WHEATON, ILL. — Bethel University used a stingy defense to hold Wheaton College to 212 yards of total offense, beating the Thunder 15-10 on Saturday in the second round of the NCAA Division III playoffs.
With the victory, the Royals (11-1) beat a familiar nemesis, having lost to the Thunder (10-2) by slim margins the past two years. It also sets up a quarterfinal matchup next week against St. Thomas, which dealt the Royals their only loss this year.
The Tommies defeated Linfield in the second round 24-17 in double overtime.
The Royals were able to wear down the Wheaton defense by controlling the ball for over 37 minutes, while racking up 318 yards of total offense.
Logan Flannery had 141 yards rushing. His career mark of 5,053 is within 182 yards of the Royals' all-time rushing leader, Phil Porta. Flannery also led the Royals in receiving, grabbing a 27-yard reception for a touchdown.
Quarterback Josh Aakre was 7 of 19 for 78 yards and one touchdown.
Wheaton led at the half 7-0. The Royals got their first touchdown in the third quarter, failed at the conversion, and later got a field goal to lead 9-7.
Wheaton retook the lead with a fourth-quarter field goal putting them back on top 10-9. Flannery and Aakre then connected for the touchdown, and the defense did the rest.