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Bethel makes history with first-round playoff victory at home

Keven Scrutchins
Bethel's Jesse Tucker (12) delivers a pass Friday night against Comanche in the opening round of the Class 2A playoffs.

BETHEL ACRES - History made.

The Bethel Wildcats captured their first-ever football playoff win Friday night as they defeated the Comanche Indians 27-0 in the opening round of the 2A bracket.

“History,” said Bethel head coach Joey Ginn about his team’s historic win. “This was playoff football tonight and I am so proud of this team.”

The first half was an evenly-matched dogfight. Both teams traded first possession turnovers before Comanche went on a 20-play, 65-yard, 7:16 march to the Bethel 25-yard line.

The Wildcats stiffened and answered the challenge when TJ Ramsey sacked Kooper Doucet on a fourth-and-seven, turning the Indians back.

Bethel answered with a drive of its own, but Comanche’s defense tightened, keeping the Wildcats out of the end zone on a Jesse Tucker incompletion on fourth down and eight from the Indians' 8-yard line.

Bethel had another scoring chance in the second quarter, but Gabriel Palomares missed a 25-yard field goal attempt with 5:34 left in the half. The two teams went into intermission deadlocked at zero.

Bethel, which deferred after winning the pregame coin toss, received the second half kickoff and turned the game around in 16 seconds. Senior Drae Wood fielded the kickoff at his own 27-yard line and found an opening down the near sideline. Wood then planted his left foot at the Comanche 30 and darted right and outran the coverage into the end zone for the 73-yard score.

“We work, we work, we work on this,” said Ginn “They did a great job of opening it up for him (Wood) and our second level blocked well and he finished it off with his speed.”

The Wildcats led 7-0 and never looked back.

On Comanche’s next possession, Bethel forced a Doucet fumble and recovered the ball on the Indian 25-yard line. Bethel needed just three plays to go up 14-0 with 8:52 remaining in the third quarter. Dez Loving went untouched up the middle of the Indians defense for the 9-yard score.

Bethel forced Comanche into a punt on the next possession and scored on another three-play drive. This drive was an 82-yard big-play event. Quarterback Jesse Tucker started things off with a 35-yard scamper and then hit Corey Metscher out of the backfield for a 32-yard pitch and catch. Metscher finished it off with a 17-yard run with 4:49 left in the third and increased the Bethel advantage to 21-0.

In the second half, the Wildcat defense was very impressive. Bethel recovered one fumble and picked off Doucet three times to secure the first round playoff win.

Gage Nessel got the first pick in the third quarter and Gage Porter picked off Doucet twice in the fourth.

“The turnovers really helped us,” said Ginn. Bethel registered the final score after the first Porter pick. Metscher scored his second TD of the game from 20 yards out with 9:52 left in the contest. Metscher finished with 124 yards on 21 carries and scored twice for the Wildcats.

Next, Bethel will travel to face the Marlow Outlaws Friday night in the second round of the Class 2A playoffs. Marlow had a bye in the first round.

“We have played them the past couple of years,” said Ginn. “They will play physical.”