BETHANY - In an unexpected defensive struggle that saw no offensive touchdowns, Westminster edged Bethany, 7-6, Saturday afternoon at Bison Stadium.
The key play of the game came with just 44 seconds remaining in the contest as Westminster's Dylan Heitmeier blocked a Stephen Amic punt and recovered it in the end zone for the go- ahead score.
The first half was controlled by the Bethany defense, as the Bison held Westminster to 84 total yards of offense.
The first six drives of the contest proved fruitless for both teams as no drive lasted more than five plays.
With 8:26 left to play in the first quarter, the Bison made their first push. Aided by a Titan personal foul penalty, and completing a pass to five different receivers, including a 35-yard strike to Jaylen Jennings, senior QB Matt Grimard had the Bison first-and-goal from the Westminster 10. However, the team could not get into the end zone, and Bethany settled for a 23-yard field goal attempt, which was converted by Pedro Lalor, to give the Bison a 3-0 lead.
After forcing Westminster to go three-and-out in the second quarter, the Bison again went on a long drive, using 14 plays and 7:19 of clock time to go 57 yards. Grimard once again marched the Bison down the field, not gaining more than eight yards on any given play and had Bethany knocking on the door again with a first-and-goal from the Westminster three. The drive would once again stall in the red zone, and Lalor would add his second field goal of the game, this one of the 22-yard variety, and the Bison would go up 6-0. The teams would go into the locker room with Bethany leading by the same score.
The defense held the Titans to just 52 total yards in the first half until the last play of the frame, when, in prevent defense, the Bison gave up a 30-yard gain to Collin Wallace, which would prove to be Westminster's longest play of the day.
Despite the loss, the Bison defense played arguably their best game of the season, holding the Westminster offense to just 232 total yards, including only 82 passing yards.
Led by 3.0 tackles for loss by Jarrett Rahymes and 2.5 from Larry Kpadehyea, the Bison "D" totaled 11 tackles for loss in the contest and held an opponent to its lowest point total since defeating Thiel, 20-0, in 2011.
Bethany returns to action on Saturday, November 2 when it hosts the Tomcats of Thiel College for Bethany's final home game of the season. The game will also be senior day for the Green & White as Bison senior class members will be recognized before the game.