Bethel offense leads second half charge
INDIANOLA - Knotted at zero after a half of play, the Bethel offense scored on 4 of 5 possessions in the second half in a 34-12 win against Simpson on Saturday afternoon.
The Royals (1-0), ranked sixth in the Lindy's Sports Preseason Poll, out-gained Simpson 503-185 on the day. Bethel gained 300 yards on the ground, led by Logan Flannery who carried 22 times for 161 yards and two touchdowns.
Defensively, Bethel turned two Simpson turnovers into points, including a 21-yard fumble recovery for a touchdown by safety David Vavra that made the score 20-6 in the third.
The Storm (0-1) answered Bethel's first score of the day when quarterback Chris Garza found tight end Jake McCulley down the seam for a 74-yard strike less than five minutes into the third quarter. Garza came on in the second half after freshman starter Taylor Nelson threw his second interception. Garza ended the day going 9-for-13 for 150 yards with two touchdowns, both of which went to McCulley.
The Simpson quarterbacks found themselves under durress for most of the afternoon, as the Bethel defense tallied six sacks. Defensive end Peter Sontag accounted for four.
Following the Storm's first score of the day which made the score 6-6, Bethel mounted a seven play, 75-yard drive capped off by a 48-yard touchdown run by Kevin Lindh. Forming a solid one-two punch, Lindh ran for 92 yards on eight carries to complement Falnnery's performance. Quarterback Josh Aakre ran for 61 yards and threw for 190, completing 22 of 31 passes.
Simpson, which boasted the the first and second-best rushing offenses in the Iowa Conference the last two years, managed only seven yards on the ground.
The Storm stay in the Minnesota Conference next week, traveling to Northfield, Minn. to take on St. Olaf in a 1 p.m. kickoff. The Olies beat Luther on Saturday, 28-21.