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Bethel OT loss not ‘Wise’ outcome

Bethel OT loss not ‘Wise’ outcome

Posted: Wednesday, August 29, 2012 12:01 pm

In only the second overtime game in Wildcat Stadium history, Bethel lost a heartbreaker to Virginia-Wise 24-21 Saturday.
Wise placekicker Paul Melshen connected on a 41-yard field goal to hand the Cavaliers one of the biggest wins in the school’s history.
The No. 11 Wildcats entered the game riding a seven-game home winning streak and appeared to take early command of the contest as they jumped out to a 6-0 lead after two field goals by sophomore Robby Phillips.
Phillips hit a 35-yard attempt with just over 10 minutes left in the first quarter and then connected on another attempt from 23 yards out early in the second stanza.
The ’Cat defense had held the Wise offense at bay until quarterback Tye Marshall hit receiver Ryan Bouldin on a 57-yard pass play which put Wise deep into Wildcat territory. A few plays later, Marcus Jones would scoot in from a yard out and, after the point-after by Melshen, Wise would lead for the first time at 7-6.
Bethel responded with a 27-yard touchdown pass from Wil Masoud to Justin Brandy and led 13-7 after the PAT by Phillips.
Wise would retake the lead early in the fourth quarter on a 12 play, 90-yard drive with Marshall scoring on a 1-yard dive. Melshen’s PAT made it 14-13 Wise.
Phillips missed a 41-yard field goal attempt, and Wise took advantage with a Zach Cochran 5-yard touchdown scamper.
Wise converted on four third-down opportunities in the drive. The Melshen point after gave Wise a 21-13 lead.
With three and half minutes left, Bethel’s Masoud answered the challenge by taking his team 75 yards, scoring himself from 15 yards out to pull his team within two. All-American Cordarious Mann tied the game on a two-point conversion run.
With just over 40 seconds left in regulation Wise elected to run the clock out.
UVA-Wise won the overtime coin toss and elected to put Bethel on offense first. Mann appeared to have a first down when Wise defender Nehemiah Jones stripped him of the ball and put Wise on offense. That set up the Melshen game-winner from 41 yards out spoiling the debut of Bethel coach Chris Elliott.
Freshman running back Connery Swift led Wise with 146 rushing yards. Bouldin had three catches for 61 yards.
Redshirt freshman Raquis Hale led Bethel with 109 yards rushing. Mann had 82 yards on the ground. Bethel outgained Wise 389 yards to 319 on the night.
Bethel will face Marian in the Big River Bowl in Dyersburg Saturday at 5 p.m. Published in The WCP 8.28.12

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