Andrew Woodley, Sports Information Director
LATROBE, Pa. (Nov. 11) – Behind a three-touchdown game from senior quarterback Chase Kinemond (Shadyside, Ohio/Shadyside), the Bison defeated Saint Vincent 34-23 Saturday afternoon in a Presidents' Athletic Conference (PAC) game at Chuck Noll Field.
The Bison close the season with a two-game winning streak and a 2-8 overall mark, 2-6 in PAC play. Meanwhile, the Bearcats drop to 1-7 in conference play, 2-8 overall this season.
Kinemond threw for 229 yards on 14-of-22 passing with three touchdowns and one interception to lead the Bison to the win. Kinemond finishes his Bethany career with 27 touchdown passes, which ranks fourth all-time in school history.
Sophomore running back Raekwon Wright (Baltimore, Md./Patterson) rushed a career-high 27 times for 124 yards and two touchdowns to close out the season with back-to-back 100-yard rushing games.
Senior wide receiver Shaq Ellis (Greenville, S.C./Southside) was Kinemond's favorite target, notching career-highs with seven catches for 87 yards.
Senior defensive end Khallid Pierce (Youngstown, Ohio/Ursuline) closed out his career in the Green & White with five tackles, 2.5 for loss, and one sack. He finishes second all-time in Bethany history with 28.5 career sacks, three behind the 31.5 posted by former Bison Dan Rovira (1990-91).
Neither team did much offensively in the first quarter, as both teams traded punts. Bethany began to put things together with under three minutes left in the period when they picked up a trio of first downs, including a 36-yard pass to Ellis that set up a first-and-goal at the four-yard line. Wright punched the ball in from the one-yard line two plays later to give Bethany a 7-0 lead in the opening seconds of the second quarter.
Saint Vincent finally picked up their first first-down of the day on the ensuing possession, but a seven-yard loss on a second down rushed doomed the drive and setup a fourth Bearcat punt, which was downed at the Bethany two-yard line.
A quick Bethany three-and-out helped give Saint Vincent the ball in Bison territory to start its next drive. The Bearcats moved the ball into the red-zone, but the Bethany defense made a stand and forced a Saint Vincent field goal attempt that missed wide left.
The Green & White took over possession and moved the ball to the 38-yard line. On a third down and 10, Kinemond escaped the pocket and found sophomore Darius Taylor (Leesburg, Va./Loudoun County) down the sideline for a 62-yard catch-and-run touchdown. The extra point gave Bethany a 14-0 lead with 5:20 remaining in the first half.
Saint Vincent took advantage of a short kickoff and a facemask penalty that allowed it to start the next drive at the Bethany 38-yard line. Five plays later, Bearcat wide receiver Dalton Dietrich was left open in the back of the end zone and caught an eight-yard touchdown pass to slice Bethany's lead in half at 14-7 with 3:24 on the clock until halftime.
Another short kickoff, this one by the Bearcats, gave Bethany starting field position near mid-field on the next possession. Bethany faced a third-and-14 when Kinemond connected with sophomore Abe Lyles (Fort Washington, Md./Friendly) for a 27-yard gain and a first down at the Saint Vincent 30-yard line. Kinemond eventually pushed the Bison down to the Bearcat 12-yard line with a completion and a 10-yard reception of his own, but Bethany was out of timeouts and needed to spike the ball with 12 seconds left in the first half. On the ensuing play, Kinemond rolled to his right and found Lyles in the end zone to rebuild the Bethany lead to 21-7 heading into halftime.
Saint Vincent scored on its first possession of the second half, aided by a fake-punt in its own territory, to make the score 21-14 with 8:29 remaining in the third quarter.
Both teams exchanged turnovers, before the Bison mounted an eight-play 63-yard drive, capped off with a Kinemond touchdown pass from 20 yards out to Taylor on the first play of the fourth quarter to give Bethany a 28-14 lead.
The Bearcats kept pace with the Bison with a scoring drive of their own. Saint Vincent rushed four times to reach mid-field, before a 50-yard touchdown catch brought the Bearcats back within seven at 28-21 with 11:31 remaining in the game.
The Bison offense kept clicking, scoring on a seven-play drive that ended with a 19-yard touchdown run by Wright to push the Bethany lead back to two possessions. The extra-point was blocked and returned for a two-point conversion by Saint Vincent to make the score 34-23 with 8:04 left in regulation.
Bethany stopped Saint Vincent on its next three possessions with a turnover on downs and a pair of interceptions, both by senior Lee Sanders (Waldorf, Md./McDonough), to put the game away and finish the season on a two-game winning streak.
Bethany out-gained the Bearcats 408-to-245 in total offense, while each team was flagged nine times by the officials in the game.
Junior linebacker Joseph Fiasco (Wilmerding, Pa./Penn-Trafford), who has been named the PAC Defensive Player of the Week the past two weeks, led all players with a game-high eight tackles, including a tackle for loss on a fourth down play late in the game that helped seal the win.
Bethany has now ended each of the last three seasons with victories, all at the expense of Saint Vincent.