ARDEN HILLS, Minn. – In its homecoming game on Saturday, No. 7 Bethel made a comeback from a 14-7 deficit with 1:24 remaining in the fourth quarter to defeat Concordia-Moorhead 15-14.
Trailing by seven, Bethel drove 71 yards down the field to score the game-winning touchdown.
Facing a third-and-10 from the Cobber 17-yard line with 0:01 on the clock, quarterback Erik Peterson had the ball stripped, which led to a Concordia-Moorhead penalty. The Cobbers were penalized with unsportsmanlike conduct, which gave the Royals one more opportunity to score from the nine-yard line.
In the final play, Peterson found Jay Hilbrands in the far corner of the end zone for the score. Instead of kicking the extra point, Bethel decided to attempt a two-point conversion, which was successful, ending the game victoriously for the Royals.
The Cobbers never trailed until the final play of the game, as Concordia-Moorhead ended the first half with a Brent Baune rushing touchdown in a fourth-and-goal situation from the 1-yard line.
The Royals responded with an 11-play, 50-yard drive with Jesse Phenow rushing the ball from one yard out. Nathaniel Van Loon’s extra point attempt tied the score at seven.
Concordia-Moorhead gave themselves a seven-point spread with a 40-yard reception between quarterback Griffin Neal and wide out Chris Gilson with 9:01 on the clock.
Trailing 14-7, Bethel was unable to score on the ensuing possession. Bethel forced the Cobbers to punt which handed the ball back to the Royals with 1:24 on the clock.
Several solid plays took place on the game-winning drive, including a one-handed grab by Mitch Hallstrom for 30 yards and a 14-yard pass and catch between Hans Duininck and Peterson on 4th-and-12.
In the contest, BU managed 91 yards rushing on 39 attempts, averaging 2.3 yards per carry. Erik Peterson and the offense threw for 177 yards on 16-of-30 attempts. Jesse Phenow led Bethel with 89 yards rushing on 22 attempts, to go along with his third quarter score. Jay Hilbrands caught eight passes for 84 yards and a touchdown. Hallstrom and Jared Schultz each caught two passes for 41 and 25 yards, respectively.
For the Cobbers, Brett Baune’s 50 yards and touchdown helped Concordia-Moorhead finish the day with 103 rushing yards and a score, which is less than half of the rushing yards the team averaged (327) coming into the MIAC battle. The Cobbers threw for 173 yards on 14-of-19 attempts. Concordia attained an eight-yard advantage in total offensive yards (276-268) and total possession was decided by just over a minute.
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