Tabor falls to Bethany, 24-17

Anthony Daniel (12) intercepts a Bethany pass in the second quarter Saturday. The interception led to a Tabor field goal for a 10-0 halftime lead. Bethany later scored 24 unanswered points to win, 24-17.  The Tabor football team came up short Saturday, falling to visiting Bethany, 24-17.

Tabor held a 10-0 lead at halftime, and scored immediately after the break for a 17-0 advantage, but Bethany scored 24 unanswered points to seal the win.

After Bethany went three-and-out to start the game, Tabor scored when quarterback Ryan Nelson threw a 19-yard touchdown strike to Scott Bauer in the end zone. The score capped a five-play, 80-yard drive, and Tabor led, 7-0, after Jared Slavens? extra-point kick.

Bethany fumbled the kickoff return, and Keith Francis recovered, but Tabor could not capitalize when a fourth-down pass fell incomplete.

Following a turnover on downs for Bethany and a Tabor punt, Bethany began a drive at its own 9-yard line and marched 76 yards to the Tabor 15-yard line. But Cody Godshall thwarted the Swedes? scoring attempt by intercepting a pass in the end zone.

Tabor took over at its own 20-yard line. Eleven plays into the drive, Nelson left the game with an apparent injury and did not return. Tyler Davis replaced Nelson at quarterback. The drive ended when Slavens missed a 45-yard field goal attempt on fourth-and-20.

Anthony Daniel intercepted a Swede third-down pass, and that set up a 20-yard field goal by Slavens with less than 3 seconds to go before halftime. Tabor held a 10-0 lead at intermission.

The Bluejays struck fast after halftime, scoring on the third play of the drive when Davis connected with Bauer for a 20-yard touchdown strike. Slavens? kick made it 17-0 with 13:51 left in the third quarter.

Bethany scored 24 unanswered points after that, answering with its first scoring drive on the next possession. Swede quarterback Zach Dovenbarger scrambled 5 yards for the score on fourth down, and Bethany was on the board, 17-7.

Donnell Davis fumbled the ball on the kickoff return, enabling Bethany to add three points with a 34-yard field goal to narrow the gap, 17-10.

The teams traded punts, but a Donnell Davis fumble on the punt return set up the Swedes, first-and-10, at the Bluejay 22-yard line.

Bethany was in the end zone on the next play after a 22-yard touchdown completion, tying the game, 17-17, with 11:10 left in the game.

Pushed backward after a personal foul penalty, the Tabor offense went three-and-out, and Bethany orchestrated its winning scoring drive, covering 57 yards in nine plays and scoring on a 30-yard touchdown pass. After the kick, Bethany led, 24-17 with 4:51 to go.

With one final opportunity to score, Tabor prolonged its final drive by drawing Bethany offsides on fourth-and-1. But the Bluejays failed to convert on the next fourth down, and Bethany was able to run out the clock to win by seven.

With the loss, Tabor dropped to 5-2 in the KCAC, 7-2 overall. Tabor will host Bethel (0-7, 1-8) Saturday at 1:30 p.m.

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