|Bethel cruises past West Virginia Tech |
|The Bethel Wildcats played a near flawless game to pick up a conference road win against the West Virginia University Tech Golden Bears, 42-7. The defense set the tone early and the offense did the rest as the Cats got off to a fast start and never looked back. |
Bethel’s Donald Lightfoot picked off his fifth pass of the year on WVUT’s first play from scrimmage and returned it to the Bears’ 35-yard line. Bethel needed only five plays to score as Terrance Bell took it in from five yards out. Shane Normandin booted the PAT and Bethel led 7-0.
Bethel’s defense continued to create opportunities as Justin Cobb forced a fumble that Chancey DePreist recovered. Bethel started at its own 47 and used 14 plays and 7:44 of clock to score its second TD of the day. Adrain Smith powered it in from the two and the Wildcats led 14-0.
The Golden Bears made it interesting as they scored on their first possession of the second quarter. WVUT drove 72 yards on 12 plays to cut the lead in half, 14-7. Bethel responded by scoring its third touchdown on the third possession of the game. It first started as Westview graduate Brannen Bishop returned the kickoff 44 yards to the 50 to give Bethel a short field. Bethel, facing 4th-and-one from the one, put the ball in the hands of its big quarterback, 6-5, 245-pound Ronnie Jankovich, who powered his way in behind a strong offensive line push and Bethel led 21-7.
The Wildcats took the second half kickoff and quickly found the end zone. Bethel only needed three plays as Jankovich hit Will Cripps for a 34-yard aerial and a 28-7 lead. After another defensive hold, Bell capped off a 12-play, 67-yard drive scoring his second of the game from 22 yards out and the Wildcats were in complete control, 35-7.
The Bethel defense continued its strong play stopping the Golden Bears on fourth down as the final quarter started. If anyone visited the concession stand they missed the Wildcats’ next score. Needing only two plays and eight seconds, Jankcovich hit Joevaris Carter in stride for a 47-yard touchdown. Bethel led 42-7 and that hed until the final buzzer.
Bell led the Wildcats on the ground with 15 carries for 103 yards and two touchdowns. Smith carried 12 times for 51 yards and a score. Local product Josh Boyd from Camden carried eight times for 44 yards. Jankovich was 10-of-15 passing for 186 yards and two scores. Carter led the receiving corps with three grabs for 57 yards and a touchdown. Smith had two catches for 44 yards, Cripps one for 34 yards and a score and Buck Reed had one catch for 16 yards.
Defensively, Markee Robinson had 10 tackles, including one for a loss of nine yards. It is the third game in a row that Robinson has registered double digits in tackles. Bishop had four tackles. Mitchell Maynard, a Union City grad, also had four tackles. Lightfoot had three tackles and an interception. Justin Cobb picked off a pass and forced a fumble while registering two tackles.
The Wildcats improve to 6-1 on the season and 4-0 in conference play and 1-0 in divisional play. They will be hosting Cumberland University (Tenn.) Saturday night at 7. The CU Bulldogs come into the match-up with a 1-6 overall record.
It will be Homecoming at Wildcat Stadium with activities planned during the week that will culminate with the crowning of the homecoming queen at halftime.