The Bethany College football program, coming off its best season since 2001, has announced its schedule for the 2011 season and it includes five home games featuring four Presidents' Athletic Conference (PAC) opponents, as well as a match-up in the second year of the "PAC-MAC Challenge."
The Bison, who finished 5-5 last year overall and 4-3 in the conference for the best season under fifth-year head coach Tim Weaver, open the 2011 campaign on the road at Allegheny Sept. 3. The Gators defeated BC 28-0 in last year's opener, as the former PAC program and current member of the North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) went on to finish 7-3 last fall.
The following week sees Bethany open up the home portion of its schedule when King's College from Wilkes-Barre, Pa., ventures to Bison Stadium Sept. 10 for the second year of the PAC-MAC Challenge. In last season's battle, the Bison scored 12 fourth-quarter points to take the lead and held off late challenges from the Monarchs to post a 31-29 victory.
Bethany will go under the lights the next two Saturdays, first with a home game against longtime rival Washington & Jefferson on Sept. 17. The 7 p.m. kickoff at Bison Stadium, the third straight season the Green and White have held a home night game, will also be the initial conference game of the season for both programs.
On Sept. 24, BC will travel to Geneva for another 7 p.m. kickoff. It is expected to be the first official PAC clash between the programs, as the Golden Tornadoes complete their reclassification to NCAA Division III this year and are eligible for conference titles beginning in 2011-12.
It will be two straight weeks on the road for Bethany, as they go to Waynesburg on Oct. 1 aiming for a second consecutive win over the Yellow Jackets following last year's 24-17 win at Bison Stadium. The weekend of Oct. 8 will be Homecoming at Bethany and the Bison will celebrate by hosting Westminster at 2 p.m. Last year's meeting saw BC take a big lead and hold off a furious fourth-quarter rally from the Titans to come away with a 47-39 triumph.
Bethany stays at home for Oct. 15 and welcomes Thiel for a visit at 1:30 p.m. Three special teams touchdowns sparked the Green and White to a 41-7 win over the Tomcats in 2010. The Bison then head out on the road Oct. 22 to face three-time defending league champion Thomas More in Crestview Hills, Ky.
The Bison's bye week is Oct. 29 and Bethany will wrap up its home schedule Nov. 5 with a 1:30 p.m. tilt against Grove City. The final game of the regular season is slated for Nov. 12 in Latrobe, where Bethany and Saint Vincent clash in the fourth installment of the "The Green Game". Last season's contest was the closest of the series, with BC scoring a touchdown with three minutes to play to claim a 35-28 win.