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BISON SUFFER 28-0 SETBACK IN OPENER TO ALLEGHENY
Sept. 4 - BETHANY, W.Va. – Hampered by two early interceptions which led directly to Allegheny touchdowns, the Bethany College football team could not recover and dropped a 28-0 decision to the Gators in the season opener for both programs Saturday at Bison Stadium.
The Gators had a chance to score on their first possession, but a missed field goal kept the game scoreless. On the third play after Bethany took possession, BC freshman QB Matt Grimard (Lowell, Mass./Dracut) was picked off by Sid Facaros to give Allegheny possession at the Bison 31. Three straight completions put the first points on the board, as AC quarterback T.J. Salopek tossed a 12-yard scoring pass to Terry Hartford.
Following the kickoff, Bethany pieced together their best drive of the day. Grimard threw two completions for 29 yards to junior RB Eric Walker (New Brighton, Pa.), who also ran 20 yards on the march. Another big play was a nine-yard connection from Grimard to junior WR Alex Evans (Washington, Pa.) on fourth-and-three. The drive reached the Gator 22 when Doug Williams intercepted a Grimard aerial at the 16 and returned it to the AC 43, ending what proved to be Bethany’s best chance of the game.
Allegheny took advantage of the miscue again, as they went 58 yards in 10 plays to double their advantage to 14-0. A third-down pass interference call on Bethany kept the drive going and the Gators reached paydirt when Salopek hit Hartford with a two-yard scoring pass for a 14-0 lead.
Just before halftime, the Gators tacked on another score when Salopek connected with Rob Carlisle on a 10-yard touchdown pass with 28 seconds to go in the second period to make it a 21-0 visitor lead at the break. Allegheny completed the scoring late in the third quarter with Salopek’s fourth scoring pass of the game, a nine-yard strike to David Strawser.
Meanwhile, the Bethany offense struggled to find a rhythm all day. They finished the game with four turnovers and only 202 yards of offense. Walker was a bright spot, as he rushed for 73 yards on 18 carries and caught a team-high six passes for 42 yards.
Despite the 28 points allowed, BC’s defense limited Allegheny to 288 total yards of offense, the second-lowest total given up by the Green and White since the 2007 season. Junior FS Jeff Joyce (Pittsburgh, Pa./Baldwin) and sophomore LB Kyle Arrington (Jackson Twp., Ohio/Jackson) each made 11 tackles and junior DE Kasib Taalib-Din (New York, N.Y./Central Park East) finished with eight hits, one sacks and broke up on pass.
Bethany will aim to even their record at 1-1 next week when they travel to King’s (Pa.) College for the PAC-MAC Showdown. King’s suffered a 31-7 loss in their opening week contest at Springfield (Mass.) College. Kickoff in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., next Saturday is slated for 1 p.m.