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 Bethany Football Dominates Thiel in Home Opener

Sept. 12 - BETHANY, W. Va. - Led by a record-setting day from senior wideout Eric Blinn (Beaver, Pa./Western Beaver) the Bethany College football team could do no wrong on the offensive side of the ball. The Green & White raced past Thiel College, 51-16, on Saturday evening at Bison Stadium.

Blinn was the big story of the contest, breaking both a Bethany career record, as well as a PAC record. The wideout posted 12 receptions for 185 yards and a trio of receiving touchdowns. During the contest, Blinn also became the Presidents' Athletic Conference's all-time career leader in receiving yards, surpassing Washington & Jefferson's Alex Baroffio. When the game was over, Blinn had pushed his career numbers to 3,328 receiving yards.

If one record is good, two is better, as Blinn was also able to snag another Bethany career record during the game. Blinn's third and final receiving touchdown of the contest gave him 26 total for his four-year career, surpassing Matt Cruse's touchdown reception record of 25, which he set between the years of 2006 and 2009.

Along with the three touchdowns through the air, the Bison added four more on the ground, including two, 50+-yard touchdown scampers by junior Jalen Holmes (New Castle, Pa./New Castle). Holmes tallied the first TD on the Bison's opening drive, taking a hand off up the middle for 65 yards. He then added a 58-yard TD run in the third quarter, which made the score 42-9 in favor of the hosts.

The first half of the game was all Bethany as the Green & White tallied 35 points over the first two quarters and entered the locker room with a 35-3 lead. Holmes and quarterback Lincon Reyes (Gaithersburg, Md./Gaithersburg) posted a rushing touchdown, each, in the first quarter. The second quarter, however, was all Blinn, as the senior tallied three-straight touchdowns, including catches of 30 and 44 yards. He also added a five-yard touchdown run.

Each team would tally a pair of scores in the second half, with the Bison getting scores from Blinn and Holmes. The Green & White would also add a score on special teams as a blocked punt by Martin McCoy (Capitol Heights, Md./Frederick Douglass) led to a safety.

Overall, the Bison offense tallied nearly 500 yards, once again showing the balance that gave them early success in 2014. Bethany finished the day with 486 total yards on just 51 plays, posting 245 on the ground and 241 through the air.

Reyes continued to show improvement under center as he finished the contest 16-of-24 for 244 yards and three scores. He also added 57 rushing yards and a score on just five carries. He orchestrated the offense well, helping the Green & White to five different touchdowns of at least 30 yards. 

In addition to his two-touchdown performance, Holmes tallied a career-night, finishing the game with a career-high 166 yards on just 13 carries. His 13.8 yards-per carry average was also the most of his career. It was also the first time that he had scored multiple touchdowns from 50+ yards in his three-year tenure.

The 51 points scored by the Green & White, marks the most points by the program since the team tallied 56 against Saint Vincent College in the last week of the season in 2013. Additionally, the point total is the most ever scored by Bethany against the Tomcats in the two programs’ 73 all-time meetings.

Not to be outdone by the offense, the defense had a great bounce-back game, posting 12.0 tackles for loss and seven sacks. They held the Tomcat offense, which accumulated over 300 yards rushing in a win at Allegheny last week, to just 104 yards on 43 carries (2.4 yards per rush).

Senior Larry Kpadehyea (Monrovia, Md./Gaithersburg) led the defensive surge, totaling 13 tackles (11 solo) while adding a tackle for loss. Freshman Daniel Gibson (Pittsburgh, Pa./Woodland Hills) also played well, posting eight tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks and a fumble recovery. 

11 different Bison found their way into Thiel's backfield, as each recorded at least a half tackle for loss. Reigning AFCA All-American defensive end, Nadim Raddar (Laurel, Md./Old Mill) finished the day with a team-high two sacks. Junior Devon McClain (Millersville, Md./Old Mill) notched 1.5 tackles for loss, while Tyrik Darby (Jersey City, N.J./Lincoln) and MacHale Harville (Arcadia, Fla./De Soto County) notched one as well.

The Bison will be back in action on Saturday, September 19 when they play host to Westminster College. The matchup with the Titans is scheduled for a 1 p.m. kickoff.