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Wildcats open MSC West Division play with road victory at Belhaven

Matt Floyd, Sports Information Director

Jackson, TN (October 15, 2005) – After back-to-back weeks of close losses, the Bethel College Wildcat football team turned the tables and held off Belhaven College (Miss.) 31-28 on Saturday afternoon to pick up a key road victory in both team’s western division Mid-South opener.

Bethel took advantage of five Blazer turnovers on the afternoon and committed just one miscue of their own in the victory. Bethel’s lone turnover came on the team’s opening possession, however was negated on the following series as Terrance Cheatham (JR / Hope, AR) ended a Belhaven drive at the two-yard line on a forced fumble and recovery.

The teams exchanged touchdown scores in the opening quarter. Belhaven got on the scoreboard first at the 8:14 mark of the quarter. Bethel knotted the score on the next possession when quarterback Antonio Brown (SO / Brandon, FL) scored on an eight-yard keeper. The teams traded quick scores early in the second. Bethel again answered a Blazer touchdown drive with a four-play 35-yard drive of their own, capped off by a 33-yard touchdown pass from Brown to Buck Reed (SO / Eight Mile, AL). The ‘Cats took a seven point advantage (21-14) into the locker room as Bethel capped a 12-play 79-yard drive with just 14 seconds remaining in the half on an Antonio Brown 33 yard touchdown TD strike to Joevaris Carter (FR / Ripley, TN).

Belhaven knotted the game in the third at 21, but Bethel forced Belhaven into their fourth turnover late in the third that setup a quick five play 15-yard drive resulting in an Adrain Smith (SO / Ocala, FL) two-yard touchdown run. Bethel tacked on three more when Keith Ostermann (SO / Zephyr Hills, FL) nailed a 22-yard field goal. Belhaven added a touchdown with just over a minute remaining in the game, but Bethel recovered the onside kick to secure the victory.

Bethel again rotated Antonio Brown and Chad Lamping (FR / Southaven, MS) at the quarterback spot. The two combined for 4 of 19 passing for 99 yards and two touchdowns. Adrain Smith, last week’s Mid-South Offensive Player of the Week, went over 1,500 career rushing yards with 121 yards on 21 carries, including one score. Bethel’s ground game out rushed Belhaven 212-91 on the afternoon.

The defense stepped up big, led by Blaine Hayes (JR / Merritt Island, FL) who had 12 tackles. Hunter Pingston (JR / Rockledge, FL) had seven tackles and had a fumble recovery. Dustin Finch (FR / Humboldt, TN) had a big interception late in the third that led to Wildcat score.

Bethel improves to 3-4 (1-0) on the season, while Belhaven falls to 2-4 (0-1). The Wildcats return to action on Saturday in another MSC West Division showdown in Owensboro, KY against Kentucky Wesleyan College.

Brings back memories ... he said that if he held them scoreless, could he get an interview as DB or any position Coach  ;D

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