The week-long festivities of the Children’s Center Bowl came to a close with an impressive performance by the Bethany Bronchos in a 48-28 win over Washington Friday night in Bethany — here’s my game story.
And in case you missed it, here’s my story on the importance and impact of the Children’s Center Bowl for our Friday Night Lights series, along with a video and some amazing photos from John Clanton of the teams’ visit to the Children’s Center on Thursday.
The final tally from the fundraising efforts of the two schools was $11,476 for the Children’s Center in Bethany, quite a performance by everyone involved.
As for the game, Bethany has to be feeling confident with their 3-0 start based on the way they’ve played. The Bronchos were a well-oiled machine on Friday night when their starters were on the field. QB Ryley Claborn threw for five touchdonws and 239 yards on 11-of-15 passing. He only threw one pass — a six-yard completion — in the second half.
Defensively, the final statistics probably show a mediocre Bethany performance, but a lot of the Washington yards came after the Bronchos began to sub on defense. Washington barely had 100 yards in the first half as Bethany built a 34-7 lead. Washington’s only first-half points came off a muffed punt recovered inside the 10-yard line.
When you look at the Bethany offensive line, you don’t see how they could possibly be a top-five team in Class 3A, with a couple of guys who aren’t even sniffing 200 pounds. But they do their job. Claborn only got sacked once, and the run game was effective with a committee of running backs that offer a good combination of speed and power.
The passing game obviously relies a lot on Claborn running the show, but you don’t complete 80 percent of your passes with a bunch of stone-hands receivers, either. Gage Diffee had a big day Friday, but John Page, Blake Collins and others give Claborn plenty of passing options.
Washington has gone through a tough non-district schedule that will pay off down the line, even though it probably doesn’t feel that way now. The Warriors have some young players in key positions, so keep an eye on them as the season goes along. Against Class 2A competition, Brad Beller’s squad should be able to handle themselves well.
– Scott Wright, firstname.lastname@example.org