Freshman Brandon Marquardt rushed for two touchdowns and caught a pass for another, and Bethel staved off a fourth quarter surge by Gustavus Adolphus to win 41-27 in St. Peter, Minn.
Bethel (5-1 overall, 3-1 MIAC) kept pace with St. Thomas and set up a showdown next Saturday in Arden Hills for the conference lead.
The Royals piled up 458 yards of offense, 290 on the ground, led by Marquardt. He gained 143 yards on 12 carries, an 11.7-yard average, including touchdown runs of 26 and 75 yards. He also caught a 33-yard pass from Josh Aakre for the clinching touchdown with 1 minute, 39 seconds to play in the fourth quarter.
Logan Becker led Gustavus (1-5, 1-3) by completing 18 of 26 passes for 208 yards, including a 68-yarder to Andre Creight with 4:28 to play in the fourth quarter that cut the Bethel lead to 34-27.
Gustavus plays St. John’s at home next Saturday.
Concordia 38, Augsburg 26
Quarterback Michael Dunham and fullback Brett Baune rushed for two touchdowns each as Concordia-Moorhead (5-2, 3-2) racked up 220 yards rushing in a homecoming victory over Augsburg (4-2,3-2).
Dunham gave Concordia a 31-13 lead with 12:19 to play in the fourth quarter with his second TD, a 1-yard run. But Augsburg struck back quickly to put the heat on the Cobbers.
With 11:09 to play, freshman running back Tyler Maxwell ran it in from 3 yards, cutting the Concordia lead to 31-19. It was Maxwell’s 10th rushing touchdown of the season, tying an Augsburg record.
Less than two minutes later, Hakeem Bourne-McFarlane caught a 5-yard scoring pass from Marcus Brumm to make it 31-26 Concordia. But Concordia then drove 72 yards on 13 plays, eating up 7:25 on the clock, to score the clinching TD on Baune’s 5-yard run.
Brumm completed 18 of 27 passes for 278 yards and became the third Augsburg quarterback to pass for more than 6,000 yards. Bourne-McFarlane caught nine passes for 190 yards.
Baune gained 139 yards on 26 carries to lead the Cobbers. Dunham completed 14 of 22 passes for 195 yards, with a touchdown and an interception.
Concordia travels next Saturday to St. Paul to play Hamline while Augsburg is at home against St. Olaf.
St. Olaf 28, Carleton 7
Leon Clark rushed for 177 yards and two touchdowns as St. Olaf (5-1, 3-1) built a three-touchdown lead at the half and cruised to the home victory over crosstown rival Carleton (1-6, 1-3) in Northfield.
Clark carried 29 times and scored from 11 yards with 2:59 to play in the second quarter, then added the Oles’ final score on a 26-yard run with 7:54 to play in the fourth.
Dan Dobson scored St. Olaf’s first touchdown from a yard out, then passed 8 yards to Stephen Asp late in the first quarter to give the Oles a 14-0 lead. Jordan Soteros returned an interception 44 yards late in the third quarter for Carleton’s score.
Carleton plays next Saturday at Macalester.