Bethel football downed in home opener

The Bethel Tigers kicked off the 2015 football regular season with a tough home match up against 2014 playoff qualifier Cincinnati Country Day and things did not go well for the Tigers. The Indians raced out to a 21-0 halftime lead and didn’t look back, knocking off the Tigers 38-14 last Friday.

The teams traded punts in the first quarter, but Bethel’s offense fell apart in the second frame. The Tigers turned the ball over four times in the second quarter, allowing CCD to strike first. Senior J’Quann Waite hit running back Nick Sam for a 37-yard touchdown pass to put CCD on top 7-0.

With just over six minutes left in the half, the Indians struck again. Darryn Jordan scampered into the end zone from nine yards out to extend his team’s lead to 14.

After a Bethel turnover, Waite again found the end zone through the air, this time hitting senior Kunal Minhas from three yards away for the score. The Tigers coughed up three fumbles and were intercepted once in the quarter.

The Indians would add a field goal in the third quarter before finding the end zone again. Jordan found pay dirt, racing into the end zone for a three-yard touchdown run and a 31-0 lead.

Bethel senior Jeffrey Botts returned the ensuing kickoff 87 yards, setting up a nine-yard touchdown run by junior Steven Cooper. The team converted the two-point conversion to cut the lead to 31-8.

The Tigers returned to the promised land with 5:30 left in the game thanks to a two-yard run by Owen Holtke, but the team failed to convert the two-point conversion.

Cincinnati Country Day would add another score on a 34-yard touchdown run by Nick Sam and win the game 38-14, their 25th straight regular-season win.

Cooper led the Tigers with 74 rushing yards on 12 carries. Jeffery Botts tallied 51 yards on nine attempts and completed one of four passes for 23 yards and an interception. Senior Justin Hixon recorded Bethel’s only catch of the game. Holtke finished with 22 yards on six carries in addition to his touchdown.

Bethel hits the road for the first time in 2015, traveling to Fayetteville to take on the Rockets on Friday, Sept 4.

By Garth Shanklin

Reach Garth Shanklin at 937-378-6161 or