MEQUON, Wis. - Bethel kicked its game into high gear in their second matchup of the season today. The Royals breezed past the hosting Falcons of Concordia Wisconsin by a score of 48-0. Like so many times before, the Royals looked to their running game to score six of their seven touchdowns. The defense was incredible holding the Falcons to zero points, forcing seven punts and two turnovers in the victory.
The Royals scored early and often thanks to running back Jessie Phenow (So., Richfield, Minn.). He opened the scoring with an 8-yard scamper, and then got the call again on a fourth-and-one on the Falcons 15-yard line. He raced towards the right side and flew into the end zone, giving the Royals a 14-0 lead in the first quarter.
Quarterback and reigning MIAC Offensive Player of the Week Josh Aakre (Sr., Dawson, Minn.) set up the third touchdown of the game with a 17-yard pass to receiver Jay Hilbrands (So., Clara City, Minn.). Aakre rushed the ball into the end zone from two yards out two plays later to give the Royals a 21-0 lead heading into halftime.
Early in the third quarter, Phenow added to his impressive rushing totals with a third touchdown. With the ball at the 12-yard line, Phenow busted through a few would-be tacklers and found the end zone to extend the Royals lead to 28-0. Phenow would finish the game with 59 yards on seven carries and three touchdowns.
The defense came up big in the third quarter as well. Arguably the most exciting play of the game came in the third quarter when inside linebacker Seth Mathis (So., Anoka, Minn.) caused the first turnover of the season for the Royals defense. Mathis rumbled 71 yards with the ball all the way down to the Falcons 20-yard line. The Royals came back onto the field and converted the turnover into points as running back Brandon Marquardt (Fr., Champlin, Minn.) powered his way in for the score from three yards out. With the extra point the Royals were up 35-0.
After five consecutive rushing touchdowns, the Royals turned to the air for one last score in the third quarter. Aakre found Hilbrands in the end zone for a 15-yard touchdown strike despite having a defender draped all over him. Hilbrands came down with the ball even with the defense getting flagged for a pass interference penalty. After declining the penalty, the Royals went up 41-0. Aakre was effective both running and passing today. He completed 9 of 13 passes for 112 yards and a touchdown. He added another score and 38 yards rushing as well.
In the fourth quarter the Royals rested most of their starters on both sides of the ball. Kelson Carr (Sr., North Bend, Wash.) scored the last touchdown of the day for the Royals from two yards out with just under 10 minutes remaining. Carr ended up with 44 yards on six carries.The Royals defense would not budge as they held the Falcons scoreless as the game ended.
The Royals ground game combined for 289 yards and six touchdowns. Marquardt led all rushers with 91 yards, and also added a touchdown. Hilbrands was the Royals leading receiver, finishing with four catches, 60 yards, and a touchdown.
On the defensive side of the ball the Royals only gave up 130 yards to the Falcons. Inside linebacker Billy Morgan (Sr., Rosemount, Minn.), finished with four solo tackles, eight tackle assists, including a tackle for loss. Outside linebacker Brett Skoog (Jr., Long Lake, Minn.) led the Royals with 1.5 tackles for loss and recorded a sack for a loss of 8 yards. In addition to his huge interception Seth Mathis had 3 solo tackles and a forced fumble.
After dominating non conference opponents by a combined score of 103-3 the Royals will open up conference play next week. Bethel will host the Carlton Knights at Royal Stadium.