For the second week in a row, Hamline faced a conference foe on the road that needed a win to stay alive for NCAA postseason consideration. For the second straight time, HU hung with that foe through the first half and beyond. In the end, Bethel, a NCAA Division III semifinalist last year, had too much and defeated the Pipers, 33-6, on a sunny, breezy day at Royal Stadium.
The final score didn't do justice to the intensity of the game ... or how close it was most of the afternoon.
Midway through the first quarter, the Pipers struck first. The defense forced a Jesse Phenow fumble and Nate Sarrazin scooped up the loose ball and ran it 69 yards for a touchdown to give HU a 6-0 lead. The extra point attempt, however, went wide left. The Royals recovered to score at the end of the quarter for a 7-6 lead. Hamline had two long drives in the second quarter that both ended deep in BU territory. But it was the Royals who scored the only points of the period and left the field with a 13-6 halftime edge.
The Piper defense bent but didn't break during a third quarter drive where they forced the Royals to turn the ball over on downs at the HU 16. Bethel, however, did score later in the quarter and added two more in the final frame to improve their overall record to 7-2 (5-2 in the MIAC).
In addition to Sarrazin, John-Michael Vandenberg had 10 tackles. Cory Olsen, who also caught a pass on offense had eight stops, a sack and two tackles for loss. Alex Ferguson also had eight tackles and averaged 44.5 yards per punt. The Pipers held Bethel to just 98 yards passing.
Connor Sathre led the HU offense, which totaled 126 yards, with 93 yards passing. Hamline is now 0-9, 0-7 in the conference.
Box Score Here