Gunner Smith threw six touchdown passes as the Bethel Wildcats thrashed visiting Douglass, 38-6, Friday night in a District 3A-2 matchup.
BETHEL ACRES — Gunner Smith threw six touchdown passes as the Bethel Wildcats thrashed visiting Douglass, 38-6, Friday night in a District 3A-2 matchup.
Before being relieved by backup quarterback Jesse Tucker in the fourth quarter, Smith, a senior, completed 10 of his 16 attempts for 252 yards. More than half the connections ended in the end zone.
Douglass, which brought 24 uniformed players from east Oklahoma City, did not attempt a pass on the cold, rainy, windy night and had six fumbles, losing three.
With the win, Bethel improved to 5-3 overall and 2-3 in district play. The Trojans (0-8, 0-5) extended their losing streak to 17 games, dating back to August 2018.
Bethel forced a three-and out on Douglass’ opening possession, stuffing the Trojans with losses of 5, 2 and 3 yards. Following a short punt, the home team needed only four plays to score. On 4th-and-9, Smith found Corey Metscher for a 29-yard TD that put the Wildcats up 6-0.
The first Douglass fumble was recovered by Bethel’s Gage Nessel. With the wind still at their backs, the Wildcats struck again as Smith found John Gordon over the middle for a 79-yard catch and run to paydirt.
In the second quarter, an incomplete pass by Bethel on another 4th-and-9 try gave the visitors the ball at the Wildcat 38. Douglass overcame five offensive penalties (three false starts, an illegal substitution, and a hold) early in the possession and sustained a short drive for its only score. Keavontae Broome capped it with a 5-yard run that made the score 12-6.
Bethel regained the momentum late in the quarter with an 83-yard drive that was mostly based on Douglass penalties. The Wildcats managed five first downs in the possession despite running only three plays. Two pass-interference infractions by the Trojans, plus an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty accounted for 45 of the 83 yards. At the Douglass 45, Smith completed a 40-yard pass to Metscher that set up a 15-yard TD toss to Drae Wood.
Douglass was penalized 12 times in the first half for 110 yards. The Trojans ended with 20 penalties for 175.
After leading 18-6 at halftime, the second half was all Bethel. Capitalizing on a nice kickoff return by Wildcat Harrison Thomas into Douglass territory, Smith completed a 32-yard TD strike to Devin Acklin on the first play from scrimmage. Alex Brown’s extra point increased the Wildcats’ advantage to 25-6.
On their next possession, the Wildcats went 88 yards in just five plays, aided by three more Trojan penalties, including a personal foul. The dagger was a 45-yard TD pass from Smith to Acklin.
Douglass responded by losing another fumble, this time at its own 2 as Bethel’s Drew Guinn pounced on the loose ball. Three plays later, Smith found Jaylon Gordon for a 5-yard TD catch.
The Trojans’ only weapon was its run game, rushing 58 times for 297 yards. Broome led the visitors with 135 yards on 25 carries.
Balanced Bethel, on the other hand, called 19 runs and 19 passes. The rushes totaled 72 yards. Tucker, the backup QB who only played in the fourth quarter, wound up being the leading rusher with 38 yards on four attempts.
The win kept Bethel’s playoff hopes alive in District 3A-2. The Wildcats will try to enhance their positioning with another home game next Friday against Marlow.