Andrew Woodley, Sports Information Director
CLEVELAND (Oct. 7) - The Bison offense was limited to 159 yards of total offense in their 33-3 loss at Case Western Reserve Saturday afternoon in a Presidents' Athletic Conference (PAC) contest.
The loss drops Bethany College to 0-6 overall, 0-4 in league play. Meanwhile, the Spartans, who rank at No. 17 in the D3Football.com poll and No. 19 in the American Football Coaches of America (AFCA) Division III poll, improve to 3-0 in the PAC, 5-0 overall this season.
Bethany junior linebacker Will Gatling (Baltimore, Md./Northwestern) posted a game-high 12 tackles (seven solo) and recovered a fumble to lead the Bison defense. Junior Joseph Fiasco (Wimerding, Pa./Penn-Trafford) added 10 tackles, a half-sack and a pass break-up, while sophomore Kiandre Murphy (Reisterstown, Md./Franklin) established a season-high with nine tackles.
Offensively, the Bison were without senior quarterback Chase Kinemond (Shadyside, Ohio/Shadyside) due to injury and turned to sophomore Carlin Bason (Gaithersburg, Md./Gaithersburg), who was making his first-career start. Bason finished the day 6-of-16 for 61 yards passing (zero interceptions) and added a team-high 86 yards rushing on 20 carries.
Bethany opened the game with the ball and went three-and-out. Case Western Reserve marched the ball 57 yards down field to the Bison 13-yard line, but stalled out. The Spartans were forced to settle for a 30-yard field goal to take a 3-0 lead with 7:22 remaining in the first quarter.
Neither team was able to move the football against one another over the next five minutes, before Case Western Reserve closed the quarter in the midst of a drive that put them at the Bethany 15-yard line as the first quarter expired. The Spartans cashed in on the opening play of the second quarter with a 15-yard touchdown pass to increase their lead to 10.
Case Western Reserve added another score on its next possession to take a 17-0 lead with 10:56 remaining in the first half. The Bison punted on its next possession, but a Spartan fumble recovered by Gatling at the Case 18-yard line setup Bethany to get on the scoreboard. After Bethany failed to convert a third down, senior kicker Chris Ray (Henrico, Va./Mills E. Godwin) came on and converted a 27-yard attempt to make the score 17-3 with just over seven minutes until halftime. The field goal ties Ray for second all-time in school history with Jack Fayak (1984-86) with 14 made field goal attempts.
The Spartans eventually got the three points back, booting through a 25-yard field goal of their own as time expired on the first half to send Case Western Reserve into the locker room with a 20-3 lead.
The Spartans pushed its lead to 27-3 with a touchdown on the first possession of the second half and added another score on the first play of the fourth quarter to make the score 33-3 (PAT failed).
Bethany had its best scoring opportunity on their first drive of the second half. Bason completed a trio of passes and drove the Bison down to the Spartan 39-yard line. A holding penalty set Bethany back and eventually a fourth down rush by Bason did not reach the sticks, turning the ball over. The holding penalty was one of only three penalties against the Bison on the day.
Case Western Reserve out-gained Bethany 463-to-159 and threw for 349 yards. Spartan quarterback Rob Cuda ended the day 19-for-34 with 299 yards passing and three touchdowns.
The Green & White struggled on third downs all afternoon, converting 1-of-12 attempts, while the Spartans were 10-of-19 on their third-down tries.
Bethany will not get a break, as they will host a third undefeated opponent in-a-row when they entertain Washington & Jefferson on Saturday, October 14 for a 1 p.m. kickoff at Bison Stadium. W&J entered the week ranked No. 16 in the D3Football.com poll and No. 13 in the AFCA poll and is coming off of a road win at Carnegie Mellon.