Nov. 9 – CRESTVIEW HILLS, Ky. – Bethany College senior quarterback, Matt Grimard (Lowell, Mass./Dracut) broke three, single-season Bethany records, but it was not enough as the Bison football team fell 49-14 to Thomas More College on Saturday.
Grimard broke three of his own records in the game, including passing completions, passing attempts and total passing yards; all of which he set during the 2012 campaign. Grimard now sits at 230 completions and 383 attempts, passing his records of 226 completions and 364 attempts from a year ago.
Grimard also broke his passing yardage record of 2,605 and now sits at 2,684 with one game remaining in the season.
Bethany was able to draw first blood in the contest as the Bison defense set up the Bethany offense late in the first quarter. Nadim Radar (Laurel, Md./Old Mill) sacked and stripped quarterback Luke Magness of the ball and recovered the fumble to give Bethany a first down deep in Thomas More territory.
Six plays later, Grimard found sophomore Jaylen Jennings (Indian Head, Md./Henry E. Lackey) on a three-yard touchdown strike to give Bethany the 7-0 lead. The touchdown catch was the sixth of the season for Jennings, who leads the team.
On the ensuing drive for the Saints, Thomas More needed just three plays, helped out by a personal foul penalty on the Bison, to go 55 yards for the game-tying score. The touchdown came on a 34-yard run by Bobby Leonard and tied the game at 7-7.
In the second quarter, the Bison defense once again gave the offense great field position as Chris Burg (Martinsburg, W. Va./Martinsburg) caused and recovered another Saint fumble to give Bethany the ball at the Thomas More 16-yard line.
Bethany was again able to capitalize on the great field position as Grimard completed five-of-five passing attempts, finishing with a two-yard pitch-and-catch to Eric Blinn, to give the Bison a 14-7 lead with 11:07 remaining in the first half.
However, the Saints were able to force the Bison into four punts over the rest of the half and converted on three of their four possessions to score 21-straight points, ending the half with the Bison down, 28-14.
In the second half, the Bethany offense had a hard time getting anything going. The Bison had the ball just five times in the half, punting the ball away three of those times, and turning the ball over twice on interceptions.
The Saints were able to convert in the second half as well, and scored 21 more points in the half, to hand the Bison the 49-14 defeat.
In the game, Grimard finished the day 26-of-47 for 136 yards and two touchdowns. Blinn was his top target on the day, catching nine passes for 54 yards and a score.
Blinn also reached a milestone in the contest, becoming the first Bison receiver since Denny Williams in 1980 to eclipse the 1,000 yard mark on the year. Blinn currently sits at 1,033 yards receiving, just three yards behind Williams’ all-time, single-season record of 1,036.
Defensively, Burg led the way with 6.5 tackles, a forced fumble, and a fumble recovery in the game. Jarrett Rahymes (Colquitt, Ga./Miller County) totaled 5.5 tackles and Michael Howcott (Upper Marlboro, Md./Frederick Douglass) completed the day with five.
Bethany will close out the season, looking to get back to .500 in conference play next week, when they travel to Latrobe, Pa. to face the Bearcats of Saint Vincent College. The contest is scheduled for a 1 p.m. kickoff.