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April 1 - BETHANY, W.Va. – The Bethany football program has announced its 2009 schedule, which features three opponents who made the NCAA playoffs last season, as well as the first home night game in school history.

The Bison, who finished 3-7 overall and 1-5 in the PAC last year, will begin the 2009 campaign Sept. 5 when they host Otterbein at 1 p.m. The Cardinals defeated BC in last season’s opener to start a 9-2 year in which they earned a bid to the NCAA playoffs for the first time in school history.

Bethany’s final non-conference game will be Sept. 12 at Kentucky Christian University, an NAIA institution in Grayson, Ky. The Knights finished 1-9 last season in their first season of varsity competition, with one of those defeats being a 34-19 setback at BC.

On Sept. 19, history will be made when the Bison host Grove City in a 7 p.m. kickoff at Bison Stadium for the first home night game ever at Bethany. This will be the second consecutive season BC and the Wolverines have played at night, as Grove City pulled out a thrilling 41-35 decision under the lights at home a year ago.

Following a bye week, Bethany will travel Oct. 3 to defending PAC champion Thomas More, who also earned the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA playoffs with their first conference crown last year. The Bison return home for the next two games, as they will host Thiel Oct. 10 for Homecoming before welcoming Westminster on Oct. 17.

The month of October will close out with a pair of road contests for the Green and White. They journey to Waynesburg on the 24th looking for their second straight win over the Yellow Jackets following last year’s 31-24 triumph at Bison Stadium.  Bethany will celebrate Halloween in Beaver Falls, Pa., with a 1:30 p.m. kickoff against Geneva.

The 2009 regular season will end with match-ups against the Bison’s oldest and newest PAC rivals. Washington & Jefferson, fresh off an 11-2 finish this year and a run to the national quarterfinals, comes to town Nov. 7 for BC’s Senior Day and the 87th all-time meeting between the schools. The finale is Nov. 14 at Saint Vincent in “The Green Game”, which will be the third match-up ever between the Bison and Bearcats and the first in Latrobe, Pa.

Bethany head coach Tim Weaver, who is going into his fourth year patrolling the Bison sideline, says his team is looking forward to the challenge of facing three playoff teams, as well as the chance to host a night game and try to earn a bit of revenge for three crushing losses last year.

“Spring practice begins soon, and we have a lot of work to do to prepare for a very exciting schedule,” said Weaver. “Opening against a playoff caliber opponent in Otterbein should keep our focus throughout spring and summer. We had three heartbreaking road conference losses last season, and get to play all those opponents at home next fall. And one is against Grove City in the first ever night game at Bethany, which we are very excited about. It should be a great atmosphere for college football.

“Games against two other playoff teams in the PAC make our schedule one of the toughest in the region, and we look forward to the challenge,” added Weaver. “We expect to take the next step in our program’s development next season, and the schedule will certainly give us a chance to prove ourselves.”