The No. 10-ranked Lindsey Wilson football team overcame a 38-31 third-quarter deficit to defeat No. 23-ranked Bethel 52-38 at Blue Raider Stadium on Senior Day.
After falling behind a touchdown with four minutes left in the third, the Blue Raiders (10-1, 4-1 Mid-South Conference West) rallied off 21 unanswered points to secure their 10th win of the year, matching the program high.
Jalen Sublett was responsible for the last three Lindsey Wilson touchdowns. The senior punched it in from two yards out with two minutes remaining in the third quarter to level the game. Less than four minutes later, Sublett found the end zone on a two-yard rush to give the Blue Raiders their first lead since early in the third quarter.
The Glasgow, Kentucky native iced the game with his longest rush of the afternoon – going 44 yards for the score with 4:59 left in the game.
The three touchdowns were part of a 24-carry, 228-yard day for Sublett, who broke his own single-game rushing record. He set the previous record of 194 yards against Union on Oct. 1, 2016.
Lindsey Wilson and the Wildcats (7-3, 1-3 MSC West) traded leads throughout the first half with neither team gaining much separation.
A pair of rushing touchdowns by Dylan Beasley and Blake Ingleton gave the Blue Raiders a 14-0 lead in the first quarter, but Bethel put together a 12-play, 75-yard scoring drive for their first points of the day. Lindsey Wilson blocked the extra point attempt.
Kerry Sellers II brought Bethel to within one point with a 48-yard scramble in the closing minutes of the first quarter – the first of two rushing touchdowns by the Bethel quarterback. Sellers ended the game with 106 yards gained on the ground.
A quick-strike drive by Lindsey Wilson pushed the lead to 21-13 going into the second stanza. Beasley found Ingleton on an 11-yard touchdown pass to cap a three-play, 61-yard drive – Beasley’s only passing touchdown of the game.
Bethel tacked on three points at 7:25 in the second quarter and turned to its special teams to take its first lead of the day. Quincy Walden returned a Hunter Lovell punt 64 yards for the score with 5:35 left in the half.
The Blue Raiders regained the lead with 20 seconds remaining in the half on a 23-yard field goal by Jared Dougherty, their only points in the second quarter, and led 24-22 at halftime.
The two teams opened the second half by trading touchdowns to make the game 31-29, but Bethel tied the game again with a safety at 7:17 when Cody Clark dragged down Beasley in the end zone – one of Clark’s three sacks in the game. The Wildcat defense finished with seven-1/2 sacks and 10-1/2 tackles for loss.
Bethel marched 64 yards on 11 plays in the ensuing drive. Sellers II scored on a two-yard keeper to give the Wildcats a 38-31 advantage.
The touchdown run was Bethel’s last score as the Blue Raiders shut out Bethel in the fourth quarter – the fourth fourth-quarter shutout posted by the Lindsey Wilson defense this year. The Wildcats possessed the football three times in the fourth and turned it over each time – two via interceptions and one on downs.
Avery Ford shut down any chance of a Bethel comeback with a crucial interception with 3:19 left in the game. The pick was the ninth of Ford’s career, which made him the all-time leader in career interceptions at Lindsey Wilson. The Blue Raiders picked off four passes on Saturday.
Lindsey Wilson out-gained Bethel 485-450. The Blue Raiders amassed 310 yards on the ground and threw for 175 yards. Beasley completed 10 of his 17 attempts and rushed for two touchdowns.
Prior to the game, the 15-man Class of 2016 was honored for its contributions to the program. Its 36 victories are the most ever by a graduating class in Blue Raider football history.
After 11-straight weeks, Lindsey Wilson will be off this coming Saturday. With their play, the Blue Raiders have positioned themselves to compete in the NAIA Football Championship Series Playoffs. The tournament field will be announced on Sunday, Nov. 13.