NORTH NEWTON — For McPherson College’s Jake Snodgrass and Julius Record, it was just like playing catch in the backyard.
Snodgrass and Record put up some pinball numbers Saturday night in the Bulldogs’ 61-9 demolition of overmatched Bethel to remain in the KCAC hunt.
Snodgrass was 24 of 32 for a career-best 350 yards and four touchdowns and he also scored on a weaving 43-yard run. Record hauled in a school-record-tying 15 catches for a school-record 270 yards and three scores. Behind the duo, the Bulldogs compiled 565 yards of total offense, while the nationally ranked defense gave up just 75, 69 of that in the second half.
All of that despite the fact Mac turned the ball over three times in the first quarter, which ended in a 6-all tie before the Bulldogs exploded for 28 second-quarter points and kept right on lighting up the scoreboard in the second half.
“The kids had put in such a great week of practice and to start like that was surprising,” said Mac coach Pete Sterbick, whose team is now 3-1 in the KCAC and 3-2 overall at the midway point of the season. “We broke out of a funk after that and the kids did a great job.”
One of Record’s three TD grabs came from backup Jordan Hoffman, while Snodgrass and Byron O’Rourke hooked up for two scoring passes. On the ground, D’Anthony Tabb and Scott Thibodeaux joined Snodgrass with rushing touchdowns, and the defense got into the scoring act on a Trent Forrester pick-six.
The Mac defense was nothing short of amazing, though Bethel finished the game with its third-string quarterback. Starter Bo Pratt sat out with a knee injury and backup Rigel Jonec was lost late in the first half, leaving freshman DJ Bronson in charge.
“You’ve got to give credit to Bethel, I don’t think their kids ever quit or gave up,” Sterbick said. “Our defense did a great job. And I knew our offense would eventually come alive after the way we started.”
The Bulldogs have a week off before going to Ottawa Sept. 13.
“It’s huge that we have a bye week,” Sterbick said. “We were so thin tonight, especially on the D-line. Hopefully we’ll get some people back.”