(St. Peter, Minn. – Saturday, Oct. 19, 2002) — Bethel running back Mike Johnson carried 46 times for 237 yards and four touchdowns to lead Bethel College to a convincing 41-20 win over Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minn. The Royals held a slight 20-13 lead at the half, but broke the game open with two third quarter touchdowns which extended their lead to 34-13. Bethel improves to 3-4 overall and 3-2 in the MIAC, while Gustavus falls to 4-3 overall and 3-3 in the MIAC.
Bethel compiled 519 yards of total offense in the contest compared to 349 for the Gusties. Royal quarterback A.J. Parnell, a freshman making his first collegiate start, completed 14-of-25 passes for 244 yards and two touchdowns. Johnson set a Bethel record with 46 carries in the contest and wound up just six yards short of the school record for yards in a game which is 243 set by Jeremy Tvedt in 1995.
The Gustavus offense was led by senior wide receiver Lane Swansson who compiled a career best seven catches for 113 yards. Gustie quarterback Sean Smith completed 20-of-34 passes for 281 yards and two touchdowns with three interceptions. Senior running back Andy Traetow who had been averaging 133.0 yards per game was held to just 37 yards rushing on 14 carries.
The Bethel defense was led by senior defensive end Jon Foss who compiled ten tackles and freshman linebacker Jake Schneider who recorded six tackles, including three tackles for loss while also intercepting two passes. The Gustavus defense was led by senior linebackers Dirk Erickson and Phill Stewart who totalled 14 tackles each.
Gustavus running back Andy Traetow returned three kickoffs for 51 yards on the day and in the process set a Gustavus all-time record for kick return yardage at 1193 yards. The previous mark was 1,151 yards set by Chris McCartney in 1988.