BETHEL ACRES— Home sweet home. The Bethel Wildcats hosted the Little Axe Indians, Friday night, for their first home game of the season and ran away with a 59-34 decision.

“It’s good to be home,” said Bethel head coach Joey Ginn. “I’m very proud of our kids – they gave us all they had tonight.”

Give it they did. The Wildcats racked up 577 yards of total offense, including 259 yards through the air. Quarterback Gunner Smith converted 16 of his 28 passes for the 259 yards. Bethel also did damage on the ground pounding out 218 yards on 36 attempts.

Little Axe took an early lead in the game, scoring on a one yard plunge by Michael Yeahpau with 1:50 left in the first quarter.

Bethel answered on its next possession as Smith found Devin Acklin who juked his way to the 20-yard score. Bethel scored in just a little over a minute of game time.

The Indians answered as Collin Gibson scored from 14 yards out at the end of the first. Little Axe led 12-7, but that was soon to be long gone.

Bethel scored on its next three possessions to take a 28-18 lead into the half. Smith scored on a two-yard run at the 9:20 mark of the second quarter before Corey Metscher hit pay dirt from four yards with 4:26 left in the half. The third score of the second quarter came on Smith’s second touchdown throw. This time he found Jaylen Gordon for the 17 yard beauty.

Bethel kept the Indians at bay through much of the second half then finally broke the game open, scoring on three straight possessions at the end of the third and into the fourth quarters. Senior running back, Matthew Melter scored on a bruising five yard run to make the score 38-26 and followed it up with another 4-yard smash with :45 left in the third quarter. Bethel was up 45-26 and was hungry for more.

Bethel doubled up on Little Axe, 52-26, after Smith’s third touchdown pass of the night. This time he found a little luck and a lot of athleticism from Acklin. Smith tried to hit speedster Drae Wood, but the ball was tipped and Acklin gathered the ball in around the 10 yard line then danced his way in for the score.

The Wildcats scored once more halfway through he fourth quarter on Metscher’s second touchdown of the night. He scored from 10 yards out with 6:32 left. Little Axe scored once more to make the final count 59-34

Bethel improves to 1-2 on the season and will host Sulphur next Friday night to open up district play.