The Bethel College football team got to celebrate its first win of the season, the first win for first-year head coach Terry Harrison and a win on Fall Fest.
It will be back to business for the Threshers this week in preparation for the University of Saint Mary at 1:30 p.m. Saturday at Charles J. Berkel Memorial Stadium in Leavenworth.
Both the Threshers and Spires enter play 1-4 overall and 1-4 in conference play.
Bethel stopped McPherson 56-42 last week in a game that broke at least three school records. In the wake of the win, freshman kicker Brayden Francis was named KCAC special teams player of the week.
“I think the win has really helped practice this week,” Harrison said. “It gives you a little lift and a little motivation in practice.”
Saint Mary was stopped by 11th-ranked (NAIA) Kansas Wesleyan 56-0 in Salina. The Spires have dropped four straight since edging Tabor 13-10 in the first week of the season.
“They are 1-4 and have had a season very similar to ours,” Harrison said. “They are a very big team. Their offensive line is one of the biggest in the conference. The run the ball a little more than we have seen. They have played a similar defense to what we have see. Our offense is going to know it’s been in a game. Their defensive back is very impressive.”
The Spires are led by four-year starting quarterback Drew Cortez, who has hit 74 of 157 passes for 1,055 yards with eight touchdowns and 10 interceptions. For his career, Cortez has 9,100 yards with 66 touchdowns.
Tae Turner leads the receiving corps with 274 yards on 14 catches with a touchdown. Bryan Barnhart has 14 catches for 193 yards and two touchdowns.
Demontel Wilson leads the Spires in rushing with 51 carries for 255 yards and three touchdowns.
USM has used 15 different rushers and 12 different receivers.
David Burton leads the defense with 39 total tackles. Trey Espy has 36 total tackles. Nicholas Holmes has five interceptions.
Bethel’s Zach Esau has hit 29 of 55 passes for 594 yards with five touchdowns and four interceptions. Esau also has 87 rushes for 417 yards and four touchdowns.
Camryn Harrison has 41 carries for 346 yards and two touchdowns. Gary Jolivet has 35 rushes for 304 yards and four touchdowns.
Tanner Galliart leads the receivers with 14 catches for 331 yards and three touchdowns.
Bethel has had leads in the previous three games before stopping McPherson.
“I think in (the McPherson) game, once we got up by three touchdowns, you could tell that we were going to win,” Harrison said. “We’ve been in our last three games, but we have a lot of young players and their still learning. Many of our returning players didn’t play much last year. McPherson is a very good team and we had to play well to beat them. The Ottawa game (a 42-12 loss) was an eye-opener for us, but we had to put that game behind us and move on. We have to keep going at it day-to-day and try to improve each day.”