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Bison Football Falls To #20 W&J In Battle of PAC Leaders

Oct. 18 - BETHANY, W. Va. - The Bethany College football team (5-2, 4-1 PAC) held Washington & Jefferson to its season low in points and total yardage, but the Bison offense was unable to get anything going, as the Green & White fell 34-3 on Saturday afternoon.

The Bison got on the board first in the opening quarter after defensive back Aaron Frye (Vandergrift, Pa./Kiski Area) picked off a Pete Coughlin pass and returned it to the Presidents' 15-yard line. The Bison would get down to the W&J two before having to settle for a 20-yard field goal. Freshman Chris Ray (Richmond, Va./Godwin) sent the kick through the uprights and the Bison held a 3-0 advantage.

On the ensuing drive, the Presidents needed just four plays to march 62 yards for the go-ahead score. W&J needed just 52 seconds to find pay dirt, their eighth scoring drive of under one minute this season. The Presidents took the lead on a 17-yard touchdown pass from Coughlin to Michael Giampole to give Washington & Jefferon the 7-3 lead.

W&J would go on to outscore Bethany 10-0 over the rest of the first half to take a 17-3 advantage into the locker room.

The third quarter did also not go in the Bison's favor as W&J pushed their lead to 24-3 on the opening drive of the second half. Junior Ryan Ruffing, the Division-III leader in scoring, ran the ball six times on the drive, capping the it off with a five-yard touchdown.

The Bison would go on to fall by a final of 34-3. The defeat marked just the second of the year for the Bison, with both losses coming against nationally ranked opponents.

In the game, the Bethany defense led the way. Despite the score, the Bison "D" held the W&J offense, which ranked second in the Nation in points per game (52.5) to just 27 points. They also held the Presidents under 500 total yards of offense for the first time this season.

Junior Donavan Hayden (Hyattsville, Md./Northwestern) and sophomore Matt Conover (Galloway, N.J./Cedar Creek) led the way for the defense. Hayden notched a career high 17 tackles and 4.0 tackles for loss while Conover also posted career highs in tackles (10) and tackles for loss (4.0). The two helped the Green & White to 10+ tackles for loss for the fourth time this year, as Bethany tied thier season high with 13.0.

Other notable performances for the defense included junior Larry Kpadehyea (Monrovia, Md./Gaithersburg), senior Nick Greer (Pittsburgh, Pa./Thomas Jefferson) and Frye. Kpadehyea finished the game with 10 tackles to give him a team-leading 63 on the year. He also posted 2.0 tackles for loss. Greer posted nine stops and 1.5 TFL, while Frye notched eight tackles and an interception.

Punter Stephen Amic (McDonald, Pa./West Allegheny) posted another stellar performance as he averaged 43.8 yards per punt over nine punts in the contest. He also placed three punts inside the 20-yard line, and notched a 55-yard punt, twice in the game.

The Bison will be back in action on Saturday, October 25, when they travel to Beaver Falls, Pa. to take on Genenva College. The contest is scheduled for a 7:00 p.m. kickoff.