NORTH NEWTON, Kan. - The Bethel College football team wrapped up their season earlier this afternoon when they hosted conference rival and 13th ranked Tabor College at Joe W. Goering Field. In what hoped to be a promising game after last week's victory at Friends, the Bethel offense started on the wrong foot by throwing an interception on the first play of the game. The Threshers couldn't ever get things rolling, and finished their season with a loss to the Blue Jays 40-10, and a 3-7 record.
The single Bethel touchdown came from the defense. The Tabor quarterback completed a pass to their own 20 yard line, when the receiver was met immediately by Devonte Singleton (JR/Los Angeles, CA). Singleton just about had the interception, but was deemed instead to have forced the fumble when he ripped it right from the Blue Jays' receiver's hands, and ran it back the 20 yards for a touchdown.
The other three points were contributed from the foot of Brett Mathis (JR/Long Beach, Calif.). Mathis, the reigning KCAC Special Teams Player of the Week, booted a 48 yard field goal through the uprights with less than a second left on the clock before halftime.
It was a somewhat unremarkable day on the offensive side of things for Bethel. The Threshers were only able to put together 133 yards total offensively, their fewest yards this season in a single game.
Chase Sparks (FR/Oklahoma City, Okla.) finished the day completing six of his fourteen passes, good for 55 yards. He found senior Marquis Jackson (SR/Miami, FL) twice on the day, totaling 20 yards in his final game as a Thresher. Jackson finished the season with 37 receptions for 423 yards, and three touchdowns, all career highs.
Gary Jolivet (SO/Arlington, Texas) contributed a single catch for 20 yards, and had a 30 yarder called back due to a penalty in the fourth quarter. Montero DuBose (JR/Indianapolis, Ind.) led the team with three receptions today.
The leading rusher for the Threshers today was Robert Smith (JR/Lakeland, Fla.), who put together 16 carries for 50 yards.
Tabor's offense kept the Thresher defense guessing throughout the whole game. The Blue Jays came out with two quarterbacks who seemed to be sharing rushing and passing plays equally. They also had a plethora of running backs and receivers who would receive handoffs, which kept Bethel on their toes and unable to keep their focus on only certain individuals.
Darius Jackson (SO/Macon, GA) shared the lead for tackles today, as he racked up 11. Jackson was also able to force a fumble and had 1.5 tackles for loss, resulting in backing up the Blue Jays 18 yards.
The other Thresher with 11 tackles was Carlos Dickerson (JR/Gary, IN), who also contributed a sack for seven yards.
Bethel was able to force in total four fumbles throughout the game, with Singleton and Jackson previously mentioned, being joined by Michael Bell (JR/Wichita, Kan.), and senior Mark Martin (SR/Plano, Texas).
Other playmakers for the Thresher defense include Jariah Booker (JR/Oroville, CA) and Charles Johnson (SO/Phoenix, Ariz.), each racking up eight tackles. Johnson had a pass breakup, as well as Miles Steed (JR/La Mesa, CA), who threw in six tackles of his own.
Bethel matches their wins total from last season as they end 2016 at 3-7. If the Theshers can come back from the offseason with a stronger discipline to avoid costly penalties, avoid the injury bug that plagued key positions this season, and grow from the experience the overall young squad gained, look for them to make some serious noise in 2017.