|Bethel sets scoring record in win |
MCKENZIE, Tenn. – Prognosticators said it was going to be a high scoring affair. They were right as Bethel College and the University of Virginia at Wise put up a combined 114 points. The good thing was that the Wildcats scored 66 of those points for a new single game school record and a 66-48 win.
in stride — Antonio Brown. Sr. hauls in a 65-yard touchdown pass from Ronnie Jankovich. Brown, Sr. caught four passes for 140 yards and two scores as No. 5 Bethel defeated the No. 7 UVA-Wise Cavaliers in record fashion, 66-48.
UVA-Wise scored on its opening possession but failed on the PAT attempt and then Bethel wasted little time responding. Their first offensive possession lasted just 32 seconds as Terrance Bell scored from the nine for a 7-6 lead.
After the kickoff, UVA-Wise’s All-American running back Ra’Shad Morgan fumbled on the Cavaliers’ first offensive play giving the ball to the Cats on the Wise 40-yard line. One play and 10 seconds later, Antonio Brown, Sr. found himself on the receiving end of a Ronnie Jankovich touchdown pass with 9:30 left in the first quarter.
Bethel took away their second turnover on Wise’s next possession as Westview graduate Brannen Bishop picked off a Randy Hippeard pass at the Bethel 14-yard line. The Wildcats took a little longer to score this time going eight plays and 86 yards in 4:03, capped by Bell’s second TD of the day from the six-yard line.
As the second quarter began, Bethel drove to the Wise nine-yard line before settling for a Shane Normandin 31-yard field goal and a 24-6 lead.
After a defensive hold, Bethel found paydirt again. Needing only four plays to cover 65 yards in 1:25, Jankovich found Rickey Currie out of the backfield for a 12-yard touchdown.
The Cavaliers replied with a seven-play, 70-yard drive but failed on the two-point attempt to make the score 30-12.
Bethel was on the march but Jankovich’s pass was tipped at the line of scrimmage and intercepted by Wise’s Josh Spurlock. Wise made the most of the turnover, scoring with 39 seconds left in the half. The PAT attempt was blocked by Wildcats Cliff Barna making the score 30-18.
Things got interesting in the second half after Bethel didn’t produce anything on its first offensive possession. The Cavaliers took their first offensive possession to the end zone as Hippeard found Aric Evans for a six-yard touchdown and a 30-26 score.
The Cats came right back as Jankovich found Currie again for an eight-yard TD. The shootout continued as Hippeard and Evans hooked up for a 65-yard touchdown pitch and catch to make the score 37-34 Bethel. Julian Tyler took the following kickoff 55 yards to the Wise 35 where Adrain Smith covered the yardage in two plays for a 44-34 score.
Bethel held on the next Wise possession and began a drive as the quarter ended.
Two plays into the fourth quarter, Bell found a hole and put Bethel on the board again with a 20-yard touchdown run to widen the score, 51-34.
The Cavaliers didn’t go away quietly. Hippeard scored on a quarterback keeper on 4th-and-2 to push the score to 51-42.
Bethel kept the track meet going as Jankovich hit Brown in stride for a 63-yard touchdown strike.
Wise scored with 8:23 remaining to get within nine at 51-48. The Wildcats then went on an 11-play, 80-yard drive that chewed up 6:00 on the clock. Smith ran it in from the 11 for a 66-48 advantage.
Wise drove to the Bethel 30 as time expired.
The 66 points scored by the Wildcats is the highest single game total in history. Bethel had scored 60 points or more only four times. The second highest total was 64 against Senatobia Junior College in 1936, third was 61 against Cumberland University in 2005 and tied for fourth was 60 against Murray State University in both 1923 and 1924.
Jankovich led the offense going 16-of-21 for 262 yards with one interception and four touchdowns. Smith rushed 19 times for 178 yards and two scores. Bell carried 13 times for 137 and three scores. It was the ninth time the two have rushed for over 100 yards in the same game. Brown, Sr caught four passes for 140 yards and two scores. Currie had four grabs for 27 yards and two scores.
Markee Robinson was the leading tackler for the defense with 10 total tackles with 2.5 for losses of 9 yards. Chancey DePriest had 9 total tackles and an interception. Cliff Barna had eight tackles with one for loss.
Bethel improves to 4-1 on the season and will host Pikeville College (Ky.) Saturday afternoon with a 1:30 kickoff at Wildcat Stadium in McKenzie.