Time of Poss.
ST. PAUL—Quarterback Erik Peterson finished Saturday's conference tilt 18-of-23 for 282 yards, zero interceptions, and three touchdowns to help Bethel rout Hamline University on the road 55-6. Meanwhile, the Royals' (8-0, 6-0 MIAC) defense held the Pipers' (2-6, 1-5 MIAC) offense to just 12 first downs and 252 total yards.
Peterson's day was highlighted with a 55-yard touchdown to Jay Hilbrands on the first play of the second drive, which put Bethel ahead for good 14-0. In fact, Peterson helped facilitate touchdowns on the Royals initial six drives of the game and eight of the total ten possessions. BU's balanced attack put up 20 points in the opening frame, followed by 14 in the second quarter to give themselves a 34-6 cushion at the midway mark.
Bethel's quarterback found eight different receivers, including Hilbrands, who finished with four catches for 76 yards and a touchdown, and Mitch Hallstrom, who hauled in four passes for 57 yards. Freshman tight end Drew Neuville caught Peterson's other two touchdown passes in the first half—ending the contest with two grabs for 48 yards and two scores.
Eight different Royal players carried the ball against Hamline, with Brandon Marquardt leading the pack. Marquardt finished with nine rushes for 71 yards and two TD's. Marshall Klitzke carried the rock 11 times for 45 yards and a score. Other running backs to score were Corey Hansen, who ended with 32 yards on four carries, and Jesse Phenow, who rushed for 15 yards on three handoffs. Overall, Bethel rushed for 224 yards on 36 carries with five running touchdowns. The Royals averaged 6.2 yards per play on the ground.
Luke Buttenhoff and Daniel Leidall led the Bethel defense with nine tackles each, including five solo stops. Buttenhoff was one of seven BU players to record at least a half-tackle for loss. The Royals ended the day with five tackles for loss, resulting in 15 negative yards. Landen Strilzuk recorded the only turnover on the day, as he intercepted Hamline quarterback Gabe Martinez in the second quarter. In addition to Buttenhoff and Leidall, Seth Mathis and Josh Treimer wrapped up eight and seven tackles, respectively.
With the win, Bethel improves to 8-0 on the season and 6-0 against league opponents. With two games left, the Royals hold a one-game lead over Concordia College—a team they beat 45-22 on October 12—in the conference standings. BU will host their final home game of the regular season next week, as St. Olaf College—who is looking for their first conference win of the season—will come to Arden Hills. The opening kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m.