Reinhardt Eagles (1-3) vs. Bethel Wildcats (0-4)
Bethel University, McKenzie, TN
Saturday, September 27, 2014
Kickoff at 1:30pm EST
By: Brooke Thomas and Lauren Mullinax
Reinhardt University looks to defeat Bethel University on the road this Saturday after a heart-breaking OT loss to the Faulkner Eagles on September 20th. Reinhardt will be playing its second Mid-South Conference game of the 2014 season when the RU Eagles take on the Bethel Wildcats.
Last week, Reinhardt fell three points short of a victory after a grueling battle that came down to one defensive stop at the end of the game. Reinhardt and Faulkner swapped leads the entire game, but neither team reached more than a seven-point lead until the fourth quarter.
Sam Jones, a 5-10 junior, ran a 65-yard touchdown to give Reinhardt a 35-28 lead going into the fourth quarter. Shortly after, Reinhardt gained the game’s first 14-point lead when sophomore Cameron Gibson, snatched a blocked field goal and ran to the end zone for a 70-yard touchdown to make the game 42-28.
The 14-point lead did not last long for Reinhardt. Within nine minutes, Faulkner fought back and exploded for three touchdowns, turning the deficit into a 49-42 lead with 3:50 remaining. Reinhardt did not quit. The host Eagles answered with only seconds existing on the clock when running back L.J. Stegall caught quarterback Johnathon Chamblee’s touchdown pass to score the tying touchdown.
The game went into overtime and Reinhardt took possession of the ball first. After Faulkner kept RU from gaining a first down, placekicker Ryan Hooper successfully booted a 41-yard field goal (the longest field goal in the program’s history) to give the home team a 52-49 lead. Reinhardt could not close out the visiting Eagles, however, as Faulkner’s Jazeri Peterson split two defenders on third down to snag a 23-yard winning touchdown. The final score from Ken White Field in Waleska was 55-52, Faulkner University victorious.
Reinhardt’s opponent this week is Bethel University (0-4, 0-1). Last week the Wildcats traveled to Campbellsville, KY where they lost their fourth straight game of the season to the Campbellsville Tigers 44-3. Bethel struggled offensively the entire game, but still trailed only 14-3 with minutes left in the first half. Campbellsville booted a field goal to boost the lead to 17-3, then forced a turnover on downs at mid-field and punched in another late touchdown. Those late scores pushed the Tigers to a three touchdown and the Wildcats never recovered.
During the second half, the Tigers never let up on the offensive or defensive end, tacking on 20 more points to end the game, leaving Bethel winless on the season. Tae Tae Nesbitt led Bethel in rushing with 50 yards on 12 carries while his teammate Jaquell Fitts had 46 yards on 14 carries. Devin Raymer had six catches on the day and Jeremy Greer caught two passes for 48 yards. Tyler Murray led the Cats on defense with six total tackles. Both Bethel and Campbellsville garnered 19 penalties costing each team multiple yardages throughout the entire game.
Bethel University had 260 total yards but Campbellsville doubled that total by posting 468 total yards. Turnovers hurt Bethel as the Cats coughed up a fumble and two interceptions, each leading to points for Campbellsville. Bethel Coach Chris Elliott commented on the loss saying, “Once again we had some chances on offense but could not finish. The scores at the end of the first half really hurt us. They are a good football team and you cannot make the kind of mistakes we made to have a chance to win. We have to keep working hard and find some consistency especially on offense.”
The Reinhardt Eagles come into this weekend looking to get win number two, while the Bethel Wildcats look to grab their first ‘W’ on the season. Both teams will have to be sound on the offensive and defensive side of the ball this week if they want to come out victorious.
The game is scheduled to kickoff at 1:30pm at Bethel University in McKenzie, TN.