ARDEN HILLS, Minn. — Dan Dobson’s one-yard scoring run with 25 seconds left helped St. Olaf cap a 20-point rally and defeat fifth-ranked Bethel University 30-28 on Saturday afternoon.
Dobson went 18-for-30 for 335 yards and two touchdowns through the air and the TD run was his Dobson’s second of the day. The game-winning drive — which featured Dobson hitting four different receivers — covered 65 yards in 10 plays, spanning 2:43.
Bethel, which led 14-0 early in the second quarter, opened up a 28-10 advantage with a 47-yard scoring strike from quarterback Josh Aakre to Brandon Marquardt with 13:46 left in the fourth quarter.
Dobson and the Oles responded with a seven-play, 56-yard drive that ended with a fourth down, two-yard TD catch by Stephen Asp. Asp finished the day with a team-best eight receptions for 128 yards, but the biggest catch of the day belonged to Jake Schmiesing, who on the ensuing drive caught an 82-yard scoring strike from Dobson that brought the Oles within five, at 28-23 with 5:29 remaining. Schmiesing had four catches for 110 yards.
The St. Olaf defense held Bethel to a three-and-out on the next possession to set up the game-winning drive.
The win against Bethel is the first for the Oles since 2005 (29-27 in Northfield) and the first in Arden Hills since 1992.
The St. Olaf defense was paced by Wes Lynch, who had 10 tackles. The defense forced a pair of fumbles, including one that gave St. Olaf a possession inside the Bethel 10-yard line early in the first half. The Oles didn’t capitalize, however, as running back Leon Clark fumbled two plays later.
Bethel turned the fumble around for a 20-play, 96-yard drive in 11:32 to make it 14-0. St. Olaf stayed in the game with its next drive, which was sparked by a 46-yard catch by Asp and finished by Dobson’s nine-yard TD run.
After stopping the Royals on a fourth down on the next possession, St. Olaf used another long connection from Dobson to Asp (37 yards) to set up a 46-yard field goal by Jason Obarski in the final seconds of the half.
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