Hartsock: Lack of lights lead to bizarre ending to Bethel, Northridge game

Published: Saturday, August 25, 2018 @ 5:32 PM

Bethel Bees quarterback Will Reittinger goes through a drill during the first day of preseason high school football practice on Monday, July 30, 2018. MARC PENDLETON / STAFF
MARC PENDLETON / STAFF/MARC PENDLETON / STAFF
Bethel Bees quarterback Will Reittinger goes through a drill during the first day of preseason high school football practice on Monday, July 30, 2018. MARC PENDLETON / STAFF(MARC PENDLETON / STAFF/MARC PENDLETON / STAFF)

The high school football season got off to a bizarre start out for Northridge and Bethel on Friday night.  

The Bees were hosting Northridge and the home team fell behind 18-6 at halftime.

The “bizarre” part of the story came in the second half.  Bethel rallied to take a 21-18 lead late in the fourth quarter, but Northridge had the ball on the Bethel 20-yard line with :50 to play in the game.

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That’s when the lights went out at the stadium and they stayed out for a while.  Bethel head coach Scott Clodfelter said the delay started around 10pm and lasted for a good half hour.

During that time the officiating crew and the two coaches considered options to finish the game, which including busing both teams over to Northridge to play the final :50 or returning to Bethel Saturday morning to finish the game.

Oddly, the lights on the scoreboard never went out, but the stadium lights all went dark.  Clodfelter said a couple of electricians came out of the stands to volunteer their services, but it was a retired Bethel schools maintenance worker who finally fixed the problem.  

When the game finally re-started, Northridge picked up a first down and had the ball on the 10-yard line in the closing seconds.  

Polar Bears running back Kavontae Turpin carried the ball to the five-yard line, but the visitors were out of time outs and an attempt to spike the ball to set up a game tying field goal came after the final horn and Bethel escaped with the 21-18 win.

“The delay certainly helped us,” Clodfelter said.  “We were able to adjust on defense and get some different guys in the game.”

Clodfelter admitted it was one of the strangest finishes he’s been involved in as a coach. 

“We are a young team this year and I was proud of our kids to battle back from being down and then find a way to hold on and win the game.”

Bethel is on the road at Dayton Christian next Friday while Northridge plays a second straight road game, the Polar Bears at are West Carrollton next Friday night.

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