LINDSBORG — Kansas Wesleyan can thank McPherson College in great part for its runaway 52-14 victory over arch-rival Bethany College on Saturday at Anderson Field.
Former Bulldogs Kelly Cordova and Miles Balthazor, who left Mac after last season, had a hand in five touchdowns to lead the Coyotes to their seventh victory in eight games and keep their NAIA playoff hopes alive.
For the Swedes, what had the makings of a promising season have cratered as they are now 1-5 in the KCAC, 1-7 overall. Bethany was coming off a seven-win season in 2014 and has many of the same players who contributed to that success.
Cordova displayed his tremendous versatility by running for a touchdown, catching a pass for another and then throwing for a third. He had 191 yards of total offense, as he caught five passes for 142 yards, ran for 35 and threw for 14.
Balthazor scored two first-quarter touchdowns as the Coyotes started the game with a 14-0 lead that improved to 25-0 by halftime.
The Swedes showed some grit, as former McPherson College Bulldog Bo Savage threw a pair of touchdown passes in the second half to Nile Daniel, one of 32 yards and the other of 47. Savage threw for 180 yards as the Swedes actually had a good offensive day with 387, but their defense was gashed for 566.
The game had its usual intensity, as the Wesleyan roster also lists nine former Bethany College players who have transferred to Salina in the last two years.
“I am disappointed with the outcome of the game and the foolish penalties," Bethany coach Paul Hubbard said. "However, I am not disappointed in the guys’ desire and drive to be successful. We are going to learn, get better and give everything we have to win each ballgame. At the end of the day if we do that, then will be proud to wear the blue and gold."
Bethany hosts Friends on Saturday in a matchup of teams that were expected to be in the Top 5 of the KCAC but instead have just three wins combined.