Swedes host Ottawa Saturday night

By Steve Sell
September 29, 2017

LINDSBORG — Now we’re going to find out if the Bethany College Swedes are for real.

The Swedes have amassed the first 3-0 football start since Paul Hubbard took over as head coach, but the wins have come against lesser competition.

The true litmus test occurs Saturday night when Ottawa comes to town for a 7 p.m. contest at Anderson Field.

The Swedes have knocked off Briar Cliff, McPherson College and Bethel College, the latter two wins to usher in KCAC play. Both games have been packed with plenty of offense, with the Swedes outlasting Mac 57-43, then holding off Bethel 37-33 despite committing eight turnovers, including five interceptions.

Ottawa is coached by the Dean of KCAC Coaches in Kent Kessinger, a former Bethany College All-American. He has enjoyed tremendous success at Ottawa, but so far the Braves are 1-1 in the conference and 1-3 overall, though their losses have come to quality competition — Northwestern College of Iowa (41-16), Concordia of Nebraska (24-6) and Tabor (41-10). The lone win was 34-28 in triple overtime against Friends.

There figures to be plenty of passing. The Braves’ Mauricio Uribe is No. 1 in the KCAC in receiving, just ahead of Bethany’s home-run hitter Michael Wimberly. For good measure, the Swedes’ Michael Milbourne is No. 5 in receiving.

Bethany quarterback Isaiah Salazar is third in the KCAC in passing with 10 TD passes in three games, but does have six interceptions.

Bethany may have found its running back of the future last week when sledgehammer freshman Aaron Knox pounded out 163 yards on 31 carries to give the BC offense the balance it desires.

Ottawa won last year’s game 46-25 and has a 54-34-4 advantage in the series.