Sat, Sep. 29, 2012
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Bethany coach Jamie Cruce knows Avila (Mo.) is winless in its four games this season.
Looking at video of the Eagles, though, he sees a pretty decent football team.
"Their talent level is good, they're very comparable to us," Cruce said of the Swedes' non-conference opponent at 2 p.m. today at Anderson Stadium in Lindsborg. "They have a good offensive line, they have a tough running back, two quarterbacks -- one who can run -- both defensive ends are talented and their middle linebacker's good. We don't feel we have a distinct advantage over them."
Avila lost at home to No. 13-ranked MidAmerica Nazarene 38-9 last week and 66-5 at No. 5 Missouri Valley the previous week.
"You almost have to throw those two games out," Cruce said. "Those are two very good teams. Before that they lost to Central Methodist (Mo.) by eight (28-20) and to the new Lindenwood (Ill.) by six (43-37)."
Bethany (2-2) suffered a difficult 33-31 loss to rival Kansas Wesleyan last week at home in the 100th meeting between the two schools. The defense struggled, but the offense had its best game of the season so far, piling up 512 total yards -- more than 400 the second half.
Tevis Linnebur had 149 yards rushing and two touchdowns, and Darby House threw for 322 yards and three touchdowns.
"That goes a long ways to help our guys' confidence," Cruce said. "We made some big plays. Tevis ran the ball very well, and Darby made good decisions and some tough throws. We're definitely happy with how we performed the second half."
Linnebur leads the Kansas Conference in rushing at 110 yards per game while House is third in passing at 199 yards.
Despite last week's problems, Bethany continues to lead the KCAC in scoring defense at 14.8 points per game.
Cruce's biggest concern today is, again, the offensive line where starters Marcus Bailey and Caton Scarry will miss today's game because of injuries.
Another concern is penalties -- the Swedes had 12 for 110 yards last week.
"We have to clean up our play," Cruce said. "We're 2-2 and are only worried about preparing for our next opponent. It doesn't matter if it's a non-conference game or not."