/playoffs/2010/bethel-ust-rematch

The rematch

More news about: Bethel | St. Thomas
Jared Schultz
Bethel relies heavily on freshmen in the receiving corps, such as Jared Schultz.
Photo by Ryan Coleman, d3photography.com

By Brian Hunsicker
for D3sports.com

The football adage goes that it’s hard to beat a team twice in the same season. It’s a central theme when teams from the same conference meet in the playoffs, as Bethel and St. Thomas – two MIAC foes – do Saturday.

Both coaches agree, but up to a point.

St. Thomas coach Glenn Caruso sees positives and negatives: the benefit of one more win, though that’s tempered by the fact that his team cannot afford any letup in its preparation. Bethel coach Steve Johnson said that he’s been asked by media outlets about the Royals seeking revenge for the Oct. 23 loss; that’s not a factor, he said, since both teams will still need to execute the fundamentals.

Home for the holidays
According to the NCAA's mileage chart, this is the shortest travel matchup of the playoffs.

Miles traveled by UST's opponents: 4,272
Miles driven by Bethel: 1,214
Saturday's round trip: 20

But this is a game that figures to go beyond platitudes; the two schools are neighbors, after all, their campuses are separated by less than 10 miles. Their regular season matchup was a taut affair, with Tommy Becker’s interception in the final minutes allowing the Tommies to close out a 10-6 win. Local media has been paying attention too: Johnson said his team got a jolt out of ending practice one day this week, only to find crews from three television stations waiting to do interviews.

And, as Johnson said, it will come down to fundamentals.

“They’re very comfortable in their own skin,” Caruso said of Bethel. “They play great defense, they can run the football and they take selected deep shots.”

Steve Johnson
Glenn Caruso
Bethel coach Steve Johnson, top, St. Thomas coach Glenn Caruso know each other's team well.

Indeed, St. Thomas’ offense – which ranks 14th in Division III in points per game – and Bethel’s defense will be the marquee matchup. The Royals’ unit boasts incredible team statistics: top 10 nationally in rushing defense, scoring defense and total defense.

That’s not to say the other the side of the ball for both teams won’t matter. The Tommies will have to find a way to stop senior running back Logan Flannery, who averages just over 138 rushing yards per game. Flannery hasn’t been held under 100 yards since a late October win against Concordia-Moorhead.

Bethel should also benefit from the return of left tackle Kyle Wahlund, who missed the Royals’ second-round win against Wheaton with an injury. Johnson said he expects Wahlund to be back in the lineup.

As with the pros and cons over meeting for the second time this season, both teams see benefits to having the game at St. Thomas. Travel will be easy for Bethel – unlike the past two weeks, which saw them travel more than 600 miles combined to Wartburg and Wheaton. And St. Thomas has a decided homefield advantage, boasting a 15-game winning streak at O’Shaughnessy Stadium.

Rarely does early December provide a regional rivalry game, and that – aside from the platitudes and the matchups – may make this game most interesting.

“The coaches, we’re tight-knit in this league,” Johnson said. “We want to beat the socks off of each other, and this is a rivalry. But it’s a rivalry that’s good, not a jackass rivalry.”

Oct. 20: All times Eastern
Final
at Johns Hopkins 52, Gettysburg 0
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Oct. 21: All times Eastern
Final
at Framingham State 29, Westfield State 14
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Final
Moravian 20, at Juniata 17
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Final
at Salve Regina 41, Endicott 14
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Final
at Thomas More 63, St. Vincent 13
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Final
at Union 28, Hobart 23
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Final
at Hamilton 27, Colby 24
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Final
at Christopher Newport 27, William Paterson 19
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Final
at Ithaca 35, St. John Fisher 10
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Final
at Allegheny 44, Kenyon 35
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SUNY-Maritime 21, at Mount Ida 13
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Middlebury 43, at Bates 14
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Final
at Springfield 68, Catholic 20
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Final
at Amherst 23, Wesleyan 19
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Final
at Trinity (Conn.) 63, Bowdoin 14
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Final
Husson 48, at Gallaudet 21
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Final
Wabash 35, at Oberlin 21
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Final
at Utica 34, Buffalo State 12
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Final
Ohio Northern 7, at Muskingum 6
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Final
at Frostburg State 62, Montclair State 3
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Final
at Wesley 34, Rowan 3
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Final
at Stevenson 26, Albright 23
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Final
Wittenberg 52, at DePauw 6
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Final
at Albion 31, Alma 28
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Final
at Guilford 45, Shenandoah 20
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Final
Plymouth State 40, at Massachusetts Maritime 14
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Final
Wooster 58, at Hiram 25
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Final
Washington and Lee 36, at Hampden-Sydney 6
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Final
at Anna Maria 36, Alfred State 34
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Final
Bridgewater 31, at Emory and Henry 23
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Final
at FDU-Florham 49, Wilkes 31
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Final
Lebanon Valley 17, at Misericordia 0
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Final
at St. Lawrence 36, Rochester 14
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Final
RPI 30, at Alfred 15
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Final
at Curry 46, Nichols 16
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Final
at Salisbury 42, Southern Virginia 0
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Final
Ferrum 27, at Brevard 24
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Final
Randolph-Macon 63, at Apprentice 14
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Final
at Susquehanna 21, Ursinus 14
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Final
Cortland 34, at Morrisville State 20
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Final
at Trine 50, Hope 14
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Final
Trinity (Texas) 27, at Sewanee 21
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Final
Wartburg 41, at Luther 16
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Final
at Franklin and Marshall 56, Dickinson 0
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Final
Tufts 21, at Williams 13
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Final
Mount Union 66, at Wilmington 7
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Final
MIT 30, at Coast Guard 21
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Final
at Norwich 24, Maine Maritime 22
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Final
at Marietta 44, Heidelberg 21
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Final
Franklin 29, at Rose-Hulman 22
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Final
John Carroll 48, at Capital 21
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Final
at Manchester 28, Bluffton 21
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Final
Mount St. Joseph 71, at Anderson 27
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Final
UW-Whitewater 20, at UW-River Falls 7
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Final
Kean 26, at TCNJ 3
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Final
at LaGrange 59, Greensboro 10
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Final
at Worcester State 45, Mass-Dartmouth 40
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Final
Muhlenberg 40, at McDaniel 13
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Final
Western New England 45, at Becker 0
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Final
at Maryville (Tenn.) 35, Methodist 14
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Final
Adrian 36, at Kalamazoo 22
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Final
Denison 31, at Ohio Wesleyan 20
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Final - OT
at Washington and Jefferson 34, Westminster (Pa.) 33
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Final
Berry 37, at Millsaps 22
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Final
at Benedictine 43, Olivet 37
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Final
Birmingham-Southern 31, at Austin 24
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Final
at Mary Hardin-Baylor 45, Belhaven 7
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Final
at UW-Stout 23, UW-Stevens Point 17
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Final
Eureka 37, at MacMurray 20
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Final
at Illinois Wesleyan 13, Carthage 10
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Final
Nebraska Wesleyan 14, at Buena Vista 13
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Final
Lakeland 48, at Wisconsin Lutheran 0
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Final
at Aurora 28, Rockford 21
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Final
at Concordia-Chicago 37, Concordia (Wis.) 17
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Final
at St. Olaf 29, Carleton 26
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Final
at St. John's 41, Gustavus Adolphus 17
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Final
at Concordia-Moorhead 42, Augsburg 20
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Final
St. Thomas 84, at Hamline 0
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Final
Westminster (Mo.) 24, at Greenville 14
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Final
at Loras 44, Coe 38
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Final
Monmouth 61, at Cornell 10
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Final
Wheaton (Ill.) 56, at North Park 0
Final
Northwestern (Minn.) 30, at Martin Luther 14
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Final
Hardin-Simmons 33, at Texas Lutheran 30
Box Score Photos
Final
at Lake Forest 70, Grinnell 6
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Final
at Millikin 56, Carroll 35
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Final
at Macalester 47, Ripon 31
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Final
at St. Norbert 38, Lawrence 6
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Final
St. Scholastica 49, at Crown 21
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Final
at Iowa Wesleyan 24, Minnesota-Morris 17
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Final
UW-Platteville 34, at UW-Eau Claire 14
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Final
at WPI 41, Merchant Marine 7
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2:30 PM
Rhodes at Centre
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Final
Hanover 49, at Earlham 14
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Final
at Chicago 55, Beloit 12
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Final
UW-Oshkosh 42, at UW-La Crosse 28
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3:00 PM
Simpson at Dubuque
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Final
at North Central (Ill.) 54, Augustana 2
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3:00 PM
East Texas Baptist at Louisiana College
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10:30 2ndQ
0 Hartwick
24 Brockport
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3rd - 08:12
20 Western Connecticut
7 Bridgewater State
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3rd (3:04)
24 Chapman
15 La Verne
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3rd Quarter
10 Pacific
7 Lewis and Clark
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3rd - 10:05
27 Pacific Lutheran
0 Willamette
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Halftime
7 Puget Sound
31 Whitworth
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3rd - 08:03
25 Redlands
17 Claremont-Mudd-Scripps
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Start 3rd
0 George Fox
6 Linfield
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5:00 PM
Sul Ross State at Howard Payne
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6:00 PM
Dean at Castleton
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6:00 PM
N.C. Wesleyan at Averett
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7:00 PM
Baldwin Wallace at Otterbein
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7:00 PM
Case Western Reserve at Geneva
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7:00 PM
Carnegie Mellon at Thiel
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7:00 PM
Knox at Illinois College
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10:00 PM
Whittier at Cal Lutheran
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Cancelled
Occidental at Pomona-Pitzer
Oct. 20: All times Eastern
Final
at Johns Hopkins 52, Gettysburg 0
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Oct. 21: All times Eastern
Final
at Wesley 34, Rowan 3
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Final
at Frostburg State 62, Montclair State 3
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Final
Wittenberg 52, at DePauw 6
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Final
at Springfield 68, Catholic 20
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Final
Wartburg 41, at Luther 16
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Final
Mount Union 66, at Wilmington 7
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Final
at Marietta 44, Heidelberg 21
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Final - OT
at Washington and Jefferson 34, Westminster (Pa.) 33
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Final
Hardin-Simmons 33, at Texas Lutheran 30
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Final
at Mary Hardin-Baylor 45, Belhaven 7
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Final
St. Thomas 84, at Hamline 0
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Final
at St. John's 41, Gustavus Adolphus 17
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Final
at Illinois Wesleyan 13, Carthage 10
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Final
at Concordia-Moorhead 42, Augsburg 20
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Final
Berry 37, at Millsaps 22
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Final
UW-Platteville 34, at UW-Eau Claire 14
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Final
UW-Oshkosh 42, at UW-La Crosse 28
Video
Final
at North Central (Ill.) 54, Augustana 2
Video
10:30 2ndQ
0 Hartwick
24 Brockport
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Start 3rd
0 George Fox
6 Linfield
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7:00 PM
Case Western Reserve at Geneva
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