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Bison Begin PAC Play Against Westminster

By: Daniel Seaman


      The Bethany College Bison are now 1-1 and will go on the road again this week to take on the Westminster College Titans, which are 0-2. Last week the Bison were down 17-10 midway through the third quarter and staged a 35 point comeback. During the run, there were five different Bison players targeted in the end zone in the last 22 minutes of play.

       For the second week in a row the Bison have controlled the turnover battle. They had a +2 turnover margin, which is playing a crucial role in their success. The young quarterback Brian Vales played great last week and is looking to do it again. Last week Vales accounted for two rushing touchdowns, and threw two more touchdowns leading the Bison to victory. Brian Vales was 19-23 for 167 yards and two touchdowns.

      The Bison quarterback is also is leading the rushing teams rushing attack with 63 yards and two touchdowns. At this point in the season, Vales is exceeding his expectations as a young quarterback in the PAC. He is leading the conference in both completion percentage and quarterback rating. Expect Brian Vales to continue his mistake free play this week.

       On the opposing sideline you have Westminster College, which is led by first time head coach, Scott Benzel. He has been an assistant coach for St. Francis and Robert Morris University for eleven years. Westminster suffered an agonizing loss to Washington & Jefferson College by a score of 56-21. Against W&J, the Titans allowed 572 total yards of offense to the Presidents and gave up five total touchdowns to their quarterback, Ryan Ruffing. The upside for the Titans during the loss was the play of Dominque Mckinley who had 79 rushing yards and a touchdown.

      This week’s contest marks the 53rd meeting between the Bison and the Westminster Titans. Entering the battle, the Titans own a record of 39-11-2 over the Bison. Bethany has not beaten the Titans since 2010, and the Titans have won the last three contests.

       To beat Westminster, Bethany’s defense will need to continue to stop the run. Through two games the Bison have allowed 131.5 yards on the ground. In week one against Mount Union the Bison allowed 145 yards rushing. However, last week the defense rebounded and only allowed Thiel to rush for 118 yards. Last year Thiel dominated in the run game against Bethany accumulating 312 yards rushing.

      The Bison run defense currently sits at 4th place in the PAC after two games. On the other side of the field, the Westminster Titans have the 4th best rushing attack in the conference, averaging 156 rushing yards per game. Last week the Bison defense was able to hold the Thiel Tomcats under 250 yards of total offense.

      The strong play of the Bison defense is due largely in part to the play of Khallid Pierce and Nadim Raddar, who have excelled in the first two games. Last week Raddar had 3.5 sacks and 12 tackles against the Tomcats. So far this season the Bison have averaged 4 sacks and 9 tackles for loss per game. Nadim Raddar is leading the PAC this season in total tackles with 21. Raddar and Pierce are ranked in the top three in the conference for tackles for a loss.

      After this away game with Westminster College the Bison will return home to play Waynesburg University next week. The game will start at 7pm making it the only night home game this season.






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