LINDSBORG — After facing speed merchants Houston Baptist and Langston University in their first two football games, the pace should slow considerably for Bethany College when it opens KCAC play Saturday night against Bethel College in the battle of “BCs.”
It’s a 7 p.m. kickoff in North Newton as first-year Bethany coach Paul Hubbard seeks his initial career win.
Houston Baptist was an NCAA Division III school, while Langston showed that it deserved its No. 18 national ranking in the NAIA poll. Both teams displayed highly gifted athletes in the skill positions that few teams in the KCAC possess.
Bethany hung tough with Langston, losing 33-14 despite giving up more than 600 yards. Several times the Lions traversed into the red zone, only to be turned away or limited to a field goal.
Bethel, which has been a second-division KCAC team ever since Mike Moore left as head coach in 2009, is a bit of a mystery in that it’s only played one game. In the KCAC-GPAC Challenge, it took a late lead over Hastings College, only to give up a touchdown with under a minute to go to suffer a 33-29 setback.
Bethel has another new head coach in Morris Lolar, who was an All-KCAC performer at Friends University and later played professionally in Canada. Lolar, who was at Independence Community College last year, has brought in a boatload of junior college transfers to bolster the team’s talent and experience levels.
The Threshers do return familiar names in quarterback Brandon Steed (145 yards rushing in Game 1 plus 215 passing), running back Preston Oliver (145 yards rushing in the opener) and a fleet of receivers. The Bethel defense was somewhat generous against Hastings, giving up 456 yards.