October 4 - CLEVELAND, Ohio - The Bethany College football team (4-1, 3-0 PAC) used a solid defensive effort to capture their third-straight conference win, 25-14, over Case Western Reserve University on Saturday. During the contest, junior wideout Eric Blinn (Beaver, Pa./Western Beaver) also broke the Bethany records for receiving yards in a career.
The Spartans scored first in the contest, using a six-play, 48-yard drive to take a 7-0 lead. The score came on a pass from Billy Beecher to Brendan Lynch.
The Bison would respond toward the end of the first quarter. Using a 12 play 80-yard drive, Bethany ran the ball nine times for 58 yards. The drive was capped by a 17-yard TD by Brandon Hill (McKeesport, Pa./Elizabeth Forward), which tied the game at 7-7.
After the Bison defense held the Spartans to a three-and-out, the Green & White got the ball back with 2:16 left in the opening frame. Bethany needed just nine plays to find the end zone again. Hill found pay dirt for the second time, this time from a yard out, giving Bethany a 13-7 lead.
Neither team would score the rest of the half, and the Bison would go into the half up 13-7. The Bethany defense was huge in the first half, holding Case Western to 103 yards of total offense in the opening half.
In the second half, both teams had the ball three times before anyone could find the endzone. The next touchdown also came from the Bison as Brian Vales (Pittsburgh, Pa./Avonworth) found Blinn for a 26-yard touchdown hookup. The TD pass capped a seven-play, 63-yard drive, and extended the Bethany advantage to 19-7.
The touchdown reception also gave Blinn 145 yards receiving for the game, and 536 total receiving yards on the season, with that total, Blinn now sits at 2,626 receving yards, breaking Matt Cruse's record of 2,625 yards which he set between the years of 2006 and 2009. Blinn needed just 25 games to break the mark and is currently averaging over 104 yards per game for his career.
Case cut into the lead, marching 94 yards in just nine plays. Beecher threw his second touchdown pass of the game, connecting with Lynch for the second time. The score brought the Spartans closer at 19-14.
The Bison then faced a three-and-out on their following drive and were forced to punt. Senior Stephen Amic (McDonald, Pa./Western Allegheny) booted the ball 52 yards, and Case return man Dan Cronin fumbled the pigskin at the 17-yard line. Junior Anthony Thompson (Colquitt, Ga./Miller County) jumped on the live ball, giving the Green & White posession at the Spartan 17.
Bethany needed just four plays to find another score, as Jalen Holmes (New Castle, Pa./New Castle) got the entire work load on the drive. The final run play on a fourth-and-eight from the nine, saw Holmes break a tackle in the backfield before finishing off the run in the endzone to give Bethany a 25-14 lead. The Green & White would go on to win by the same score.
On the day, the Bison outgained the Spartans 400-249 in total offense. The Bethany defense dominated Case, holding them to just 41 rushing yards in the game. It was the least amount of rushing yards given up by the Bison "D" since November 19, 2011, when they allowed just 38 yards against King's College.
Defensively, the Bison also totaled 12.0 tackles for loss and five sacks. The 12.0 tackles for loss marked the third time this season that the Green & White have had at least ten in a game. The five sacks also ties a season best for the defense.
Individually, Nadim Raddar (Laurel, Md./Old Mill) led the way for the Bison, totaling 10 tackles, three tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks and a fumble recovery. Raddar, who leads the conference in both tackles for loss and sacks, now has 13.0 tackles for loss and 8.5 sacks on the year. Defensive tackle Eric Campbell (Hurricane, W. Va./Hurricane) also totaled three tackles for loss and a sack while notching eight tackles and a forced fumble.
Offensivley, the Bison were led by Blinn, who collected 15 catches for 145 yards and a touchdown. Hill notched 87 yards and two scores on 18 carries, while Holmes finished with 74 yards and a score.
With the win, the Bison have notched their best start since the 2001 campaign. Bethany is just one of two teams undefeated in conference play. With the losses by Thomas More and Saint Vincent, the Bison and Washington & Jefferson stand tied at the top of the PAC.
The Green & White will be back in action on October 11 when they play host to Carnegie Mellon for their homecoming contest. The game is scheduled for a 2 p.m. start.