LINDSBORG — This one was over before it barely got started.
Defending KCAC champion Ottawa, smarting from being routed at home last week by Tabor, scored on the first play of the game Saturday night against Bethany College, scored twice more in the first quarter and parlayed a 31-7 halftime lead into a 41-17 victory at Anderson Stadium.
The loss sent the Swedes to 0-2 in the KCAC and 0-4 overall after they were thought by many to perhaps be the conference’s sleeper team.
DeVonte Anderson sprinted 75 yards on the game’s first offensive play and that ignited an Ottawa offense that piled up 495 yards on 76 plays, while the Swedes totaled 289 on 66 snaps.
Bethany’s only first-half score came on a 3-yard run by Kayden Clements. The Swedes did pull within 31-14 in the third quarter on a 27-yard pass from Bo Savage to Anthony Jackson, but the only other BC points came on an Adam Maisch field goal of 23 yards.
Ottawa may have found itself a quarterback. Backup Tim Morovick came off the bench and ran for four touchdowns, though he finished with only 50 yards on 10 carries.
The Bethany running game, despite operating behind a massive offensive line, was held to just 76 yards. Preseason KCAC pick Tevis Linnebur was shackled to 23 yards on 10 carries and the normally electric Jasaan Eley managed just 30 on nine tries.
Savage, subbing for the injured Virgil Bridges, did throw for 213 yards on 21-of-34 passing.
In a bit of irony, former Smoky Valley Viking Jarod DeMott is kicking for the Braves, making all four of his extra points and a field goal. DeMott was thought to be an All-State candidate last year for the Vikings, but suffered a knee injury before the season and missed the entire campaign.
Bethany will try to right the ship next Saturday when it makes the long trip to Leavenworth to take on Saint Mary.