LINDSBORG — The KCAC football championship is long gone for the Bethany Swedes, but a winning season is still firmly in their sights.
The Swedes, after two losses in a row, are 4-3 in the KCAC after having been in a four-way tie for first place after five weeks.
They are 5-3 overall and a victory at home on Senior Day at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday against Friends would assure them of a winning season and also unofficially clinch “the most surprising team in the KCAC” award.
Friends, under first-year coach Dion Meneley, is 3-4 in the KCAC and with a win would tie the Swedes in the conference race, which also would give them the tiebreaker should the teams finish with the same KCAC record.
Friends is 3-6 overall.
The Falcons might be catching the Swedes at a good time. Bethany expended a lot of emotional and physical energy last week in a 56-28 loss to arch-rival Kansas Wesleyan, which spoiled their title hopes.
The Bethany defense will be looking to rebound. The Swedes have been torched in their three conference losses by Saint Mary, Southwestern and Kansas Wesleyan.
Friends has a balanced offense. In freshman Noah Diaz, the Falcons can trot out the KCAC’s No. 2 rusher. They have used three different quarterbacks, with Kevin Folsom now at the controls. Despite the revolving door, the Falcons have more than 2,000 yards passing and rank fourth in the KCAC in that category.
The Swedes had some players banged up last week, most notably star receiver Michael Wimberly, and it won’t be known until game as to who’s a go and who’s going to be out.
Bethany needs to win this game since it closes the year at Tabor, which will have everything to play for as it tries to qualify for postseason play.