NORTH NEWTON— The McPherson College football team fell to 0-3 oF the year, and 0-2 in the KCAC with a 41-32 loss to the Bethel College Threshers on the road on Saturday evening.
An inability to stop the Thresher running game, penalties and turnovers were all contributing factors for the Bulldogs in the loss. The Threshers run the triple option on offense, and over the course of the game, they amassed a total of 426 yards on the ground while the Bulldog offense was only able to generate 80 yards from scrimmage. The Bulldogs also had too many self-inflicted wounds, committing seven penalties for 92 yards and two turnovers, one of which turned into seven points for the Threshers.
The Bulldogs won the toss and deferred to the second half, giving the ball to the Threshers to start the game. Bethel marched the length of the field on their opening drive and scored a touchdown. The Bulldogs responded by scoring a field goal on their first possession, but the home team added another touchdown late in the quarter to take a 14-3 lead through one quarter of play. The only points scored in the second quarter was a touchdown by the Threshers with under a minute to play after the Bulldogs went for it on fourth and four on their own 20-yard line. The Threshers took advantage of the McPherson miscue and took a 21-3 lead into the intermission.
In the third quarter, the Bulldogs and Threshers traded scores with Bethel winning the quarter 14-13 and extending their overall lead to 35-16. The 13 Bulldog points came from a touchdown on a 35-yard punt return by Brett Sykes Jr. and a 75-yard touchdown pass from Ed Crouch to Tevin Nash.
The fourth quarter belonged to the Bulldogs. They outscored the Threshers 16-6 in the final 15 minutes of the game, but it wasn't enough to overcome their slow start in the first half. The 16 fourth quarter points were the result of a one-yard touchdown run by LaMeshio Hill, and a 17-yard touchdown pass from Crouch to Tanner Williams.