Nov. 4 – BETHANY, W.Va. – The Bethany College football team closes the 2016 season with a two-game home stand, beginning on Saturday, November 5 when it hosts Grove City College in a Presidents’ Athletic Conference game. Kick-off is set for 1:30 p.m.
The Bison (1-7, 0-6 PAC) are 1-2 at Bison Stadium this season, having lost all five of their road contests this season. Bethany hasn’t had a home game since October 8, when they were dealt a 37-14 loss to No. 24 Case Western Reserve on Homecoming.
“Especially after a long road trip to Thomas More, it changes what you do a little bit,” fourth-year Head Coach Bill Garvey said on playing at home. “It will be nice to be home and get back to a normal routine.”
The Bison rank second in the PAC and 21st nationally with 3.38 sacks per game. The Green & White defense got to the quarterback five times last week at Thomas More, led by junior defensive end Khalid Pierce (Youngstown, Ohio/Ursuline) who finished with 2.0 sacks for 18 yards.
“It’s who we are on defense,” Garvey added. “We try to help the backend of our defense as much as we can from the front end. We are lucky enough that we can put pressure on the quarterback with just the front four, sometimes five.”
Grove City (0-8, 0-6 PAC) has experienced growing pains of its own this season. Grove City freshman quarterback Brett Laffoon slots ninth in the PAC with 151.1 passing yards per game, but has thrown a league-high 12 interceptions this season, including three last week in a 21-14 loss at Geneva.
Last season, senior running back Jalen Holmes (New Castle, Pa./New Castle) rushed for a PAC-record 341 yards on 26 carries and scored four touchdowns in Bethany’s 58-26 win over Grove City. The Green & White racked up 648 yards of total offense and out-gained the Wolverines 442-95 on the ground, averaging 7.9 yards per carry in the game.
“We had success running the ball on first and second down and it allowed us to put the ball down the field to gain bigger chunks of yards” Garvey said. “We want to run the ball every week. Our goal is to get the running game going early and then adjust from there. We have to stay focused and execute properly in order to have success.”
The game marks the 70th meeting between the two schools, with the Bison winning the last three contests. Only Thiel (75) and W&J (95) have played Bethany more times than Grove City.
Bethany College will provide a free web stream of the game, courtesy of the Bethany Broadcast Network with live statistical updates.