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McKENZIE, Tenn. –Until Saturday no Bethel Wildcat football team had ever opened a season winning their first eight games. The 2018 Wildcats go into the history and record books as the first to …
McKENZIE, Tenn. –Until Saturday no Bethel Wildcat football team had ever opened a season winning their first eight games. The 2018 Wildcats go into the history and record books as the first to do just that as they won their eighth straight with a 70 -14 win over visiting Cincinnati Christian. The big Homecoming crowd saw the Cats score often for the second week in a row. Bethel had beaten Kentucky Christian the prior week 92-12. The longest winning streak in Bethel history is ten in a row in 2007.
The Wildcats scored on the first play from scrimmage on a Sam Castronova to Davius Prather 65-yard yard touchdown pass. Dalton McCann’s point after gave the Cats a 7-0 lead just 18 seconds into the game. Five minutes later CCU scored on a Derrick Taylor to Riquetio Leonard 39-yard score. Logan Katsetos knocked through the point after to tie the game at seven. A little over two minutes later Castronova hit Caleb Nelson on a one-yard pass to give Bethel a 13-7 margin. Nolan Chowbay found Devante Jimenez on the two-point conversion pass to make it 15-7. With 4:39 left in the first stanza Castronova ran in from two yards out and Bethel led 21-7. The two-point conversion attempt was no good.
CCU struck at the 10:26 mark of the second quarter as Taylor connected with Leonard again. The nine-yard pass made it 21-14. Touchdown runs by Chris Witherspoon (three yards) De’Ontay Tate (40 yards) and Tate again (five yards) gave Bethel a 42-14 lead at the half.
Bethel outgained the Eagles 426-164 in the first half.
In the second half Bethel’s Taye Davis had a three-yard touchdown run. Brandon Moore scooped up a fumble and scored running 44-yards for a touchdown. Chowbay and Nelson teamed up for a 26-yard pass play to make it 63-14. The final score of the game came with 7:27 left as Darwin Kelly Jr. ran 33 yards for a score.
The Wildcats finished with 607 yards in total offense. They entered the game averaging 518 yards per outing which was sixth in the nation. Bethel had 281 rushing yards and 326 passing yards. De’Ontay Tate led Bethel in rushing with 76 yards. Davis had 64 on the ground. Prather finished with five catches for 124 yards. Jeremy Beaulieu led the Cats with nine total tackles and an interception. Demetrice Gilbert and Tito Hunter also had interceptions. Along with Moore’s fumble recovery the Wildcats had recoveries by Anthony Patrick and Iran Minnifee. Javell Jones blocked two punt attempts by the Eagles. Braden Simmons also had a block in the win.
CCU finished the game with 243 yards. Jared Perdue led CCU with 66 yards in rushing. Leonard led CCU with four receptions. Maceo Clinton also had four catches. Michael Williams led the Eagles with nine total tackles.
Coach Brent Dearmon who was inducted into Bethel’s Athletic Hall of Fame earlier in the day said, “Our focus wasn’t what we wanted it to be at times today. We gave up to many big plays and had too many mistakes but all in all we will take the win and move on. We capitalized on some big plays as we have done all year and that proved to be big for us. We will clean things up and get ready to take on a very talented Lindsey Wilson squad next week in Columbia.”
The Wildcats travel to Columbia, Kentucky Saturday to battle highly ranked (4) Lindsey Wilson at 1:30 p.m. CST. Lindsey Wilson was upset 24-21 at Cumberland University Saturday. Catch the action on WEIO, 100.9 with the Countdown to Kickoff Show beginning at 1 p.m. The game will also be available at www.thefarmradio.com