MCKENZIE, Tenn. –The Bethel Wildcats remained undefeated on the season with a 35-28 victory over the Knights of Kentucky Christian Saturday at Wildcat Stadium in McKenzie. The Wildcats moved to 4-0 while KCU fell to 0-4. It is the best start in program history for the Wildcats.
Bethel took a 7-0 lead on a Quincy Walden 58-yard run at the 12:49 mark of the first quarter. Seven minutes later KCU tied the game on a 2-yard run by Javin Harrison. Sonny Smith gave the visitors from Grayson a 14-7 lead on a one yard plunge at the 9:39 mark of the second quarter. With 3:35 left until halftime Taye Davis scored on a one yard rush to make it 14-13. Casey Kammerzell’s point after was blocked and the score at the half remained 14-13.
Both defensive units were strong in the third quarter as both squads struggled putting up points. It was Bethel’s special teams which turned the game around. Quincy Walden returned a punt 54-yards for a score at the 6:53 mark of the third quarter to give Bethel a 20-14 lead. Devan Raymer put Bethel ahead 27-14 with a 35-yard scamper later in the third quarter.
Isaac Bradson found Darren Pendergrass with an 84 -yard touchdown pass early in the fourth quarter and KCU pulled to within 27-21. Bethel’s Davis scored again with 11:48 left on a four yard run and Bethel led 35-21. Harrison pulled KCU to within a touchdown late in the game but Bethel was able to hold on for the 35-28 win.
Davis rushed for 129 yards with 102 of those coming in the second half. Walden finished with 66 yards and a touchdown. Raymer had 61 rushing yards. Sonny Smith led KCU with 89 yards. Harrison finished the day with 83 yards and the two scores.
Aaron Cooper led the Knights with 13 total tackles. Jeremy Beaulieu led the Wildcats with 10 total stops. Jeremy Johnson had seven tackles and a sack. Marcaous Bailey had seven tackles while Dylan Benson had a career high six tackles for the Wildcats.
The Wildcat defense was big with three interceptions and a fumble recovery. Karrheem Darrington, Jordan Small and Martavius Starks all had picks for the Wildcats. Brian Reynolds had the fumble recovery for the Cats who moved to 3-0 at home on the year.
Bethel outgained KCU in total yards at 397-344. The Wildcats had 327 yards rushing.
Coach Chris Elliott commented, “Kentucky Christian put forth a great effort and we did enough to get in our own way and let them hang around. We made to many mistakes with penalties and mental errors. We allowed too many big plays giving up first downs and had four turnovers. Those things must go away. Despite those problems we still won and we are happy about that. This game was one big play from going the other way.” He added, “We wore them down I thought and did enough to win and that is what matters. We were able to mix it up enough in the second half and that was a factor as well.”
The Wildcats are back in action next Saturday traveling to Cincinnati to face Cincinnati Christian. Kick-off is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. CST. The Countdown to Kick-off show on WEIO, 100.9 will begin at noon. Fans can also catch the game at: www.thefarmradio.com.