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Royals Rumble to the Second Round

Bethel’s football team rushed for 387 yards and dominated on defense to advance to the second round of the NCAA Division III Playoffs. The Royals will next face the North Central Cardinals, the team that ended the Royals last playoff run in 2013.

By Jason Schoonover ’09, content specialist

November 19, 2018 | 3 p.m.

Quarterback Jaran Roste ’20 rushes the ball in the Bethel football team’s 41-14 win over Wartburg on Saturday. Roste ran the ball 10 times for 150 yards as the Royals racked up 387 rushing yards.

Quarterback Jaran Roste ’20 rushes the ball in the Bethel football team’s 41-14 win over Wartburg on Saturday. Roste ran the ball 10 times for 150 yards as the Royals racked up 387 rushing yards.

The Bethel University football team used big plays on both sides of the ball to rumble its way into the second round of the NCAA Division III Playoffs.

The Royals (10-1) defeated the Wartburg Knights (8-3) 41-14 on Saturday at Royal Stadium in the first round of the NCAA Playoffs. The win sets up a rematch against the North Central Cardinals, the team that ended the Royals last playoff run in 2013.

The Royals established a 20-0 lead early over Wartburg through a strong run game and suffocating defense before putting the game out of reach with big plays. The Royals’ final three scores came on a 67-yard touchdown run, a 75-yard interception return, and a 41-yard touchdown run. Running back Sam Gibas ’21 and quarterback Jaran Roste ’20 each rushed for over 100 yards as the Royals racked up 387 rushing yards—all against a Knights defense that had only allowed an average of 80 yards per game coming in 

Bethel’s defense dominated against the Knights early, forcing four punts in Wartburg’s first four possessions with only one first down. Wartburg’s offense moved the ball through the air in the second half, but the game was already well out of reach. Overall, Bethel’s defense notched 10 sacks, two interceptions, and a fumble—holding Wartburg to minus 42 yards rushing.

In the playoffs’ second round, the Royals will face a tough test in North Central, which beat Hanover 52-0 in the first round behind 482 total yards of offense. The Royals will play the Cardinals (10-1) at noon on Saturday, November 24, in the Chicago suburb of Naperville, Illinois. The Cardinals ended the Royals’ last playoff run in 2013 with a 41-17 defeat in the third round of the playoffs.

Read a full recap of the victory.

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