LINDSBORG — Suffice to say — and not intended to be a knock on the KCAC — but the Bethany College Swedes won’t face another football team this year with the speed of the stealth-like Langston Lions.
Langston’s offense resembled a 4 x 100 relay team Saturday night and quite frankly, had it not time-and-again self-destructed with 12 penalties for 120 yards, the Lions would have breezed to a much more comfortable victory than the 33-14 final in the Swedes’ home opener.
The Oklahomans, ranked No. 18 in the NAIA national poll, sprinted up and down the field for 606 yards of total offense, yet it was still a 26-14 game in the fourth quarter.
“There was a speed differential,” said Bethany first-year coach Paul Hubbard, whose 0-2 team may feel like next week’s opponent Bethel will be in slow motion after going up against two teams that were probably a reach to open the season with. “They’re fast. We’ve got to go out and play harder and if you’re going to play someone who’s faster, you’ve got to use proper technique.”
Langston accounted for 388 yards of total offense in the first half, though it didn’t translate into that many points as it was 23-2, the two coming on the game’s first play from scrimmage when Langston’s snap went over the head of quarterback Mark Wright and into the end zone.
The teams swapped field goals in the third quarter before Bethany scored on a 15-yard pass from Virgil Bridges to Nile Daniel and then the Swedes recorded an oddity with their second safety. Flashy Kievon Jackson put the game out of reach with the Lions’ final TD.
Bethany couldn’t get much going on the ground with 71 yards on 38 carries, though freshman Kayden Clements showed some flashes with 45 yards on 11 carries in place of the injured Tevis Linnebur. Bridges, who ran for his life much of the night, was 12 of 25 for 185 yards, with Fred White catching four for 101 yards.
Bethany’s road game Saturday at Bethel is part of the KCAC’s opening week of conference play.
• STATS •
Bethany Listed First •
First Downs — 14, 32. Rushes-Yards — 38-71; 49-292. Passing — 12-25-1-185; 17-31-1-314. Punts-Avg. — 8-43.8; 1-42.0. Fumbles-Lost — 1-0; 1-0. Penalties-Yards — 7-72; 12-120.
• INDIVIDUAL LEADERS •
Bethany — Clements 11-45, Ocran 11-18
Langston — Jackson 23-180.
Bethany — Bridges 12-25-1-185.
Langston — Wright 15-33-1-296, Ralph 2-4-0-18.
Bethany — White 4-101, Daniel 4-51.
Langston — Augustine 5-134.