Toms can't hold off Bethel in 28-21 loss

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Junior QB Erik Peterson completed 20-of-29 passes for 262 yards and guided two fourth-quarter TD drives as unbeaten and No. 5-ranked Bethel rallied past No. 9-St. Thomas, 28-21, in MIAC football play Saturday in Arden Hills.

The Tommies (4-2 overall, 2-2 MIAC) had a 15-game MIAC road victory streak halted and saw their postseason hopes take a damaging blow. Bethel ended a string of five regular-season losses to St. Thomas.

Trailing 14-0 at halftime, the Tommies used a 90-yard kickoff return TD by Jack Gilliland to start a 21-0 third-quarter surge.

The Royals (6-0, 4-0) scored two TDs in the final quarter, the final one with 40 seconds to play after a pass-interference call in the end zone on third down.

After BU converted a two-yard run for the go-ahead points, St. Thomas drove inside the Bethel 30 in the closing seconds but ran out of time to convert a potential tying score.

The teams had identical totals of 352 yards of total offense. UST had two more first downs (21-19) and one less turnover.

The Tommies marched inside the Bethel 15 twice in the first quarter but came away with no points, including a 4th-and-1 rush at the BU 2-yard-line they were unable to convert.

Mitch Hallstrom caught nine passes for 96 yards to lead a balanced Bethel offense.

UST sophomore RB Jack Kaiser rushed 32 times for 140 yards and two short TD runs. Freshman Nick Waldvogel had 85 yards of rushing and receiving yards. Sophomore QB Alex Fenske, in his first college start, completed 15 of 28 for 155 yards and no interceptions. The Toms lost starting QB Matt O'Connell to a season-ending injury Oct. 12.

On defense, UST's Josh Corbin had a sack among his two tackles for loss. Sean Hamlin and Winter Cullen had interceptions and Walter Franklin had a fumble recovery.

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