LAKELAND, Fl. –The Bethel Wildcats made the long trip to Lakeland, Florida to face the No. 16 Fire of Southeastern University Saturday. It proved to be a long night for the Wildcats especially on defense as the Fire beat the Cats 62-13.
Bethel trailed 14-7 when Sam Castronova (JR/Buffalo, NY) hit Jocquise Upton (SR/Nashville, TN ) for a 14-yard touchdown strike with 4:23 left in the first quarter. That would be as close as the Cats would be in the game as Southeastern exploded for 48 unanswered points to lead 62-7. Senior quarterback Braxton Baugus (JR/Trenton, TN) engineered an impressive 12 play 77-yard drive to make it 62-13 with 2:40 left in the contest.
Jarrell Reynolds rushed for 136 yards for the Fire.
Southeastern rushed for 362 yards and passed for 254 in the game. Bethel had 157 yards on the ground and 189 passing yards. The Fire outgained Bethel 616 yards to 346 in total offense. The Fire had a 28-21 advantage in first downs.
Bethel picked off three Fire passes but the Wildcats fumbled three times losing two on the night. Demetrice Gilbert (FR/Atlanta, GA) picked off two Fire passes while Erin Francis (SO/Atlanta, GA) had the other interception for the Wildcats.
Southeastern improved to 2-0 while Bethel dropped to 1-1.
The Wildcats return home Saturday to face Cumberlands (KY) at 1:30 p.m. Cumberlands travels to McKenzie at 1-1 after losing a 42-40 heartbreaker at home Saturday.