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Bethany Finishes Season With Strong Performance

November 11, 2012
dsp The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register

BETHANY - Numerous single-season records were broken Saturday as the Bethany College football team finished the 2012 season on a high note by defeating Saint Vincent, 54-27, at sunny Bison Stadium.

The Bison (3-7, 3-5 PAC) started the scoring with a pair of first-quarter touchdowns. Following a Saint Vincent turnover deep in their own end, junior QB Matt Grimard started his huge day by running 11 yards for a touchdown. Then on the last play of the first quarter, sophomore Brandon Hill scored his first collegiate touchdown on an four-yard scamper to make it a 14-0 lead.

Bethany erupted in the second quarter for four more TDs. The first came when Grimard tossed a screen to senior WR Marcus D'Aguiar-Alexander, who picked up a couple blocks and outraced Bearcats defenders for a 52-yard touchdown catch. Senior WR Ed Holmes started his record-breaking day by hauling in a 21-yard touchdown catch to extend the lead to 28-0.

After forcing Saint Vincent to punt on its next drive, junior Michael Howcott broke through to block the kick and when it rolled into the end zone, Howcott managed to pounce on the loose ball for the score and a 34-0 BC advantage with 7:46 left in the half. Saint Vincent (0-10, 0-8) hit on two long TD passes before the half, but in between their scores, Holmes snared a 37-yard touchdown strike from Grimard, a record-breaking play on two fronts, and Bethany carried a 41-14 lead into halftime.

The TD pass from Grimard-to-Holmes was the duo's second of the day and gave Holmes 10 for the season, which breaks the Bethany single-season record of nine shared by T.J. Parker (2006) and Matt Cruse (2007). It was also the 22nd TD pass of the year for Grimard, which snapped the previous seasonal record that was set by Milton Joyner in 2007.

Both teams found the end zone twice in the second half. After Saint Vincent scored following a Bison turnover, Bethany used a short field set up by a 47-yard punt return by senior Jeff Joyce to strike again. Grimard posted his second rushing TD of the game with a two-yard keeper. The junior signal caller then added to his touchdown pass record by hitting junior WR Cam Cooper for a 79-yard scoring connection to swell the Bethany lead to 54-21.

The Bearcats would post the only score in the fourth quarter, but the damage had been done. Bethany's 54 points was its highest output since lighting up the scoreboard for 66 in a victory over Saint Vincent in Sept., 2007. The Bison also broke the team record for points in a season, as the Green and White scored 301 this year to surpass the previous high mark of 280 set in 2008.

It was a day of record breaking all around for the Bison. Grimard, who was 21-of-31 for 290 yards and four TDs and rushed for another 74 yard and two scores, set a second standard in the game. His 2,605 passing yards for the year broke Jeff Beer's 1980 record of 2,367 yards in a season.

One of Grimard's favorite targets also enjoyed a landmark afternoon. While Holmes was setting the touchdown receptions mark, senior Johnathan Foster gathered in eight catches Saturday. That gives him 72, which took down the previous Bison record of 71 set by Parker in 2006.

Although the BC defense didn't set any records, it did enjoy a strong day. The unit forced four turnovers, including interceptions by Joyce and freshman LB Larry Kpadehyea and made four sacks, including one each for Kpadehyea, senior Gage Lotozo and freshmen linemen Etahn Barnes and Eric Campbell. Senior linebacker Kyle Arrington, who set a new Bethany career record for tackles last week, made a team-high seven stops Saturday and finished with 99 for the season.