October 25, 2012

Bethany at Thiel Preview

More news about: Bethany

The Bethany football team will go out on the road for the final time in 2012, as the Bison journey to Greenville, Pa., Saturday to take on Thiel in a 1 p.m. match-up.

The season continued to be a maddening one for BC last week, as Bethany nearly rallied from a 17-point deficit, only to give up two late scores in a 45-28 loss at Westminster last week. After falling behind 31-14, two scores in the fourth quarter brought Bethany within three points at 31-28. But two long TD runs by the Titans put the game away and sent BC to their sixth loss of the season.

Junior quarterback Matt Grimard had a huge game, passing for 357 yards and two TDs and rushed for another 78 yards. His 435 total yards was the third-most in a game by a Bethany player. The Bethany defense, despite 12 tackles and an interception from senior linebacker Kyle Arrington, surrendered 396 rushing yards and the team's overall performance continued with a season-long trend, according to Bison head coach Tim Weaver.

"We're consistently inconsistent," said Weaver. "It's very frustrating, not just for the coaches, but for the players as well. We played as poorly in the first half offensively as we could. And then they couldn't stop us in the second half. Defensively, we forced three-and-outs, gave up a field goal, picked off a pass in the end zone and the only touchdown they did get was a pass we deflected and it fell on their chest. And the second half was a complete reversal on both sides of the ball.

"As we told the team, we would have loved to watch film on Sunday and see some great adjustment, but we didn't see that," said Weaver. "They ran the same plays we defended in the first half. Some of it ranged from bad angles to the ball, one really bad missed tackle and we lost run support once. But even with that, we got within three (points) with six (minutes) to go. It shows we have a team of good players who are competing hard and playing hard. There is no quit in the staff or the players and we're very proud to see that."

Bethany's defensive struggles continued against Westminster, but the real issues lie in containing big plays. Of the Titans' 567 yards, more than 365 of those came on seven plays. Injuries are also starting to take a toll on the Bison, who will only turn to younger players to fill those holes and not because the program is turning the page on this season.

"Looking at film from last week, we gave up 265 rushing yards on five plays and more than 100 pass yards on two plays," said Weaver. "If it was one thing to point at, it would be easy to change. If we were overmatched or just weren't good enough, we would just put in young guys and start building for next year, but that's not it.

"We are also, for the first time this year, dealing with legitimate injury issues on defense," said Weaver. "Every coach says that injuries don't matter, but at some point, it just does. But our responsibilities as coaches are to have the next guy ready and get them as many reps as possible to have them ready to go in a game."

The Bethany defense is hoping to right the ship some this week when they take on a Thiel team ranked last in the conference in scoring (12.9) and total yards (251.4). The Tomcats were off last week and in their last action, lost to Thomas More 28-16. Thiel trailed by just five with 3:42 to play in that game, but an interception killed their final drive and set up the Saints' clinching score.

Despite their struggles at times this season, Weaver says the unit still has potential problems for the Bison. Junior quarterback Andrew Smith is fourth in the league in passing efficiency and is completing 60 percent of his passes for 1,080 yards this season. Running back Josh Potter, who has rushed for 147 yards and two TDs, has caught the Bison staff's eye with his skills and tight end Berend Grube is the Tomcats' top receiver with 27 catches for 256 yards and two touchdowns.

"Their offense is very much improved," said Weaver. "The quarterback has really matured, become more accurate and developed into a good player. They do things in the pass game that most won't by throwing curls and out cuts to the field. Thiel have a freshman running back they like who has a little explosion and have worked in more reps for him. They also have a big tight end they like to get the ball to and are bigger and more physical up front than Westminster.

"They have become more balanced and with our problems against the run, we have to commit to stop it," said Weaver. "When you make that commitment, you need to hold up against the pass, so Smith will be a legitimate challenge for us."

Another stiff challenge awaiting the Bison Saturday is a Thiel defense that ranks at the top of the conference in yards allowed (281.6) and second in scoring (17.0). Defensive end Tim Taylor, who had 10 tackles and 4.5 sacks in last year's 20-0 Bison win over the Tomcats, is having another outstanding season with a PAC-high 10.5 sacks and is second with 15 tackles for loss.

But Taylor is not a one-man crew. Linebacker Ethan Ludwig is among the top tacklers in the conference with 69 stops and fellow linebacker Jack Sidlinger is right behind him with 59 tackles. Weaver is also impressed with Taylor's line mates Kris Tursky (20 tackles, seven for loss) and Cody McClelland (4.5 sacks).

"Their defense is as good as anyone whose gone to the playoffs from our league the last three or four years," said Weaver. "The way the schedule has worked out this year in scouting other teams' offense, we've watched Thiel a bunch and they are very, very good. They've dominated every offense this year and the highest point total they've allowed is 28. That was to Thomas More and they had scoring drive of nine and 20 yards and only gained 180 for the game.

"Taylor is very good, but Tursky and McClelland are close to as good as him," said Weaver. "The rest of the line feeds off Taylor's energy and competitiveness. When you're that good up front, it makes everyone better. You have to keep more guys in protection and slide to him or put an extra hat on him, but it doesn't help if other guys are making plays."

While the frustration has mounted through the season, Weaver says the team still realizes how close it is to having far different results. He said he found out something from his team in Saturday's loss that he's pleased with and now just wants to work on eliminating the miscues that sent the Bison down the road to another defeat,

"I talked about it early in the season, but while we're losing, it's not hopeless," said Weaver. "We are very close every game. I wondered how we'd react if we got down and we answered that Saturday. We got a score, forced a turnover and scored again, but gave up two more big plays. We just need to learn from the specific mistakes we made and turn our attention forward to try to win the next game."
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Final
at Bridgewater State 34, Fitchburg State 25
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Sep. 24: All times Eastern
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Christopher Newport 17, at TCNJ 0
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at Hobart 27, Union 23
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at Thomas More 20, Carnegie Mellon 16
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at Massachusetts Maritime 32, Worcester State 14
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at Endicott 37, Nichols 0
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MIT 30, at Maine Maritime 13
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at Buffalo State 40, Morrisville State 24
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at Salve Regina 48, Coast Guard 10
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Final
St. Lawrence 20, at RPI 14
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at Framingham State 23, Western Connecticut 17
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at Montclair State 21, Rowan 14
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at Stevenson 54, FDU-Florham 15
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at Trinity (Conn.) 38, Bates 7
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at Western New England 59, Curry 28
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at Utica 24, Cortland 13
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Colby 9, at Williams 7
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at Middlebury 40, Bowdoin 3
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at Amherst 34, Hamilton 0
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Kean 24, at William Paterson 13
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at DePauw 66, Hiram 17
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Franklin and Marshall 45, at Juniata 22
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at Kenyon 31, Allegheny 7
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Salisbury 35, at Southern Virginia 0
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Albright 20, at Delaware Valley 17
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Final
Lycoming 28, at Misericordia 24
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at Plymouth State 30, Mass-Dartmouth 14
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at Husson 35, Alfred State 0
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at Springfield 28, WPI 23
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at Moravian 24, Dickinson 10
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at Denison 45, Wooster 7
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at Wittenberg 24, Wabash 14
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at St. Vincent 57, Grove City 32
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at Susquehanna 55, Gettysburg 40
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at King's 21, Lebanon Valley 17
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at Alfred 20, Ithaca 6
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at Widener 25, Wilkes 23
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at McDaniel 30, Ursinus 27
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Final
at Muskingum 28, Marietta 10
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Final
at Minnesota-Morris 28, Iowa Wesleyan 27
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at John Carroll 42, Heidelberg 14
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Ohio Northern 16, at Otterbein 10
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Final
Case Western Reserve 35, at Waynesburg 7
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Final
at Franklin 44, Bluffton 38
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Final
Rose-Hulman 23, at Defiance 15
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Final
at Centre 49, Chicago 27
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at Mount St. Joseph 38, Manchester 19
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Hanover 49, at Anderson 25
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Final
at Merchant Marine 55, Rochester 7
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Final
Johns Hopkins 30, at Muhlenberg 24
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Final
Concordia-Chicago 42, at Maranatha Baptist 10
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Final
Washington U. 36, at Birmingham-Southern 21
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Final
UW-Platteville 56, at Lakeland 0
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Final
at Northwestern (Minn.) 38, Martin Luther 20
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at Eureka 28, MacMurray 13
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at Westminster (Mo.) 35, Greenville 14
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Dubuque 30, at Luther 17
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Monmouth 52, at Lake Forest 6
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Final
St. Thomas 33, at St. John's 21
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Final
at Augsburg 49, Carleton 17
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Final
Bethel 44, at St. Olaf 7
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Final
at Hamline 42, Gustavus Adolphus 40
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Final
at UW-Whitewater 35, Morningside 21
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Final
at Hardin-Simmons 48, Texas Lutheran 38
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at UW-River Falls 42, Southwestern 22
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Final
Simpson 17, at Buena Vista 9
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at St. Scholastica 49, Crown 13
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Cornell 46, at Beloit 41
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at Carthage 27, Augustana 24
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Coe 48, at Nebraska Wesleyan 17
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at Wartburg 56, Finlandia 0
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at Wheaton (Ill.) 10, Elmhurst 6
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Hendrix 42, at Millsaps 14
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Illinois Wesleyan 45, at North Park 10
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at Macalester 34, Grinnell 0
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at Ripon 33, Knox 19
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Illinois College 40, at Lawrence 15
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UW-Oshkosh 77, at Morthland College (Ill.) 0
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Central 42, at Loras 34
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at Geneva 35, Thiel 27
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UW-Eau Claire 40, at Wisconsin Lutheran 14
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St. John Fisher 42, at Brockport 38
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UW-Stevens Point 44, at Adrian 19
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UW-La Crosse 41, at Carroll 7
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at Berry 41, Sewanee 3
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Final
Westminster (Pa.) 38, at Bethany 9
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Ohio Wesleyan 29, at Oberlin 16
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at Tufts 17, Wesleyan 14
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Final
Mount Union 49, at Baldwin Wallace 7
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Final
at Capital 35, Wilmington 21
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Final
at Southwestern Assemblies 23, Austin 17
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Cancelled
Langston at McMurry
Video Live Stats
Final
at North Central (Ill.) 42, Millikin 7
Box Score Recap
Final
at Chapman 19, Trinity (Texas) 17
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Sep. 29: All times Eastern
6:30 PM
Randolph-Macon at Shenandoah
Live Stats
Sep. 24: All times Eastern
Final
at Thomas More 20, Carnegie Mellon 16
Box Score Recap
Final
at Hobart 27, Union 23
Box Score Recap
Final
Christopher Newport 17, at TCNJ 0
Final
at Wittenberg 24, Wabash 14
Box Score
Final
Salisbury 35, at Southern Virginia 0
Box Score
Final
Albright 20, at Delaware Valley 17
Box Score Recap
Final
at Utica 24, Cortland 13
Box Score Recap Recap
Final
at Stevenson 54, FDU-Florham 15
Box Score Recap
Final
at Franklin 44, Bluffton 38
Box Score Recap
Final
Johns Hopkins 30, at Muhlenberg 24
Box Score Recap
Final
St. Thomas 33, at St. John's 21
Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at UW-Whitewater 35, Morningside 21
Box Score Recap
Final
at Hardin-Simmons 48, Texas Lutheran 38
Box Score Photos
Final
at Wheaton (Ill.) 10, Elmhurst 6
Box Score Recap
Final
UW-Platteville 56, at Lakeland 0
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Final
UW-Oshkosh 77, at Morthland College (Ill.) 0
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Final
Central 42, at Loras 34
Box Score Recap
Final
St. John Fisher 42, at Brockport 38
Box Score Recap
Final
Mount Union 49, at Baldwin Wallace 7
Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at North Central (Ill.) 42, Millikin 7
Box Score Recap