all the way for a touchdown to open up the quarter. The PAT failed however, so the Swedes still led 14-13.
Bethany’s offense stalled all third quarter, so the Braves’ offense took advantage and would take its first lead on the game midway through the quarter after a touchdown pass to Dylan Foos. The Braves went for two and failed, though. Ottawa led 19-14 going in to the final quarter.
In the fourth quarter, Bethany’s offense woke up. The Swedes’ passing attack would find Ealy a third time on a touchdown pass to go ahead 20-19. The Swedes went for two, but did not convert, so they led by only one early in the final quarter.
Bethany’s offense would tack on 10 more points in the period as Denson threw his fourth touchdown pass on the day, this time to Darren Rittwage midway through the quarter. Then Wyatt Townsend connected on a field goal to put the Swedes ahead 30-19.
Ottawa tacked on a field goal to pull with in eight points late in the game. Bethany was trying run out the clock, when Denson threw his fourth interception late in the game. Ottawa returned the ball all the way inside the Bethany 30 yard line with under two minutes to go.
The Braves, needing a touchdown and two-point conversion to extend the game, got the ball inside of a goal-to-go situation. However, the Bethany defense, which had been good for the majority of the game, stood tall. Ottawa on fourth-and-goal from the BC 11 went to the air, however pressure up front by Bethany caused an errant pass and the Swedes hung on for the victory.
Ottawa (2-8, 2-8 KCAC) was held to 293 total yards and only 137 passing yards in a disappointing finish to what was a difficult season.
Bethany (4-6, 4-6) won its final three of four games of 2019. Four wins for Bethany is the most for any Swede team since 2014. Denson was 28-66 passing for 433 yards, four touchdowns and four interceptions. Ealy led the Swedes in receiving with eight receptions, 260 yards and three touchdowns.