Indianola, Iowa – After a scoreless first half, Bethel University rolled in the second half to a 34-12 season opening win over Simpson College in Indianola, Iowa.
In the first half, Bethel dominated on offense and defense yet due to three turnovers and several penalties, the score was 0-0 at the half.
In the second half, Bethel opened the scoring on a 1-yard run by senior running back Logan Flannery(Lakeville, Minn.). The Royals' first score was set up by a 32-yard run by sophomore running back Kevin Lindh(Houston, Minn.).
Simpson answered with a 74-yard scoring pass from Chris Garza to Jake McCulley to the score at 6-6.
Lindh put Bethel ahead for good on the next drive with a 48-yard touchdown run followed by Matt Wetherell's (Jr., Glen Ellyn, Ill.) extra point.
From that point on it was all Bethel as junior safety David Vavra (Cambridge, Minn.) scored on a 21-yard fumble recovery, a 24-yard pass from junior quarterback Josh Aakre (Dawson, Minn.) to junior tight end Alex Wright (Minnetonka, Minn.), and a 9-yard run by Flannery to go ahead 34-6.
Simpson finished the scoring on a late 5-yard pass from Garza to McCulley.
On the day, Bethel's offense rolled up 503 yards on 80 plays, which included 300 yards on the ground. Flannery led Bethel's ground attack with 161 yards on 22 carries. Lind added 89 yards on 8 carries and Aakre rushed for 41 yards on 13 carries.
In the air, Aakre completed 22 of 31 passes for 190 yards with one touchdown. Sophomore receiver Jay Hilbrands (Clara City, Minn.) led Bethel with 6 receptions for 54 yards. JuniorHans Duininck (Tulsa, Okla.) and Lind each had 4 catches.
Defensively, the Royals held Simpson to just 185 total yards on 51 plays. The Storm rushed for just 7 yards on the day. Sophomore outside linebacker Brett Skoog (Orono, MN) led Bethel's defense with 6 total tackles. In addition to his fumble return for a touchdown, Vavra added 5 tackles and also one interception.
Bethel hosts Concordia-University (Wis.) next week, Sept. 11, in their home opener. Bethel is 1-0 on the year.