Sophomore quarterback Matt Grimard threw for 232 yards and a pair of first half touchdowns and then rushed for two scores in the second half, as the Bethany College football team opened the 2011 season with a 28-7 victory at Allegheny Saturday night in Meadville.
The Bison built a 14-0 halftime lead behind two second-quarter touchdowns. The first was a 55-yard scoring pass from Grimard to sophomore WR Daryl Powell with 6:40 to play in the half. Bethany then closed the half with a 12-play, 95-yard drive capped by a six-yard touchdown pass from Grimard to junior WR Ed Holmes with only 11 seconds showing on the clock.
Allegheny opened the second half with an eight-play, 66-yard drive and found the end zone for the first time on a 31-yard scoring pass from Jordan Fowler to Sean Griffin. The Bison would control the majority of the third quarter after that, using nearly seven minutes for their next scoring drive late in the period. Using 11 plays to march 77 yards, Grimard kept it for an 11-yard touchdown run to push the lead back to 21-7 after three quarters.
Bethany secured the win in the final quarter thanks to a Gator turnover. An Allegheny fumble was recovered by senior DE Kasib Taalib-Din at the Gator 31. After a 26-yard run by Holmes, Grimard bulled in from five yards out to extend the lead to 28-7. Allegheny's last chance ended when Jeff Joyce picked off his second pass of the game and the Bison ran out the clock to win their first season opener since a 24-7 triumph at Hiram in 2007.
Grimard had a big effort in the win, going 11-for-18 through the air for 232 yards and the two scores and adding 69 yards on the ground to go along with those two touchdowns. senior RB Eric Walker finished as the game's leading rusher with 80 yards on 17 carries and Holmes was the top receiver with four grabs for 72 yards.
The Bison defense had an impressive performance in the win, holding Allegheny to 189 total yards, including just 61 on the ground. Arrington made a team-best 10 stops and the team forced three turnovers and had two sacks.
Bethany will open the home portion of the schedule next Saturday with a match-up against King's at 1 p.m.