St. John’s vs. Bethel: At a glance

St. John’s (3-4 MIAC, 5-4 overall) at Bethel (5-2 MIAC, 7-2 overall)

Game time: 1 p.m. Saturday, Royal Stadium, Arden Hills

Last meeting: Bethel defeated St. John’s 41-20 on Oct. 8, 2011 in Collegeville

Series: St. John’s leads 26-7

Radio coverage:SJU: WBHR (660 AM, Central Minnesota); WLOL (1330 AM, Twin Cities); KOWZ (1170 AM, Southern Minnesota); B – Game will be streamed live on Bethel website (http://athletics.bethel.edu/index.aspx?path=football)

(Check out the full game preview story in Saturday’s online and print editions of the St. Cloud Times. For live game coverage, check out the live coverage link at www.sctimes.com or follow Frank Rajkowski at @rajko1973 on Twitter)

St. John’s at a glance

Starters on offense

WR -Rob Voshell, So. (6-1, 190); LT – Pete Schwarz, Jr. (6-4, 290); LG – Alex Jarosz, So. (6-4, 290); C – Kevin Battis, Jr. (6-1, 280); RG – Ryan Hanes, Jr. (6-2, 290); RT – Jack Hedlund, Jr. (6-3, 280); TE – Wade Powers, Sr. (6-5, 245); WR – Josh Bungum, Fr. (5-9, 160); QB – Connor Bruns, Jr. (6-3, 215); RB – Colin Moynihan, Jr. (6-0, 195); RB – Stephen Johnson, Sr. (6-0, 195)

Starters on defense

DE - Jake King, Sr. (6-1, 225); NT – Joe Zrust, Fr. (6-0, 305); DT – Nate Blenker, Jr. (6-4, 290); DE – Connor Grill, Sr. (603, 250); OLB – Maze Thompson, So. (6-2, 205); ILB – Andrew Rose, So. (6-2, 210); ILB – Taylor Dammermann, Sr. (6-1, 210); CB – Bobby Fischer, Sr. (5-11, 180); CB – Trevor Warner, Fr. (6-0, 175); FS – Dylan Graves, Jr. (6-2, 190); SS – Darryl Williams, Jr. (6-1, 195).

Specialists

K – Jimmie Mattson, Sr. (6-2, 210); P – J.T. Ford, So. (6-4, 225); Long snapper – Scott Ramey, Sr. (6-1, 215); Holder – John Ries, Sr. (6-2, 200); Kickoff returns - Jake Essler, Jr. (5-9, 175), Peter Vakulskas, Fr. (5-11, 195); Punt returns – Jake Essler, Jr. (5-9, 175); Rob Voshell, So. (6-1, 190).

Top rusher: Steve Johnson 118 carries, 437 yards, 3.7 yards per carry, 2 touchdowns

Top passers: Connor Bruns 77-131-7 interceptions, 1,052 yards, 7 touchdowns

Top receiver (yardage and receptions): Josh Bungum 35 receptions, 491 yards, 14.0 yards per catch, 4 touchdowns

Top tackler: Taylor Dammermann 42 solo tackles, 47 assists, 5.5 tackles for a loss, 2.0 sack, no interceptions

Bethel at a glance

Starters on offense

QB -Erik Peterson, So. (6-1, 220); RB – Brandon Marquardt, So. (5-10, 204); RB – Jesse Phenow, Jr. (5-8, 210); TE – Kyle Ulstad, Sr. (6-3, 238); WR – Jay Hilbrands, Sr. (6-6, 210); WR – Mitch Hallstrom, Jr. (6-2, 211); LT - Bubba Friedland, Jr. (6-3, 283); LG – Jared Penz, Sr. (6-1, 295); C – Josh Wolfe, Sr. (6-4, 310); RG – Joshua Perkins, So. (6-6, 312); RT – Jeff Schmidt, Jr. (6-6, 282)

Starters on defense

DE – Kyle Asmus, Jr. (6-2, 240); NG – Gavin Maurer, Sr. (6-0, 228); DE – Luke Buttenhoff, Jr. (6-5, 250); OLB – Brett Skoog, Sr. (5-11, 196); ILB – Seth Mathis, Jr. (6-2, 240); ILB – Trent Duppenthaler, So. (6-2, 229); OLB – Erik Smith, Sr. (6-1, 214); CB – Jordan Anderson, Sr. (5-11, 170); CB – Josh Treimer, Jr. (5-11, 195); S - J.D. Mehlhorn, Jr. (6-2, 207); S – Dave Morgan, So. (6-3, 195)

Specialists

K – Nathaniel Van Loon, Fr. (5-11, 175); P – Phillip Peterson, Fr. (6-0, 190); Long snapper – Tom Keefe, Jr. (6-0, 195); Kickoff returns - Brandon Marquardt, So. (5-10, 204; Marshall Klitzke, Fr. (5-8, 181); Punt returns – Landen Strilzuk, So. (5-10, 160); Hans Duininck, Sr. (5-10, 180)

Top rusher: Marshall Klitzke 48 carries, 326 yards, 6.8 yards per carry, 4 touchdowns

Top passer: Erik Peterson 143-216-4 interceptions, 1,654 yards, 13 touchdowns

Top receiver (receptions and yardage): Mitch Hallstrom 52 receptions, 540 yards, 10.4 yards per catch, 0 touchdowns

Top tackler: Seth Mathis 39 solo tackles, 58 assists, 2.0 tackles-for-a-loss, 1 sack, 4 interceptions

Game notes

* St. John’s will be without freshman quarterback Nick Martin, who has started the past five games and has thrown for 1,003 yards and nine touchdowns while rushing for 206 yards and seven touchdowns this season. Martin left last Saturday’s 55-10 win at Hamline with a high-ankle sprain and will be in a walking boot for the next couple of weeks. Junior Connor Bruns — who started the first four games of the year before being sidelined by a separated right shoulder — replaced Martin last week and will start again today. He has thrown for 1,052 yards and seven touchdowns, making he and Martin the first pair of quarterbacks to each throw for over 1,000 yards in the same season in school history.

* In addition to Martin, the Johnnies will also be without junior running back Nick Schneider, who has not played or practiced since leaving a victory over Carleton on Oct. 13 with a groin injury. Senior safety Ian Goldsmith, who has been playing in a reserve role, is questionable with an ankle injury. But senior defensive end Connor Grill, who sat out last week’s game with a fractured right hand, is expected to play with a cast today.

* The absence of Martin means sophomore J.T. Ford is expected to handle the team’s punting duties today.

* Bethel junior running back Jesse Phenow (5-8, 210) — who rushed for 895 yards and nine touchdowns last season — has been banged-up this fall and has seen action in only five games. But he is healthy enough to be back and will start today.

The Royals entered this season needing to replace four-year starter Josh Aakre at quarterback. Sophomore Erik Peterson (6-1, 220) has stepped into the job and has thrown for 1,654 yards and 13 touchdowns with just four interceptions while rushing for six touchdowns as well.

* Despite Bethel’s recent success against St. John’s, winning five of the past six meetings, the Johnnies still lead the overall series between the two schools 26-7.

* Royals coach Steve Johnson is in his 24th season as the head coach at the school, ranking him second behind St. John’s coach John Gagliardi in terms of longevity in the MIAC. Gagliardi is in his 60th season in Collegeville.

* St. John’s has a blocked kick in three of its past four games.

* Today’s game will be the first for the Johnnies on natural grass since a victory at St. Olaf on Nov. 6 of 2010 — a span of 20-straight games on turf.

* Senior kicker Jimmie Mattson was named MIAC special teams player of the week this week for the fifth time in his career. He kicked two field goals and was a perfect 7-for-7 on extra points against Hamline last week.

Frank Rajkowski

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