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Football Bulldogs Comeback Bid Falls Short

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NORTH NEWTON, Kan. (MacBulldogs.com) – The McPherson College Bulldogs opened Kessinger Divisional play Saturday (Oct. 14), falling to the Bethel College Threshers 33-24 at Thresher Stadium in North Newton, Kan.

BOX SCORE

The Threshers wasted no time putting points on the board when DJ Ciers threw a deep shot to Trevon Madison for a 72-yard touchdown on the first play from scrimmage.

Things went from bad to worse for the Bulldogs as Brendan Sanders picked off Tristan Szabo, halting a promising drive at the Bethel 36-yard line.

Bethel marched down the field, but Christopher Roshell forced a fumble at the goal line and Aaron Cyrus fell on it to give the Bulldogs the ball back.

However, another Szabo interception set the Threshers up with a short field. The defense came up big holding Bethel to just a field goal. The Bulldogs got on the board with 2:49 left in the first half.

Bethel tacked on another field goal on their first drive of the second half, then Marquis Willoughby punched the ball out to give the Bulldogs the ball at the Bethel 37-yard line. The Bulldogs made them pay, scoring an 18-yard touchdown from Szabo to Harley Blaske to trim the lead to 12-10.

The Bulldogs looked to get the ball back with a chance to take the lead, but a muffed punt set the Threshers up with another short field and Ciers punched it in from five yards out to put Bethel up 19-10.

Bethel pushed their lead to 26-10 with a 68-yard fumble recovery by Jairo Castillo, then added a 19-yard touchdown pass to Madison.

The Bulldogs showed signs of life in the fourth quarter when Szabo found Kennan Puckett for a three-yard score, then recovered the ensuing onside kick. Kerby pulled the Bulldogs within a 33-24 deficit on a 15-yard touchdown pass. However, the two-point conversion failed.

Szabo finished 310 yards and three touchdowns, but threw a pair of interceptions. Kerby caught 12 passes for a team-high 91 yards and a score, while Kamryn Brown added 86 yards on seven catches. Horace Bradshaw made five grabs for 53 yards.

The Bulldogs return to McPherson Stadium next Saturday (Oct. 21) for homecoming against Bethany College. Kickoff is scheduled for 1:00 p.m.