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Bluejays give up 24 unanswered, lose to Bethany

Staff writer

The Tabor College football team lost for the second time in conference play to Bethany College after controlling the game for more than two quarters.

The Bluejays forced a Swedes punt first, and then scored three plays later when Ryan Nelson found Scott Bauer on a back-shoulder fade just inside the goal line pylon.

From that point, both teams went back and forth, jockeying for field position until Anthony Daniel intercepted Bethany quarterback Zach Dovenbarger late in the second quarter at Bethany’s 42 yard-line.

Nelson was injured on Tabor’s previous drive, but senior receiver Tyler Davis filled in, driving the Bluejays to the Swedes’ 3 with two seconds left in the quarter. A Jared Slavens field goal gave Tabor a 10-point cushion going into the half.

Bethany attempted an onside kick at the beginning of the half, but the kick did not go far enough to be recovered, giving the Bluejays possession at the Swede 44.

After a personal foul on third-and-1 moved the Bluejays to the 20, Davis rolled out found Bauer crossing the field for his second score.

Down 17 to the no. 7 team in the country, on the road without a win in conference, Bethany did not give up.

On their next drive, the Swedes drove 64 yards in 13 plays, to climb within 10, 17-7. The Bluejays had held Bethany to fourth-and-goal at the Tabor 4, but could not stop Dovenbarger from scrambling for the touchdown.

A well-placed hit separated Donnell Davis from the ball on the ensuing kickoff, which Bethany’s Kelton Evans recovered at the Bluejay 31.

Bethany got close enough to kick a field goal, coming within one score at 17-10.

Tabor punted on its next possession, downing the ball at the Bethany 1-yard line. The Swedes moved the ball to their own 20 before punting, but Davis again put the ball on the ground, Bethany recovering at Tabor’s 22.

The Swedes tied the game on the next play on a passing touchdown with 11:10 left in the game.

The Bluejays again punted, which the Swedes followed with an eight-play, 57-yard drive ending with another Dovenbarger touchdown pass.

Tabor turned the ball over on downs its next possession, not getting another chance with the ball afterward.

Cody Coleman led the team rushing with 90 yards on 15 carries, followed by James Monroe with 78 yards. Davis completed 4 of 6 passes for 53 yards.

The Bluejays play again at 1:30 p.m. Saturday against Bethel College in Hillsboro.

Last modified Nov. 6, 2013

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