Gunner Smith went out and set two single-season records as the Bethel Wildcats beat up Douglass 52-14 Friday evening
OKLAHOMA CITY – Gunner Smith went out and set two single-season records as the Bethel Wildcats beat up Douglass 52-14 Friday evening.
“Our kids work hard and compete every week,” Coach Joey Ginn said. “I'm very excited and any time you play a team with talented athletes like Douglass, it's a good win.”
A 30-yard touchdown pass from Smith to Devin Acklin put Bethel on the scoreboard first. After an Alex Brown extra point, Bethel took an early 7-0 lead.
Gabel Ledbetter recovered a fumble, setting the Wildcats up with ideal field position, but were unable to capitalize on their second offensive possession.
On Bethel's third possession of the game, the Smith to Acklin connection went for 58 yards and a touchdown. Brown's kick was good and Bethel extended its lead to 14-0.
With 11:05 remaining in the second quarter, Antonio Johnson connected with a wide open Leontez Bethany for a 44-yard touchdown. David Arriaga put the ball through the uprights and the Trojans trailed 14-7.
On the ensuing Bethel possession, Smith punched the ball in from two yards out.
With 5:10 remaining in the first half, Bethel stretched the lead to 24-7 after a 35-yard field goal from Brown.
With less than three minutes in the first half, Smith broke his own single-season yardage record with a 13-yard completion to Drae Wood.
“I'm not really concerned with individual records,” Smith said. “My main goal is to help Bethel get to the playoffs and win games. The main thing is we picked up the win tonight.”
Jaylon Gordon's first reception of the game came with 21 seconds left before halftime. With the touchdown reception and extra point, Bethel took a commanding 31-7 lead into the locker room at halftime.
“I reminded them we needed to keep up the intensity and they did a good job of that,” Ginn said. “We messed up a couple times but overall I think our kids did a great job.”
Smith threw his fourth touchdown of the game on the Wildcats' first possession of the second half. Wood scored from four yards out and the Brown extra point gave Bethel a 38-7 lead with just under 11 minutes remaining in the third quarter.
Bethany kept things interesting with a 23-yard touchdown run. After the Arriaga extra point, Bethel held a 38-14 lead with 8:29 remaining in the third quarter.
With 3:34 on the third quarter clock, Smith set the Bethel single-season completion record with a four-yard pass to Wood. A few plays later, Matthew Melter got in on the scoring with a four-yard touchdown run. At the end of the third frame, Bethel led 45-14.
In the fourth quarter, Smith tossed his fifth touchdown of the contest. This one went to Dezmen Loving and capped the Bethel scoring assault.
Acklin picked off Bethany, preventing Douglass from scoring late in the fourth quarter.
In the record setting performance, Smith completed 24 of 36 passes for 236 yards and five touchdowns. He also added 40 yards and a touchdown on the ground.Smith maintains the area lead in passing yards and touchdowns, totaling 1,900 yards and 21 touchdowns.
Acklin hauled in nine passes for 112 yards and two scores. Wood finished second on the team in receiving with 57 yards and a touchdown.
Melter carried the ball 12 times for 55 yards and one touchdown.
Bethel (2-6, 1-4) will return to action Oct. 26 with a road game against Marlow (4-4, 3-2).