Andrew Woodley, Sports Information Director
BETHANY, W.Va. (Oct. 14) - The Bison were defeated 49-14 by No. 15/12 Washington & Jefferson in a Presidents' Athletic Conference (PAC) game at Bison Stadium Saturday afternoon.
The loss sends Bethany College to 0-7 overall, 0-5 in the PAC. Meanwhile, the Presidents, who rank No. 15 in the latest D3Football.com Poll and No. 12 in this week's American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Division III poll, improve to 6-0 overall and 4-0 in league play this season.
Sophomore quarterback Carlin Bason (Gaithersburg, Md./Gaithersburg) finished the afternoon 12-for-24 with 120 yards passing, one touchdown and three interceptions. Bason added a team-high 42 yards rushing on 14 carries.
Bethany defensively was led by junior Will Gatling (Baltimore, Md./Northeastern), who finished with 12 tackles (nine solo), a solo sack, two tackles for loss, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery. Gatling entered the game leading the PAC in tackles.
The Green & White came out fast and put the No. 15 team in the nation on its heels early. Sophomore Raekwon Wright (Baltimore, Md./Patterson) took the opening kickoff 54 yards back to the Presidents' 32-yard line to setup the offense with great field position. Bethany's first play from scrimmage was a 24-yard catch by sophomore tight end Jacob Quinn (Byesville, Ohio/Meadowbrook) that put the Bison on the eight-yard line. Following a three-yard rush, Bason connected once again with Quinn for a five-yard touchdown pass that gave Bethany a 7-0 lead less than two minutes into the game.
Washington & Jefferson answered right back with an eight-play 65-yard drive that only used one minute and 56 seconds off the clock to tie the game. W&J quarterback Alex Rowse found Brandon Barnes from three yards out for the score to even the score at 7-7 with 11:30 to play in the first quarter.
The track meet slowed down from there, as 10 minutes passed until the next score. The Presidents marched down the field to the Bethany four-yard line and were faced with a fourth down and goal, when Rowse found Barnes over the middle for another touchdown that put W&J ahead 14-7 with just under two minutes left in the first quarter.
Bethany punted on its next possession, but a string of three turnovers on three plays helped setup a Bison touchdown to tie the game. The sequence began when Rowse was picked off by Bethany sophomore linebacker Collin Johnston (West Newton, Pa./Belle Vernon), who brought the ball to the Presidents' 27-yard line. The Bison gave the ball back to W&J on the next play when senior wide receiver Shaq Ellis (Greenville, S.C./Southside) threw a designed trick-play into the middle of the field, where W&J's Brad Villa intercepted the ball. The Bison got the ball right back on the next play when Gatling jarred the ball away from W&J running back Justin Vickless near midfield and recovered the loose ball.
Bason drove the Bison inside the 10-yard line with a pair of completions, before junior linebacker Joseph Fiasco (Wilmerding, Pa./Penn-Trafford), a former running back, took a direct snap and plunged in from five yards out to tie the game at 14-14 with 10:19 on the clock in the second quarter.
After both teams traded possessions, Washington & Jefferson's All-American wide receiver Jesse Zubik hauled in a 52-yard catch-and-run touchdown down the sideline to give the Presidents' a 21-14 lead. Zubik was ruled to have been forced out-of-bounds, but reestablished himself back in play to make the touchdown grab with 4:45 remaining in the second quarter, sending the Presidents into halftime with a touchdown lead.
Washington & Jefferson scored unanswered touchdowns on each of its first-four possessions in the second half to jump out to a 49-14 lead. The Presidents held the ball for over 10 minutes in the third quarter and converted six third downs during its 28-point run.
Bethany's offense struggled to find rhythm in the second half and did not cross into W&J territory until the team's final drive of the game. Bason had rushes of 15 and 20 yards to put the Bison at the W&J 14-yard line, but an interception in the end zone ended the drive and allowed the Presidents' to run out the clock.
W&J finished 469 yards of total offense, including 343 yards in the air, compared to the 217 posted by the Bison. Bethany had a hard time getting the Presidents' off of the field, as W&J converted 10-of-15 (67 percent) third down tries.
Fiasco was all over the field for the Bison. The converted running back finished with nine tackles, including a sack, and a pass break-up to go with his touchdown run in the second quarter. He also served as the team's holder on kicks.
Senior Chase Kinemond (Shadyside, Ohio/Shadyside) was unable to take snaps under center, but was effective for Bethany on special teams. Despite his injury, Kinemond punted seven times for an average of 41.7 yards with a long of 50 and one inside the 20-yard line.
Bethany will enter its bye week and have next weekend off. The Bison will return to the field on Saturday, October 28 when they host Thomas More in the team's home finale this season. Prior to kickoff, Bethany will honor its senior class of players for their contributions to the program.