ARDEN HILLS, Minn. - Bethel scored all 17 of their points in the first half and forced four Saint John's turnovers on the way to a 17-14 upset of the #23 Johnnies.
Ross Petterson (Sr., Maple Grove, Minn.) put Bethel on the scoreboard early when he intercepted a deflected Joe Boyle pass and ran it back for a touchdown less than five minutes into the game.
Matt Wetherell (Jr., Glen Ellyn, Ill.) made the score 10-0 early in the second quarter as the Royals capitalized on a 13-play, 69-yard drive highlighted by a 20-yard run from Logan Flannery (Sr., Lakeville, Minn.). Flannery finished the game with 55 yards on just nine carries. Quarterback Josh Aakre (Jr., Dawson, Minn.) rushed the ball 24 times for 54 yards and completed five of his 13 passes for 50 yards.
Jesse Phenow (Fr., Richfield, Minn.) gave the Royals their final touchdown as the Royals used 8:23 of game time to march 74 yards in 15 plays. His rush of three yards into the end zone gave Bethel a 17-0 lead with a minute left to play in the first half. The scoring drive continued after stalling when the Johnnies were called for a roughing the kicker penalty, thus giving Bethel an automatic first down.
In the second half, it was the defense that kept Bethel in the game, making another interception and two fumble recoveries - including one at the the Bethel 1-yard line.
For the Royals, the win over the Johnnies is the fourth in the last five years, including the last three meetings at Bethel's home field.
The Royals improve to 5-0 overall and 3-0 in conference, while the Johnnies drop to 3-3 and 2-2 in the MIAC. Bethel celebrates Homecoming next week when Gustavus comes to town to play at 1 p.m. at Royal Stadium.