LEAVENWORTH — Bethany College’s football team was left in the starting blocks by Saint Mary on Saturday, but the Swedes made up the stagger by halftime in what turned into a yards-producing track meet.
But after the Swedes overcame an early 21-0 deficit to tie the game before the halftime break, the Spires were the better team in the second half to hand the Swedes a damaging 33-29 loss, their first of the year after the first 4-0 start since Paul Hubbard has been head coach.
Saint Mary had entered the game on a four-game slide and winless in conference play.
The game was a fan’s delight if you like offensive production as the teams combined for more than 1,000 yards as defense was just an afterthought.
Bethany is now 3-1 in the KCAC and the schedule only gets more difficult as conference leader Sterling comes into Lindsborg next Saturday. Bethany, with a win, can move back into a first-place tie.
But the Swedes are going to feel like they let this one get away because they were dozing at the beginning.
Saint Mary’s Drew Cortez was the difference as the KCAC leader in total offense did nothing to hurt his image by completing 29 of 41 passes for 493 yards and two scores. The Swede defense was shredded for nearly 600 yards, giving up 596.
Bethany certainly had plenty of offense to win. The Swedes piled up 461 total yards, 201 on the ground and 260 through the air. Jafar Thomas had another big game with 129 yards on 23 carries. Michael Wimberly caught eight balls for 113 yards and three scores, with BC’s other score a 57-yard strike from Isaiah Salazar to Rodney Molette.
Bethany had no answer for Spire receiver Tae Turner, who had 8 catches for 212 yards and two scores.