Bethany Win Streak Snapped in Loss to #10 Thomas More

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BETHANY, W.Va. – After scoring the first 27 points of the game, #10 Thomas More reeled off 21 straight to close out a 48-14 triumph over Bethany at Bison Stadium Saturday.

The Bison (4-4, 3-2) stopped the Saints (7-0, 5-0) on their opening drive, but BC went three-and-out as well and had to punt back. On the first play of the next drive, Thomas More QB Robert Kues fired a 46-yard touchdown strike to Mercier Doucette to put the visitors up 7-0.

The Saints would tack on two more TDs in the first quarter on possessions set up by big plays. First, a 44-yard punt return by Kendall Owens gave the visitors a short field and they moved 31 yards in four plays to score on a 10-yard pass from Kues to Luis Perez. Bethany would fumble on the first play of their next drive, with Thomas More recovering at the Bison 28. Four plays later, Dominique Hayden raced in from 16 yards out to extend the Saints' lead to 21-0.

Bethany would turn away Thomas More on two scoring threats in the second quarter, first stopping the Saints on a fourth down at the Bison 30 and then a 36-yard field goal attempt was partially blocked by Bison freshman CB Jamaan Webb. However, on the second play after the field goal try, BC freshman QB Matt Grimard was picked off by Marcus Lancaster, who returned in 12 yards for a touchdown and a 27-0 advantage after the extra point was blocked by Webb.

The Bison offense would put their first points of the day on the board with their next possession. Grimard hit sophomore WR C.J. Thomas for passes of 12 and 17 yards on the drive, which covered 60 yards in 11 plays. Junior RB Eric Walker would score from three yards out to finish the march with 1:34 left in the half and the extra point from freshman kicker Joe St. Clair made it a 27-7 margin at halftime.

The rushing touchdown was Walker's 10th of the season, which is just one behind his single-season record at the school that was set last year.

The third quarter opened with Bethany fumbling the ball away after reaching the TMC 22, but then a short Saints punt gave the ball back to BC at the Thomas More 42. Pass plays of 31 yards to junior WR Alex Evans and eight yards to Walker was followed by Grimard bulling in from three yards away for the touchdown, his 10th rushing score of the year as well, that trimmed the Thomas More lead to 27-14.

Any hopes for a Bethany comeback were quickly doused by the Saints, who answered the BC score by needing just six plays to go 64 yards for their next touchdown. Kues tossed his third scoring pass of the game, this one covering37 yards to Perez to push the lead back out to 34-14. On the Bison's next drive, they moved into Thomas More territory but a Grimard aerial was taken away by Lancaster, who raced 60 yards for his second touchdown of the day that made it a 41-14 score.

The final score of the day came midway through the fourth period when Kues capped a big day by carrying it 11 yards for a TD. For the game, Bethany was outgained 419-274, including a 239-39 margin in rushing yards.

With the Bethany ground game bottled up, Grimard set career-highs with 21 completions in 38 attempts for 227 yards, but he was sacked five times and threw the two interceptions. Thomas was his top target, grabbing seven receptions for 99 yards.

The Bison defense was led by sophomore LB Kyle Arrington and freshman SS Adrian White with 11 tackles each. White also had 1.5 tackles for loss and recovered a fumble, while Arrington notched Bethany's only sack of the afternoon.

Bethany's next action will not come for two weeks, as BC will have their bye next weekend. The Bison get back on the field Nov. 6 with a road game at Grove City at 1:30 p.m.