LINDSBORG — The Bethany College Swedes at this point in the season are cast in the spoiler’s role in the KCAC football race.
The only way the Swedes can go from pretender to contender is by knocking off the teams ahead of them.
They get a chance Saturday afternoon when red-hot Tabor comes to town for the Swedes’ Homecoming and Family Weekend.
Game time at Anderson Stadium is 1:30 p.m.
The Swedes have hit the skids with three straight losses to drop to 1-3 in the KCAC for eighth place, 2-4 overall.
Yet, with the parity in the KCAC, they are not mathematically out of it. Tabor is one of five teams in the logjam at the top with one loss, as the Bluejays are 3-1 in the conference and 4-2 overall.
Tabor is the team that created the mess at the top after stunning then-20th-ranked Kansas Wesleyan, 56-31. The Bluejays steamrolled over the Coyote defense for an astounding school-record 523 rushing yards, with James Monroe powering his way to 205 yards rushing and four touchdowns, while quarterback Simon McKee added 152 yards and three scores.
The Swedes are coming off a 34-20 loss to Saint Mary. The offense moved the ball well at times, as both Darby House and Zack Waggoner took snaps and combined for nearly 300 yards passing, while Tevis Linnebur added 74 on the ground after entering game averaging more than 100.
But for the third week in a row, the defense — which had been such a rock the first third of the season — couldn’t get Saint Mary off the field. The Spires put up 419 yards of offense, though All-America quarterback candidate Mike Keese was held to 265 after averaging over 300 going into the game.