LINDSBORG — Bethany College and Sterling College meet on Saturday in a football game that matches teams that saw victories slip away in the final minute last week, in the Warriors’ case the last seconds.
Kickoff is 1:30 p.m. at Sterling’s Smisor Stadium.
The Swedes enter the game still looking for their first victory of the season and smarting from a 34-33 loss to Saint Mary, which scored the game’s final 17 points. The winner came in the last minute on a 46-yard field goal.
Bethany is 0-3 in the KCAC to join Southwestern at the bottom of the standings and it’s 0-5 overall. Yet, this is a team that appears to be loaded with talent, but seemingly beats itself. Last week the Swedes fumbled the opening kickoff, which Saint Mary scored on the very next play, and St. Mary’s second score was a pick-six.
Sterling also comes in after a punch in the gut. Tabor scored in the final seconds last week to stun the Warriors, 45-42, after trailing 28-6. Sterling earlier this season knocked off nationally ranked Kansas Wesleyan, 43-12.
When you talk Warriors, you start with quarterback Cedrick Phillips, arguably the KCAC’s best player. He is averaging a KCAC-best 366 yards of total offense as he’s both a run-pass threat.
Defense, normally a Sterling strength, has been a weakness this year. The Warriors are last in the KCAC by allowing 511 yards a game and 30 points, offset by their 37.8 scoring average that is the conference’s best.
Bethany has all kinds of offensive threats. Quarterback Darius Handcox grabbed on to the job last week and probably won’t give it up the rest of the way with 289 yards against Saint Mary. Backs Nate Ocran and the returning Louie Gonzales are dynamic, while Anthony Jackson and Michael Wimberly are as good of 1-2 receiving duo as there is in the conference.