Tabor falls short, 21-14

A Bethany defender catches just enough of Tabor running back Derek Washington?s shoelace to bring the ballcarrier down inside the Swede?s 10-yard line. Washington scored two plays later.

The Tabor College football came within five yards of tying the score late in Saturday?s 21-14 loss at Bethany. The Swedes had taken a 21-0 halftime lead, but the Bluejays came roaring back in the second half.

The rally began with Tabor forcing a 3-and-out to start the second half, with the Bluejays taking over at their own 27.

Seven plays and 2:38 later, quarterback Marc Amos hit Phillip Garcia on a crossing pattern in the end zone, and Marcus Manny drilled the extra point to cut the Swede lead by a third.

Derek Washington ripped off back-to-back big gainers during the series, covering 48 yards on two carries and setting up first-and-10 at the Bethany 14.

Amos found Garcia three plays later for a 13-yard touchdown that capped a 73-yard drive with 10:08 remaining in the third quarter.

Bethany ran nine plays and drove to the Tabor 30 during the subsequent series. A 15-yard personal foul penalty against Bethany and backfield tackles by Tex Rogers and Teal Stutzman pushed the Swedes back, forcing a punt from midfield.

Tabor took over at its own 15 and, mixing runs and passes, marched into Bethany territory before the third quarter expired.

The fourth quarter began with an 11-yard catch-and-run by Adrian Clay, which was followed immediately by Washington ripping a 25-yard touchdown run through the left flank of the Bethany defense.

A taunting penalty at the end of the run cost Tabor 15 yards on the kickoff, but Manny buried the extra point, making it a 7-point game with 13:39 remaining.

Manny then kicked off from his own 15, and a 15-yard return by Bethany?s Dewayne Autry started the Swedes off first-and-10 at the Bluejay 45.

Bethany gained 12 yards on six plays, and turned the ball over when Joe Wuest stripped the ball from Swede quarterback Mark Margres on fourth-and-9 at the Bluejay 33.

Tabor recovered the fumble and took over at its own 41. Tabor pounded the ball down to the Bethany 4, with a circus catch by Heath Redding covering 31 yards.

Redding?s catch made it first-and-10 at the Bethany 13, and Washington crashed down to the Swede 6 on second down. Seth Ramsey pushed it ahead two more yards, but Washington was hit behind the line on third down, bringing up fourth-and-2 at the Bethany 5 with 6:50 to go.

Needing a touchdown to tie, the Bluejays left the offense on the field. But Tabor was unable to convert, as Amos? pass to Ramsey was incomplete.

The Swedes took over with 6:25 left and ran off all but 17 seconds, with Sean Dahley bleeding out the clock with eight consecutive runs.

Tabor got the ball back with 17 seconds to go, but could not complete a pass to spark a last-second comeback.

Margres scored twice in the first half?a 2-yard run at 6:05 of the first quarter and a 13-yard run at 6:25 of the second?and Dahley scored once. Dahley totaled 173 yards on 33 carries, and Tabor allowed 243 rushing yards.

Washington totaled 133 rushing yards on 27 attempts, and Amos totaled 156 yards on 14-for-24 passing.

Defensively, Stutzman had 13 tackles?11 solo, one for loss. Mario Nava had 12 tackles?eight solo, one for loss?and one pass defended.

As a team, Tabor committed all three of its turnovers in the first half. Tabor committed seven penalties for 73 yards in the first half, and was flagged nine times for 93 yards during the game. Bethany had one turnover and 45 penalty yards.

Demetrius Cox sat out with an ankle injury, and Spencer Brown was knocked out of the game with a lower body injury on the third play from scrimmage.

Coming?Tabor (0-5 overall, 0-4 KCAC) hosts Saint Mary (3-2, 2-2) at 1:30 p.m. Saturday in Hillsboro. Saint Mary defeated Haskell Indian Nations 37-6 last week.

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