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The Clarion

The Student News Site of Bethel University

The Clarion

The Student News Site of Bethel University

The Clarion

Wartburg College vs. Bethel University

No. 3 Wartburg College defeats No. 16 Bethel University in the season opener.
Soraya Keiser
Wide receiver Joey Kidder leaps to catch a ball during Saturday’s game. The pass was incomplete.

The bleachers of Royal Stadium was a sea of white yesterday as Bethel University took on the Wartburg College Knights. 

The game started out as a defensive battle, but slowly, the Royals fell behind and the Knights beat the Royals 16-2. 

Both teams went with a run-first approach. Sophomore running back David Geebli had 19 carries for 66 yards. Late in the first quarter, Bethel punted the ball but touched the returner before he caught the ball, resulting in an interference penalty which set Wartburg up at the Bethel 43 yard line. Later another interference penalty on Bethel put Wartburg on the 16, eventually leading to a third down pass from quarterback Nile McLaughlin to Thor Maakestad for the first touchdown of the game. 

Following the touchdown, Wartburg’s extra point was blocked by defensive back Devin Williams and returned by Nate Farm for Bethel’s only two points of the game.

Minutes before half time, Geebli went down with an ankle injury. He was then stretchered off the field. Junior wide-receiver, Aaron Ellingson took Geebli’s place on the field for the second half. 

Second half started much the same as the first with Wartburg gaining momentum early in the third quarter. But they were stopped by another Bethel interception. Third down conversions continued to be the issue until the four-minute mark in the third when a 52-yard passing touchdown to George Drake on the first play of Wartburg’s drive put the Knight’s up, 13-2. A Devin Williams interception in the end zone inside ten minutes gave hope to the Royals, who dropped the next snap and gave Wartburg a chance to put the game away for good at the Bethel 17. A 39-yard field goal put Wartburg up two touchdowns, but with time for the Royals to make a comeback. Despite a big completion which put Bethel deep in Knights territory, the Royals were unable to convert and Wartburg took over with four minutes left. 

Quarterback George Bolt hands off the ball to running back David Geebli in a play during Bethel’s first game of the season Saturday. The Wartburg Knights beat the Royals 16-2. (Maggie Holland)

Knights ran out the rest of the clock – final score Wartburg 16, Royals 2. 

Devin Williams was named player of the game with seven tackles, one pass break up and one interception. 

“I just had to stay in it. We were down the whole game and defense was on the field a lot so we just had to stay on top of things,” Williams said.

The Royals’ next game will take place September 16, at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. Kickoff is set for 1pm. 

“There’s all kinds of stuff [to take away from the game]. Don’t know everything, but we’ve got to get better at executing and at quarterback and, you know, find a way to get some playmakers the ball,” Head Coach Steve Johnson said. “And we can. We’ll be able to adjust some things without David [Geebli].”

Additional Reporting by Aiden Penner

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About the Contributors
Taylor Hanson
Taylor Hanson, Sports Editor
Taylor Hanson, 19, is a sophomore organizational communications major with a journalism minor. Taylor is involved at Bethel as a Shift leader and as the Director of Intramurals. She loves finding coffee shops tucked away in the cities, going to any athletic event or scootering around campus with her friends.  [email protected] | 720.425.5218
Soraya Keiser
Soraya Keiser, Editor-in-Chief
Soraya Keiser, 21, is a senior journalism and international relations major. When she has free time, Soraya enjoys hiking through old-growth forests, blasting “Nice For What” and destroying her friends in the Goodreads reading challenge. If you’re looking for a good time, hire her as your Milwaukee tour guide.  [email protected] | 262.909.3915

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