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Bethany Football Drops Homecoming Bout With Case Western

Oct. 3 – BETHANY, W. Va. – The Bethany College football team dropped a 59-20 decision to visiting Case Western Reserve University on Saturday afternoon. During the game, the Bison also honored the 2015 Bethany Athletics Hall of Fame class, as well as the 1965 Presidents’ Athletic Conference Championship football team.

The Bison got first crack at points in the opening quarter as a turnover by the Spartans put the Green & White in good field position. After a Bethany punt, Case Western had the ball on their own 20-yard line. Three plays later, freshman Daniel Gibson (Pittsburgh, Pa./Woodland Hills) stripped quarterback Rob Cuda of the ball, recovering his own forced fumble to give Bethany the ball at the Case 24.

On Bethany’s next offensive possession, the Bison moved down to the Case Western four-yard line, before stalling out and settling for a field-goal attempt. Unfortunately, the attempt sailed wide right and the game remained scoreless.

The game would stay that way until the 1:49 mark of the first quarter when Case finished off a six-play, 54-yard drive with a one-yard touchdown run by Anthony Canganelli. The rushing score gave the visitors a 7-0 advantage.

Bethany would quickly respond, scoring touchdowns on their next two possessions to retake the lead, 13-7. The Bison’s first drive lasted 10 plays and totaled 67 yards before ending in six points on a one-yard run by junior Jalen Holmes (New Castle, Pa./New Castle). The big play of the drive came on a 20-yard pass from Lincon Reyes (Gaithersburg, Md./Gaithersburg) to tight end Dustin Hess (Upper St. Clair/Upper St. Clair), which set the Green & White up with a first-and-goal from the one.

The Bison would need three cracks at the end zone against a stout Case Western defensive front, but the third time was the charm, as Holmes broke through for six. The extra point was missed, however, and Bethany found themselves still trailing, 7-6.

On the following Case Western possession, the Bison defense showed how dangerous they can be, sacking Cuda on back-to-back plays to force a three-and-out. Senior Larry Kpadehyea (Monrovia, Md./Gaithersburg) tallied the first sack, while Devon McClain (Millersville, Md./Old Mill) made the second one.

The Green & White needed just four plays to take the lead on their next drive. The big gainer in the drive was from Eric Blinn (Beaver, Pa./Western Beaver) who made a spectacular diving catch for a 42-yard gain to set Bethany up with a first-and-10 from the 11-yard line. Two plays later, Reyes would find Tyler Ambush (Germantown, Md./Northwest) for a five-yard touchdown, and the Bison found themselves up 13-7.

It was from there, however, that Case Western would take over, outscoring the Bison 52-7 over the final two and a half quarters, including 45-consecutive points in the middle two stanzas.

The Bison had a problem with stopping the big play in the game as the Spartans scored on touchdown plays of 52, 46, and 39 yards, consecutively.

Bethany tallied their last touchdown in the fourth quarter on a 12-yard pass from Reyes to Blinn. Blinn finished the game with a team-high nine catches for 133 yards and a score.

Offensively, Reyes put together another solid performance under center, finishing with 24 completions for 247 yards and two scores. Holmes led the running game for the Bison, finishing with 74 yards and a touchdown.

Case Western was led in the game by Cuda, who finished with 210 yards passing, 88 yards on the ground and three total touchdowns. Canganelli was also a thorn in the Bison’s side, totaling 74 yards and three scores.

Defensively, Bethany was led by Nadim Raddar (Laurel, Md./Old Mill), who finished with a game-high 14 stops and 2.5 tackles for loss. Gibson finished the day with seven tackles, a forced fumbled and a fumble recovery.

Before the contest on Saturday, the Green & White honored its 2015 Hall of Fame Class. The class included former Bison running back Will Anders ’03, former softball All-American Raquel (Burns) Davis ’03; four-time All-PAC baseball honoree Matt King ’00; and men’s basketball scoring champion Mike Majzun ’03.

Bethany will be back in action on Saturday, October 10 when they head to Pittsburgh, Pa. for a bout with Carnegie Mellon University. The matchup between the Bison and Tartans is scheduled for a 6 p.m. start.