2021 Snapshot: Bethel-Tate

Bethel-Tate WR Gauge Dunn (photo courtesy of Bethel-Tate athletics)

Things just keep getting better and better for Bethel-Tate football. The Tigers won the SBAAC National (with an unblemished mark in divisional play) and picked up the first two playoff victories in school history, last fall. Bethel-Tate made its first postseason appearance six years ago, in 2015. The five seasons prior to that, the Tigers were a combined 9-41 with five of those wins coming in 2014. It is nothing short of remarkable to not only see how far this program has come but its continuance of building upon its recent success.

“It seems every year experience is our strength. All three phases of the game return a majority of players,” head coach Jeff Essig states. “This senior class has many players who will be three-year starters and even some who will be four-year starters. We have relied heavily on this senior class and look to their leadership once again as they finish their Bethel-Tate careers.”

There are question marks at quarterback and on both sides of the line. “These weaknesses could potentially become strengths. We have competition at these positions with players who have already experienced the Friday Night Lights at the highest level (three playoff games),” Essig says.

These are good problems to have with a veteran squad. Expect Bethel-Tate, to not only make the playoffs but do some damage once they get there.

Bethel-Tate WR Wyatt Burton (photo courtesy of Bethel-Tate athletics)

Division IV, Region 16
2020 RECORD: 7-3, 5-0 SBAAC National
COACH: Jeff Essig (34-18 at Bethel-Tate, five years; 34-18 overall)

Gauge Dunn
, Sr, WR/DB – Will go down as one the greatest players to ever lace ‘em up at Bethel-Tate. Dunn was named the SBAAC National Player of the Year, OPSWA Division IV Second Team All-Ohio (WR) and Honorable Mention All-Tri State Football after catching 58 balls for 820 yards and 15 touchdowns, as a junior. He is Bethel-Tate’s all-time leader in receptions (179), receiving yards (2,328) and receiving touchdowns (33). Dunn is on pace to end his career in the Top 20 all-time in receptions and receiving touchdowns, in the state of Ohio. On defense, he has seven takeaways (five INTs, two FRs) in his career.
By The Numbers: Gauge Dunn

Wyatt Burton, Sr, WR – Can change a game with his speed. Burton averaged 23.1 yards on 33 receptions for 763 yards and six touchdowns, as a junior. He had at least one reception of 40-plus yards in seven of the Tigers 10 games. That performance led to OPSWA Division IV Second Team All-Southwest District honors. Burton has 69 receptions for 1,268 yards and 14 touchdown catches, in his career.

Ethan “Bubba” Carter, Sr, WR – a dynamic playmaker who had a breakout season, as a junior. Carter caught 39 balls for 717 yards, amassed 1,131 all-purpose yards, averaged 21.9 yards on 15 kickoff returns and had eight touchdowns (seven rec, one KR). He was named OPSWA Division IV Second Team All-Southwest District for his work.

Mikey Molloy, Sr, RB – The Tigers featured running back. Molloy ran for 822 yards, had 15 receptions for 126 yards and found the end zone 11 times (10 rush, one rec) on his way to OPSWA Division IV Second Team All-Southwest District accolades, in 2020.

Norman “Bubba” Darnell Jr., Sr, RB/LB – The leader of the defense and a four-year starter. Darnell Jr. was named OPSWA Division IV Second Team All-Southwest District, as a junior. He has four-and-a-half sacks and five takeaways (three FRs, two INTs) in a Tigers uniform.

Bethel-Tate LB Norman “Bubba” Darnell Jr. (photo courtesy of Bethel-Tate athletics)

Ethan Molloy, Sr, OL/DL – The leader of the Tigers o-line who will also spot when needed at defensive tackle. The 5-foot-10, 300-pound Molloy was a OPSWA Division IV Second Team All-Southwest District selection, as a junior.

Blake Stiles, Sr, DB – A three-year starter and leader of the secondary. Stiles has shown improvement every year. He was an Honorable Mention All-SBAAC National selection, as a junior. Stiles has two career interceptions.

Hank Williams, Sr, LB – A key cog to the defensive unit. Williams was named Honorable Mention All-SBAAC National, as a junior. He has two sacks and five takeaways (one FR, four INTs) in his career.

Seth Vining
, Sr, QB – Will battle Cameron Snider for the job at starting quarterback. Vining threw for 425 yards and five touchdowns in four games, as a junior. He had 243 yards and two touchdown tosses in a win over Williamsburg.

Cameron Snider, So, QB – Looks to win the job as the Tigers starting signal-caller. Snider was impressive as a freshman throwing for 621 yards and six touchdowns in four tilts. He threw for 257 yards and three touchdowns in a playoff loss at Clinton-Massie.
Freshman of Influence: Class of 2024

There are plenty of holes to fill on each side of the line. Senior OL Jacob Hatfield and junior OL Korbin Dearing will look to fill a void at the tackle positions. On defense, senior DL Noah Iker along with juniors DL Caleb Lanigan and DL Austin Brookenthal hope to crack the starting lineup.

Bethel-Tate RB Mikey Molloy (photo from Facebook: BHSsportspage)

(three appearances, 2-3) – 2020, 2017, 2015

Fri – 08/20/21 – at CCPA (4-4 in 2020) – 7:00 PM
Fri – 08/27/21 – at New Richmond (5-3) – 7:00 PM
Fri – 09/03/21 – at Taylor (3-5) – 7:00 PM
Fri – 09/10/21 – TAFT (4-2) – 7:00 PM
Fri – 09/17/21 – BATAVIA (2-6) – 7:00 PM
Fri – 09/24/21 – EAST CLINTON (4-6) – 7:00 PM
Th – 09/30/21 – CLERMONT NORTHEASTERN (2-8) – 7:00 PM
Fri – 10/08/21 – at Blanchester (6-2) – 7:00 PM
Fri – 10/15/21 – WILLIAMSBURG (3-7) – 7:00 PM
Fri – 10/22/21 – at Fayetteville-Perry (5-3) – 7:00 PM

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