PURCELL — Back-and-forth, back-and-forth.

That’s how Bethel coach Joey Ginn described his squad’s 43-33 setback to Purcell Thursday night in a District 3A-2 squabble.

Down 14-0 at the outset and 14-13 at halftime, Bethel took the lead on three second-half occasions, the last when Corey Metscher scored on a 26-yard screen pass from Gunner Smith to give Bethel a 33-28 advantage in the fourth quarter.

But Purcell responded with a TD to go up 36-33 and Bethel couldn’t score in its final two possessions. Purcell scored an insurance touchdown with a minute remaining.

Devin Acklin opened Bethel’s scoring with a 6-yard run and the Wildcats scored on a 67-yard hook-and-lateral for their second TD of the opening half. Jaylon Gordon, who took a pass from Smith, lateraled the ball to Acklin.

Bethel’s first lead, 20-14 in the third quarter, came on a 22-yard Drae Wood reception. Bethel’s second lead, 27-21, came on a 63-yard screen-pass reception by Acklin.

Bethel fell to 4-3 overall and 1-3 in 3A-2. Purcell is 2-2 in district and 3-4 overall

“I am proud of our kids’ fight,” Ginn said. “We were down early and fought back.”

Note: Report compiled by contributing writer Fred Fehr.