LINDSBORG — The Bethany College Swedes can’t afford to slip up.
While on paper it appears the 5-1 Swedes should have no trouble with the 1-6 Moundbuilders on Saturday afternoon in Winfield, Richard Jantz Stadium hasn’t been kind to Bethany in the past, including a 24-0 loss there two years ago. And in 2013, the Swedes were edged 28-21.
Kickoff is 1:30 p.m.
The Swedes need a win to keep pace with the three other KCAC quad-leaders (Tabor, Sterling and Kansas Wesleyan), though one of the teams will lose on Saturday since Tabor hosts Kansas Wesleyan. The four leaders are all 4-1.
Southwestern is in ninth with a 1-4 conference mark, but its win was a 45-17 rout of McPherson College, which gave Bethany all it wanted before the Swedes scored a late touchdown to secure a 57-43 victory.
Southwestern has to believe it’s catching Bethany at a perfect time. The Swedes exhausted a lot of emotional energy last week with a pulsating 30-28 victory over then-No. 15 Sterling, handing the Warriors their first KCAC loss. And Bethany has arch-rival Kansas Wesleyan coming to town next week, so this is the perfect “trap game” scenario.
Southwestern has been nobody’s pushover. It played Kansas Wesleyan within 5, Friends within a touchdown and lost to Sterling by two scores.
The Builders, though, don’t rank high statistically. They are toward the bottom in the conference both offensively and defensively. Bethany, meanwhile, is among the top in most offensive categories.