LINDSBORG — When you think of all the great quarterbacks who have worn the Bethany College blue and gold — especially those during the era of legendary coach Ted Kessinger’s Swedish Air Force offense — Isaiah Salazar accomplished something none of those greats ever did.
Salazar threw for a school-record seven touchdowns Sunday afternoon and the Swedes needed every one of them as McPherson College’s Ed Crouch was no slouch himself with 474 yards of total offense. Bethany won the wild shootout 57-43 in a game postponed from Saturday night due to an illuminating lightning display.
The two teams combined for 1,091 yards, with Mac actually having a 575-516 advantage. But the Bulldogs never had an answer to keep Salazar from finding his receivers for scores.
Salazar was 30 of 48 for 410 yards. Rodney Molette, back after a redshirt season, caught 9 for 199, Michael Wimberly had 8 for 86 and Michael Milbourne had 7 for 48. Molette and Wimberly caught two scoring passes apiece, while Milbourne, Jafar Thomas and Dalton Goodwin all had one.
Jafar Thomas rushed for 66 yards on 17 carries to provide a running game complement.
After Mac led 7-0 early, the Swedes went on a 28-7 run to close out the half for a 28-14 lead.
The Swedes eventually upped the lead to 35-14 before the Bulldogs showed some quick-striking ability of their own to draw within 35-29. But the Bulldogs gave up 22 fourth-quarter points and could never close it to one score.
“We just couldn't get a stop when we needed it,” Mac coach Paul Mierkiewicz said. “There were a couple of drives in the first half where we shot ourselves in the foot. You go way back into the first quarter and we had some holding calls (on outside receivers downfield) on some long runs, one for a touchdown. Offensively, though, we just felt like we could do what we wanted to on the outside. We did a little bit better job of protecting in the first three quarters and kind of got loose in the fourth. We still have a lot of work to do."
The quicksilver Crouch was 23 of 38 for 425 yards and four scores. Desmond Anderson had 7 catches for 188 yards and two scores and Eman McNeil also had two TD grabs. Freshman Corey Davis showed a lot of promise with 92 yards rushing and a touchdown and Crouch also had a rushing touchdown, though he had only 49 yards rushing.
Dominic DeLuca and Thomas Lanktree were tackling machines for Mac with 16 and 15, respectively. Damien Bell-White led Bethany with 8.
Mac, now 1-1, goes on the road Saturday to play Southwestern, while Bethany, 2-0, plays at Bethel.