NORTH NEWTON, Kan. - The Threshers go back to their roots with strong defensive play, but unfortunately couldn't convert long drives into points during their Saturday afternoon matchup with Southwestern College. A goose-egg first half by both teams turned into a gritty offensive performance for both teams, as Southwestern was able to secure a 14-10 victory.
Scoring points was nonexistent for either side in the first half. While Bethel was able to march down the field on their opening drive, a fumble lost by Gary Jolivet (SO/Arlington, Texas) deep in Moundbuilder territory put an end to any potential points, and a possible early momentum swing for the entire game.
Offensively, Bethel stuck to the run despite NAIA Offensive Player of the Week Jalen Sykes (SR/Bakersfield, CA) being out due to injury. Duties were split primarily between Tahj Davidson (FR/Edmond, OK) and TyShawn Simon (SO/El Paso, Texas), who together combined for 153 yards. Simon was able to put in a 17 yard touchdown run in the 4th quarter, to boost Bethel back with striking distance.
The first points for Bethel came off the foot of kicker Brett Mathis (JR/Long Beach, Calif.), who sent a 40 yard field goal through the uprights and made the score 3-0 in the Threshers' favor.
Southwestern immediately scored on their next drive with a 20 yard touchdown pass. They also added a 94 yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter to add some padding to their lead.
The total yards offensively between the two squads were very comparable, as the score would suggest. Bethel came out on top with 383 total offensive yardage, while Southwestern was able to record 358.
Defensively, Carlos Dickerson (JR/Gary, IN) made his presence felt in the Moundbuilder backfield early in the 1st quarter. Dickerson ended with five tackles, two of those being sacks. He was also credited with two pass breakups as his length helped keep the ball from sailing past the line of scrimmage.
Miles Steed (JR/La Mesa, CA) led the team with nine tackles, and had a forced fumble which would be recovered by Southwestern.
Rickey Rodriguez (SR/Port St. Lucy, Fla.) added two clutch interceptions in the game, adding to his team leading total of five. Tyree Bostick (FR/Daytona Beach, Fla.) also contributed an interception, preventing a possible Moundbuilder score at Bethel's three yard line.
Bethel will look to shake off this loss quick, as they welcome conference leader and current #14 team in the NAIA Kansas Wesleyan to Joe W. Goering Field on the 29th. Kickoff is scheduled for 1:30 PM.