Bethany Falls in Home Opener
BETHANY – The offensive stars shined as expected but Randolph-Macon spoiled Bethany’s home opener 36-28 on Saturday afternoon.
The Bison were paced by a three-touchdown performance by senior quarterback Matt Grimard, while the Yellow Jackets countered with a 296-yard rushing performance by senior tailback Will McGhee.
McGhee scored touchdowns on the Yellow Jackets first two possessions and forced the Bison to play catch up from there.
Down 14-0, the Bison responded with a 43-yard kickoff return by sophomore Eric Blinn to set Bethany up on the Yellow Jackets 48-yard line. Two plays later Grimard struck with his only touchdown pass of the game, connecting on a 33-yard strike over the middle of the field to sophomore Jaylen Jennings . Jennings then carried a few Yellow Jacket defenders into the end zone and Bethany trailed 14-7.
A turnover gave Randolph-Macon the ball at the Bison 2 and the Yellow Jackets wasted no time, scoring on the very next play – a 2-yard run by Jesse Knepp. The extra point failed, however, and the Bison ended the first quarter down 20-7.
Bethany cut it to 2014 when Grimard scored on a 9-yard run to cut the score to 20-14 with 50 seconds to play in the half.
Randolph-Macon’s Colin McFadden kicked a 25-yard field goal to extend the lead to 23-14 at the half.
The Yellow Jackets turned an interception into McGhee’s third touchdown – a 37-yard run – and a 29-14 lead.
The Bison cut it to 29-21, but Randolph-Macon went on an epic 15-play drive, which ate 8:19 off the clock. It ended in a touchdown and put the game out of reach.
Grimard once again made it happen with his legs, scoring on a 13-yard run, to once again put the Bison within one score, 36-28.
However, Bethany would get no closer than that.
For the Bison, Grimard finished the contest with three total touchdowns, collecting one passing touchdown while rushing for two others. His two running touchdowns give Grimard 30 for his career, which is second all-time in Bethany history and 11 behind first place Eric Walker (41 between 2008-11). Grimard finished the day 17 of 38 for 223 yards and a touchdown to go along with 41 yards on the ground.
Blinn kept up his torrid play at receiver, catching nine passes for 137 yards in the game. It marks the third game that Blinn has reached the 100-receiving yard plateau. He has 36 catches for 450 yards.
Defensively, Chris Burg led all players with 8.5 tackles each while Larry Kpadehyea finished with 7.5 tackles including 1.5 for loss. Williams also picked off a pass for the third consecutive game, giving him three on the season.