LINDSBORG—Bethany spotted Ottawa a 28-7 lead in the second quarter and then rallied behind Isaiah Salazar’s 377 passing yards and five touchdowns only to fall seven points shor, 42-35.
The Braves remain unbeaten in the KCAC at 3-0 while the Swedes fell to 1-2, 1-3 overall.
Down by three scores with 7:36 to go in the first half, Salazar got the lead cut in half with his second fade TD to Dalton Goodwin. Goodwin, the former Abilene Cowboy had a monster night catching eight passes for 154 yards as well as his two scores.
Bethany opened the second half with a quick 42-yard drive in two plays as Salazar found Chico Garza open over the middle and Garza scored with 11:56 showing in the third quarter.
In less than two minutes Bethany had the ball back with a chance to take the lead. When that drive stalled at the Ottawa 25, Fernando Avila Castro’s 42-yard field goal attempt was blocked.
That was the beginning of a momentum shift that Bethany aided with numerous penalties as the Braves moved 80 yards in 11 plays for another score.
The drive was aided by 50 yards of infractions against the Swedes including a 15-yard roughing the passer call that moved the Braves to the Swede 48.
Ottawa reached the Swede 24 when Connor Kaegi, OU’s quarterback, rolled to his right on a keeper. As he reached the 19, he was brought down by a vicious hit that brought a personal foul to move the ball to the 10, first and goal.
The hit on Kaegi ended his night’s play and Spenser Lewis, Ottawa’s backup quarterback finished off the drive with a five yard scamper with 3:21 left in the quarter.
Trey Wheeler set the Braves on Bethany’s next possession with an interception and 26 yard return to the Bethany 45. Three plays later Lewis got Darrion Dillard open on a stop and go route that covered 32 yards and lifted Ottawa up 39-21 with 14:51 to go.
Nick Rodriquez booted a 24 yard field goal at 10:17 and the Braves were up 42-21.
The Swedes still had chances and Salazar threw scoring passes of 12 yards to Mike Milbourne and 42 to Jafar Thomas but onside kicks after both touchdowns were recovered by Ottawa.
As expected the passing game worked for Bethany as Salazar and Austin Denson combined for 403 passing yard completing 26 of 45 tosses together. Thomas caught seven of those passes for 112 yards. Garza hauled in five for 107 yards.
Ottawa got 208 yards through the air from Kaegi and Lewis, but Corbin Chambers and James Reeder combined for 215 yards rushing.
The Swedes will be on the road next week to take on Southwestern in Winfield while the Braves travel to Salina to face Kansas Wesleyan.