Point football loses to No. 14 Bethel, 48-21

Published 11:00 am Tuesday, October 1, 2019

VALLEY — The Point University football team (1-4) fell to NAIA No. 14-ranked Bethel University (3-1) 48-21 this past Saturday afternoon.

The Skyhawks had two red-zone drives end in missed field goals in the first half, starting the game in a 34-0 deficit.

“We’ve got to get in our guys’ mindset that it’s no good to start a drive if you’re not going to finish it,” Point University head football coach Julius Dixon said. “When we get in the red zone, we have to turn into savage beasts, with nothing stopping us from getting that touchdown or those points. I thought the first drive of the game was our best first offensive drive of this season.”

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On the first offensive drive of the day, senior running back Marquez Jackson quickly led Point down to midfield, before an international grounding penalty was called that pushed Point back 15 yards. The series ended in a punt for the Skyhawks.

“The [drive] came against a quality opponent and it made me think that ‘hey, we’re ready,’” Dixon said. “We took the ball right down the field, but we didn’t finish. It’s not just about driving down there, we have to finish and we have to keep the mindset to finish.”

Sophomore quarterback Micah Maxey completed a 15-yard touchdown pass to freshman tight end Jaikobee Gamble with 14 seconds remaining in the first half. A pair of 20-yard-plus completions to Gamble in the fourth quarter from sophomore quarterback Keenan Wise resulted in another Skyhawks touchdown in the fourth quarter, which was an acrobatic jump ball won by freshman wide receiver Chris Jones in the right corner of the end zone. Gamble led Point on the day with 72 receiving yards on four catches, averaging 18 yards on each catch.

“We’ve seen Jaikobee and we realize how much of a special talent he is,” Dixon said. “We just haven’t been able to let everybody else know how special he is. Game planning in the future, finding different ways to get him the ball, or get matchups in our favor, is something that we’ve got to look to do.”

Sophomore running back Tyrique Robinson also scored a touchdown to begin the fourth quarter in the effort.

Dixon said that he was underwhelmed by the Skyhawks’ effort on special teams and defensively. He said he plans to show the team film from the first half of the season to show them that when the players lock in mentally on the field, they’re a tough team to beat. 

Wise and Maxey are still splitting reps behind center for Point. Dixon said that he’s still holding off on naming a definite starter until one of the players’ stand out from the other. On Saturday, Wise completed 10-of-18 pass attempts for 148 yards and a touchdown. Wise was sacked once in the contest. Maxey completed 11-of-16 passes for 142 yards and a touchdown while being sacked four times in the contest.

All of Point’s four losses have come against ranked opponents this season. The fall’s lone win came against the Skyhawks’ only unranked opponent this season in St. Thomas University. The program was given two days off for the team’s bye week before returning to practice this Wednesday to prepare for Cincinnati Christian on Oct. 12, Point’s second unranked opponent of the season.

“This is phase two,” Dixon said. “We knew what was coming. I think the games that we have played thus far have more than prepared us for what we’re going to see in the conference. Now, it’s just up to us to decide to match our mental play with our physical play and in six weeks from now, if we do that, I’ve got a pretty good idea of where we’ll be.”

Dixon declined to specify his exact idea for where he’ll think the team will be.

The next home game for Point will be on Oct. 19 against NAIA No. 21-ranked Reinhardt.