Oct. 29 – CRESTVIEW HILLS, Ky. – The Bethany College football team was defeated 30-7 by No. 13 Thomas More in a Presidents’ Athletic Conference (PAC) matchup Saturday afternoon.
The loss sends the Bison to 1-7 overall, 0-6 in the PAC this season. Meanwhile, the Saints, ranked No. 13 by both D3football.com and the AFCA, improve to 6-0 in league play, 7-1 overall.
Junior quarterback Chase Kinemond (Shadyside, Ohio/Shadyside) finished the game 20-of-36 for 153 yards, one touchdown and one interception. Junior tight end Dustin Hess (Upper St. Clair, Pa./Upper St. Clair) led the team with seven catches for 38 yards, while junior wide receiver Terry Linyard (Jersey City, N.J./Lincoln) added three catches for 32 yards and a touchdown.
Senior linebacker Donavan Hayden (Hyattsville, Md./Northwestern) led the defense with 16 tackles (10 solo), two tackles for loss, a forced fumble, and a sack. The Bison defense finished the game with five sacks and forced three Thomas More turnovers, all on fumbles.
Bethany received the opening kickoff and drove the ball into Saints territory, but the drive stalled on a fourth down incomplete pass that turned the ball over on downs near midfield.
After each team exchanged possessions, Thomas More drove the ball into the redzone and was poised to score the first points of the game. The Green & White defense stood tall and held All-PAC running back C.T. Tarrant to a gain of one on third down and no gain on a fourth-and-two from the 10-yard line to keep the game scoreless.
Kinemond drove the Bison to midfield, but was intercepted, leading to the first points of the game. Thomas More quarterback Brenan Kuntz connected with Logan Winkler for a 40-yard touchdown pass to give the Saints a 7-0 lead with one second left in the first quarter.
Tarrant extended the Thomas More lead with 6:47 remaining on the clock until halftime with a 16-yard rush to push the Bison deficit to 14-0 entering the break.
After the Saints received the second half kickoff, Hayden forced a fumble after a completed pass that was scooped up by freshman linebacker Anthony Fiasco (Harrison City, Pa./Penn-Trafford) to setup the Bison in Thomas More territory. Kinemond drove the team down to the 30-yard line, but the drive stalled following a trio of incomplete passes.
Thomas More’s defense added to its lead towards the end of the third quarter. With the Bison backed up to their own five-yard line, Bethany was charged with a holding penalty in its own endzone, resulting in a two-point safety that pushed the Saints lead to 16-0 with 1:16 remaining in the third quarter.
Thomas More added a pair of touchdowns in the fourth quarter to pull out to a 30-0 lead with eight minutes left in the game.
Bethany got on the board with 2:52 remaining in the game when Kinemond completed a 25-yard touchdown pass to Linyard that made the score 30-7, but the onside kick attempt failed, allowing the Saints to run out the clock.
Thomas More held a 461-to-242 advantage in total yards and held the Bison offense to 89 yards rushing. Bethany was 4-of-16 on third down, while the Saints finished the afternoon 11-of-17 on third down conversions.
Thomas More quarterback Brenan Kuntz ended the day 16-of-29 with 205 yards passing, two touchdowns and zero interceptions. Tarrent was the lead back with 20 carries for 150 yards and two touchdowns in the Saints victory.
The Bison won the turnover battle in the game. Bethany continues to lead the PAC with a plus-11 turnover differential this season.
Senior punter Aaron Frye (Vandergrift, Pa./Kiski Area) ended the day with six punts with a 45-yard average, two inside the 20-yard line and a long of 53 yards. He leads the PAC in nearly every punting category this season.
The Green & White returns home next Saturday, November 5, when it hosts Grove City. Kick-off is set for 1:30 p.m.