McPherson College football coach Joe Bettasso is taking nothing for granted.
Bettasso’s sixth-ranked Bulldogs host 2-5 Tabor Saturday at 1:30 p.m. at McPherson Stadium for the first of a two-game homestand.
And he’s making sure his team -- especially his defense -- is focused on the task at hand, not the fact it is closing in on its first KCAC title since 1952.
“Tabor is a dangerous team. They have weapons on offense,” Bettasso said. “Their skill-position players are capable of hitting the home run when they touch the football.”
Joey Erickson has emerged as one of the top throwers in the KCAC, while the Bluejays have a fleet of talented receivers.
“Their QB does a nice job throwing the football, he has a little bit of a gunslinger mentality and sometimes those type of guys can get really hot,” Bettasso said “He also is mobile making him a dual threat for us.”
Bettasso, whose team is seeking a 15th straight KCAC victory, would like to see his defense make a statement, as the Bulldogs in the past few weeks haven’t been quite as stingy as they were earlier. A key, Bettasso said, is to jump on the Bluejays early and not give them any confidence that they can pull off the upset.
A win and the Bulldogs would move to 7-0 in the KCAC and 8-0 overall, meaning next week’s home game against winless Bethel would be to clinch no worse than a title for the title. Friends and Ottawa are both a game back of Mac, but have yet to play each other, and both teams are in reality two games back since they lost to the Bulldogs in head-to-head play.
Mac is coming off a 55-21 drubbing of Southwestern, which made the game interesting for the first quarter and a half. But a Darrick Johnson fumble return for a touchdown, followed by a Shane Mascarenas rainbow to Andy Skinner, blew the game open.
Tabor pushed the Bulldogs for a half last year before Mac pulled away for a 43-10 victory.
The Bulldogs also will be looking to stay undefeated at home, as they did not lose last year at McPherson Stadium.