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Nov. 8 - WASHINGTON, Pa. – 19th-ranked Washington & Jefferson scored 41 straight points to open the contest and went on to post a 54-7 triumph over the Bethany football team Saturday afternoon at Cameron Stadium.

The Bison fall to 2-7 overall and complete their PAC schedule with a 1-5 mark. The Presidents kept their NCAA playoff hopes alive by improving to 8-1 and 4-1.

W&J scored the first two times they had the ball Saturday. An eight-play, 61-yard drive was capped by a five-yard run from Curt Jones and on the first play of the their second possession, QB Bobby Swallow connected with Craig Besong for a 63-yard scoring pass to make it a 14-0 President advantage.

Bethany put together their best drive of the day right after the second W&J score. They moved 65 yards in 14 plays, highlighted by freshman QB Chad Smith (Washington, Pa.) hitting senior WR Taylor McNeil (Old Saybrook, Conn.) for 12- and 22-yard gains, to reach the President seven. However, four straight incomplete passes turned the ball back over to the hosts.

The third W&J score was set up by a Bethany turnover. On the first play after the Presidents recovered a fumble on the BC 22, Derek Taylor broke off a 22-yard scoring run and the lead stood at 20-0 after the extra point was missed.

W&J’s lead swelled to 41-0 in the second quarter with three more scores. A four-yard TD run by Jones was followed by touchdown passes from Swallow to Luke Espe (14 yards) and Taylor (70). After the scoring toss to Taylor, Bethany freshman RB Eric Walker (New Brighton, Pa.) returned the kickoff 35 yards to the BC 47 and a personal foul call against W&J gave the Green and White their best field position at the President 38.

Bethany moved into the red zone on an 18-yard pass from Smith to junior Jorge Laboy (New York, N.Y.) and a pass interference call against W&J in the end zone. The next play after the penalty, sophomore WR Randy Rankin (Uniontown, Pa./Laurel Highlands) took a pitch two yards for a touchdown and Carlos Perdomo’s (Tampa, Fla./Leto) extra point made it 41-7 with 1:04 to go before halftime.

Unfortunately for the Bison, that was too much time for the Presidents. They needed just 38 seconds to move 57 yards in five plays and scored on a seven-yard scoring pass from Swallow to David Ravida to push W&J’s lead to 47-7 at halftime.

The only score of the second half came late in the third quarter when W&J’s Jacob McBride burst into the end zone from four yards out to put the final score at 54-7.

Bethany was limited to 151 total yards in the setback, including just 21 yards on 20 carries. Smith had 12 completions for 122 yards, with Laboy finishing with a team-high six receptions for 34 yards.

Defensively, junior FS Nelson Mitzen (Waynesburg, Pa./Waynesburg Central) notched his third double digit tackle game of the year with 15 stops, while junior SS David Abel (Phillipsburg, N.J.) made 13 stops, his third consecutive contest with 10+ hits.

Mitzen’s 15 tackles give him 88 for the year, leaving him 12 away from becoming the first Bison to hit 100 in a season since Tim Goetz (120) and Cliff Anderson (100) did in 2005. He would also be just the ninth Bison to hit triple figures since 1989.

Swallow led W&J by throwing for 283 yards and four touchdowns, all to different receivers. Jones rushed for 112 yards and a pair of scores as well.

Bethany will close out the 2008 campaign next week when they host Saint Vincent at Bison Stadium in a 1 p.m. kickoff. The Bearcats (1-8) were off on Saturday. The Bison defeated SVC 66-7 last year in the programs’ first-ever meeting, as BC set school-records for total yards (739) and rushing yards (482).