LINDSBORG — That coughing sound emitting from Anderson Stadium Saturday night was from the Bethany College football team, which coughed up the football six times in a stunning 43-19 loss to previously winless Saint Mary.
The Swedes, coming off a rousing victory over then-nationally ranked Ottawa, were hoping to remain in a tie with Tabor for first place in the KCAC, but an avalanche of mistakes cost them even though Bethany probably was the more athletic team on the field.
"It's very difficult to overcome a six-turnover game," Bethany coach Manny Matsakis said. "Tonight we lacked focus and at times we just did not play intelligent football. We need to regroup as a team because every game in the KCAC is going to be competitive and the team that plays smart with high energy has the best opportunity for success on Saturdays."
The Swedes got off to a good enough start, scoring on the game’s first possession on a 2-yard Drake Wells scamper.
But it was all Spires after that, as they took advantage of four Jake Umphreyville interceptions and a pair of fumble recoveries to send the Swede faithful home disappointed.
Bethany trailed 16-7 at the half and was down 23-7 before Umphreyville scored to cut it to 23-13. Saint Mary, however, scored the game’s next two touchdowns. The Swedes’ final score came on a 21-yard pass from Umphreyville to Nile Daniel.
Bethany’s “Triple Shoot” offense could get nothing going on the ground with just 88 yards, 46 by Jasaan Ely. Umphreyville never got into a rhythm, connecting on just 18 of 40 for 230 yards.
Saint Mary had a balanced attack with 189 yards rushing and 171 passing. Will Ryan chugged for 110 yards on 16 carries. Backup quarterback Marcus Mata ran for two scores and threw for another.
Bethany, now 1-1 in the KCAC like seven other teams, has no bargain Saturday when it goes to Sterling. The Swedes are 2-2 overall.
• STATISTICS •
• Bethany Listed First •
First Downs — 20, 21. Rushes-Yards — 25-88, 44-171. Passing — 18-40-4-230; 24-37-0-189. Punts-Avg. — 0-0; 3-33.0. Penalties-Yards — 6-58; 13-154. Fumbles-Lost — 2-2; 1-1.
• INDIVIDUAL LEADERS •
• Rushing •
Bethany — Ely 9-46.
Saint Mary — Ryan 16-110.
• Passing •
Bethany — Umphreyville 18-40-4-230.
Saint Mary — Ervin 22-35-0-165, Mata 2-2-0-24.
• Receiving •
Bethany — Evans 6-75, Daniel 3-71, Molette 3-54.
Saint Mary — Williams 7-48, Gomes-Coelho 6-64.