Farm, Defense Lead Royals in Clipping of Cobbers, 21-16
Nate Farm made two interceptions and led the Bethel University defense in tackles to help lead the Royals to the 21-16 victory over Concordia College on Saturday. The defense held the Cobbers to only 258 yards of total offense, including just 81 on the ground. Bethel quarterback Jaran Roste threw for 296 yards and added a rushing and a throwing touchdown, and Bryce Kunkle rushed for 77 yards and another score.
The defenses dominated the early portion of this contest, as three punts and a turnover on downs were the results for the first two possessions for each team. On the third possession of the game for Concordia, Farm picked off a Tanner Dubois pass at the Bethel 43, returning it to the 47 before he was tackled.
That gave Roste the ball near midfield, and he made the most of the opportunity, completing an 18-yard pass to Sid Boros to start the drive, moving the ball into Cobbers’ territory. Boros then carried the ball on each of the next two plays, earning another fresh set of downs before Roste found Aaron Ellingson for 16 yards and a first down to the 8-yard line. After a pass play to Ellingson was snuffed out, dropping the running back for 13-yard loss, Roste found Ellingson once again, this time for 21 yards and a touchdown to put his team on top by seven.
Concordia responded right away, moving 70 yards in 15 plays before Ben Hoggarth scored from 1 yard out to pull the Cobbers within one. Concordia methodically moved down the field, with only one play generating as much as 10 yards on the drive.
After watching the Cobbers put together a 15-play drive, the Royals opted to put together one of their own, moving 75 yards, taking 5:45 off the clock. Four times on the drive Bethel was faced with a third-down, converting on each instance, that included when they faced a third and goal at the 4 yard line. Kunkle carried the ball for 3 yards, setting up first and goal, where Roste scored on the next play to give Bethel a 14-6 lead.
Concordia added three points just before the end of the half. Damien Silus hit a 42-yard field goal to cut the deficit to five.
Bethel looked to add points just before the end of the half, moving quickly down the field to the Concordia 26, but Roste’s pass to Ellingson fell incomplete on the final play before the break.
The Royals took the opening kickoff of the second half, and moved down the field, adding their third touchdown of the day following a nine play, 87-yard drive. The big playe of the drive came on second and one from their own 31-yard line when Roste went up top to Joey Kidder for 46 yards. Two plays later, Roste connected with Ellingson for a 15-yard gain down to the Cobbers 7 yard line. Three plays later, Kunkle burst up the middle, recording the 5-yard touchdown to make it a 21-9 lead.
The Cobbers offense was having no success against Bethel. The defense was shutting them down, but a play by the Concordia defense helped to get them back in the contest. With a little over nine minutes left in the game, Noah Jenson tackled Roste, forcing a fumble. Jenson recovered the ball at his own 42, racing 58 yards for a touchdown to make it a 21-16 Bethel lead.
The Concordia defense was able to force a turnover on downs on the next possession for the Royals, but the Bethel defense stiffened, as Farm made his second interception of the day at the Bethel 10-yard line to preserve the 21-16 victory.
Farm had a big day, making two interceptions and 10 tackles to lead the team. Farm now has five interceptions on the season. Roste completed 21 of 40 passes for 296 yards and a TD. He also had 13 carries for 41 yards and a score. Kunkle carried the ball 22 times for 76 yards and a touchdown.
Dubois completed 22 of 34 passes for 177 yards and two interceptions. Jenson finished second with 11 tackles and had two forced fumbles for Concordia.
Bethel University (5-1) will welcome Macalester College (1-5). Kickoff is scheduled for 1:00 p.m.
by Robert Pannier