Sept. 5 – ALLIANCE, Ohio – The Bethany College football team (0-1) opened their 2015 campaign against the University of Mount Union on Saturday afternoon. The Bison dropped the game by a final of 47-0 to the Purple Raiders, who entered the contest ranked second in the country by D3Football.com.
The Bison defense held strong in the first quarter of play as neither team gained much of an edge through the first 15 minutes. Each side posted three possessions, with the score showing 6-0 in favor of the hosts by the end of the frame.
Twice in the first quarter, the Bison defense held strong, forcing a Purple Raider punt after six plays on each drive. The one scoring drive in the frame saw All-American Roman Namdar find the end zone on a 16-yard touchdown pass. However, Bethany would stay within striking distance throughout the quarter.
The second quarter did not go the Bison’s way, as Mount Union scored four times in the frame to push the score to 34-0 at the halftime break. The Raiders received two more receiving scores from Namdar, before adding two rushing touchdowns.
In the second half, the Bison defense once again found their spark, allowing the high-powered Mount Union offense just one touchdown in the half. The Bison, however, would go on to fall 47-0.
Defensively, the Bison were led by senior Donavan Hayden (Hyattsville, Md./Northwestern) and junior Aaron Frye (Vandergrift, Pa./Kiski Area). Hayden, the Bison’s leading tackler a season ago, tallied 11 total stops on the day, including one for loss. As a whole, the defensive unit tallied seven tackles for loss, including 1.5 by Larry Kpadehyea (Monrovia, Md./Gaithersburg).
Frye made his mark on the game both defensively and on special teams. The junior finished the day with eight stops on the defensive end, while also tallying .5 tackles for loss. He also made some noise in the kicking game as he averaged 43.8 yards per punt over 13 attempts, including two kicks of over 60 yards.
Senior quarterback Lincon Reyes (Gaithersburg, Md./Gaithersburg) made his first career start under center, completing 7-of-16 in the passing game. Sophomore Chase Kinemond (Shadyside, Ohio/Shadyside) also saw time at QB, posting three completions.
Senior Eric Blinn (Beaver, Pa./Western Beaver) tallied five receptions on the day, making his magic number 12 catches to break the Presidents’ Athletic Conference record for career receptions.
Mount Union was led offensively by Namdar, who finished the contest with 125 receiving yards and three touchdowns. Defensively, the Purple Raiders were paced by Jonathan Gonell’s nine stops.
The Bison will be back in action on Saturday, September 12, when they open the home portion of their schedule with a night game against Thiel College. The game, which will be played as a non-conference contest, is scheduled for a 7 p.m. start.