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Wildcats Win Conference Championship

Courtesy Bethel SID
Posted 11/15/22

McKENZIE (November 12) — The No. 4 Bethel University Wildcats became the first Bethel team in modern day program history to win 11 games in a season and be undefeated at that mark. The 2018 squad was 10-0 during the regular season. Bethel’s longest winning streaks prior to this year had been 10 in a row in 2007 and 2018. 

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Wildcats Win Conference Championship

Posted
McKENZIE (November 12) — The No. 4 Bethel University Wildcats became the first Bethel team in modern day program history to win 11 games in a season and be undefeated at that mark. The 2018 squad was 10-0 during the regular season. Bethel’s longest winning streaks prior to this year had been 10 in a row in 2007 and 2018. 
 
Bethel finished the regular season at 11-0 and 8-0 in league play. The Cats were 6-0 in home action and 5-0 on the road on the season. Add all that up and the Wildcats won the tough Mid-South Conference Championship to gain the automatic berth to the playoffs. It will mark Bethel’s sixth appearance in the NAIA FCS Playoffs. They last appeared in 2018. Bethel is 3-5 all-time in the series. Prior to 2018, Bethel had not appeared in the championship series since 2012. The No. 4 ranking is second best to when the Cats were ranked No. 3 in 2018. 
 
The Cats will face No. 12 Keiser (Fla.) Saturday (11/19) in the first round of the playoffs. Kickoff is 1 p.m. (CST) at Wildcat Stadium in McKenzie. 
 
The Keiser Seahawks are 7-3 on the season. They had a perfect record in the Sun Conference at 6-0.
 
Keiser is located in West Palm Beach, Florida. The Seahawks are a former member of the Mid-South Conference and the teams have met one time. The two played in 2018 in McKenzie with Bethel winning 52-7. It will be Keiser’s fourth appearance in the FCS. 
 
Bethel is one of two MSC teams to make it to the playoffs. Lindsey Wilson is also in the field. 
 
Bethel defeated three Top 10 ranked teams with wins over Reinhardt, Georgetown and Lindsey Wilson. Two of those wins were road wins with victories at Georgetown and Lindsey Wilson.
 
Bethel’s Joaquin Collazo III has 27 touchdown passes on the season. That is third most ever by a Wildcat quarterback. Nolan Chowbay holds the Bethel record for most in a season at 30 while Sam Castronova had 28 in 2018. Collazo has 3, 077 passing yards this year. That is second only to Chowbay who had 3,232 in 2021.
 
JD Dixon has 890 receiving yards which is second best in a season behind Isaiah Hookfin who had 1, 052 in 2003. Dixon has 54 receptions on the season with 10 of those being for touchdowns. During the season, Dixon became the all-time program leader in receiving yards surpassing Quincy Walden who had 1, 577. Dixon enters the postseason with 2, 006. 
 
Avont Burrus has caught 40 passes with five of those being for touchdowns. Eighteen different players have caught passes this year for the Wildcats. Nine different players have touchdown receptions. The Cats have passed for 30 touchdowns while giving up eight on the year. 
 
Terrance Roberts leads Bethel in rushing yards with 782. The Wildcats have rushed for 22 scores on the season while the defense has yielded just seven on the season. 
 
Four different Wildcats captured MSC Player of the Week Awards. Collazo won the award four times. Calen Warren, Demetrice Gilbert and Marquese Taylor also were named MSC POW’s. Gilbert was named the NAIA Player of the Week. 
 
The Wildcats average 39.6 points per game and yield just 12.5 per outing. Bethel averages 428.6 yards in total offense per game. The defense yields 261.7 per contest. 
 
The Cats have scored 34 touchdowns on 50 Red Zone possessions this year. 
 
Bethel has 26 sacks on the season and is led by Jaylon Sanders who has 5.5 on the year. Bethel’s defense had 18 interceptions on the season.
 
Jakobe Griffin leads the squad in total tackles with 89. Griffin is Bethel’s all-time career leading tackler.
 
Bethel’s defense posted 100 TFL’s during the regular season. 
 
Watch for more on the match-up and complete game notes later this week at www.bethelathletics.com 

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