MCLOUD—The McLoud Redskins held on to defeat the Bethel Wildcats, Friday night, 28-26 on a rain-soaked, penalty-laden field. The contest featured seven fumbles and a combined 25 penalties for a whopping 240 yards.
McLoud scored first when Damien Dye found a hole in the middle of the Bethel defense and scooted 20 yards for the score. McLoud led 8-0, for a mere 20 seconds.
Bethel’s Devin Acklin took the ensuing kickoff 98 yards down the far sideline to cut the Redskin deficit to 8-7 with 7:18 left in the half. The two squads then traded punts and turnovers, the second of which, set up McLoud for the final score of the first half. Dye intercepted the Gunner Smith offering and returned the ball to the Wildcat 39-yard line.
From there it took just one play for the Redskins to hit paydirt. Koalton Keller found an open Brandon Vinson for the 39-yard scoring strike and gave McLoud a comfortable 15-7 halftime lead.
The scoring picked up in the second half and it started with a six yard power run by Bethel’s Matt Melter. The bruising senior powered through the McLoud defense to cut the lead to 15-13 with a minute left in the third quarter.
McLoud then answered with back-to-back scores and it looked as if they were going to blow the game open. The first of the two scored came on a 56 yard pitch and catch from Keller to Tyler Jones. McLoud led 21-13 then pounced on an on-sides kick at the Bethel 32 yard line. Two plays later Dye sprinted in from 26 yards for his second score of the game. McLoud led 28-13 with 11:13 left in the game.
Bethel was far from done.
It took just one play on the next Wildcat possession to cut into the deficit. Smith found Devin Acklin who juked and then sprinted his way in for a 56 yard scoring beauty. The two point conversion failed, which kept Bethel in the two-score down arena.
Bethel received gift on McLoud’s next drive. The Redskins were driving but fumbled on a first-and-ten from the Bethel 34-yard line. Gabel Ledbetter pounced on the wet ball to give Bethel possession.
It took the Wildcats eight plays and just a little over two minutes to tighten the contest once more. This time Smith found Jaylon Gordon for a 26 yard scoring pass, cutting the McLoud lead to 28-26.
The Redskins tried to play keep away, but Bethel did have two final chances in the last 3:43 of play. The first attempt to take the lead ended on a fourth down incompletion at their own 26 and finally an incompletion on the next drive on their own 18-yard line.
With the win, McLoud improves to 1-1 on the year while the Wildcats drop to 0-2. McLoud will travel to face Perkins-Tryon next Friday while Bethel will play host to Little Axe.