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Football: Alexandria area natives Jaran Roste and Josh Helling help Bethel reach NCAA DIII quarterfinals

Alexandria native Jaran Roste scored four times and broke some school records in Bethel's playoff win over Linfield in Oregon on Saturday, Nov. 26. Parkers Prairie native Josh Helling, a starting offensive lineman for the team, helped the Royals gain 373 yards of total offense in the win.

Roste throwing.jpg
Alexandria native Jaran Roste throws the football during a game for Bethel University. Roste, a senior, broke a couple of records in the team's 30-13 win in the second round of the NCAA DIII Playoffs on Nov. 26, 2022.
Contributed photo
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The Bethel Royals football team (10-2) moved on to the NCAA DIII quarterfinals by earning a 30-13 victory on the road over fifth-ranked Linfield Wildcats (11-1) in McMinnville, Oregon, on Saturday.

Bethel faces No. 3 (D3football.com) Mary Hardin-Baylor, the defending NCAA DIII champions at Noon on Saturday, Dec. 3 in Belton, Texas.

Alexandria native Jaran Roste made history in the Royals' win as became the program’s all-time passing touchdown leader with 67. The previous leader was Scott Kirchoff who played for the school from 2000-03 before beginning his tenure as the team’s quarterbacks coach in 2005.

Roste also became the program’s single season total offense leader with 2,785. The previous record was held by Mark Lundeen who had 2,685 yards of total offense in the 1997 season.

Roste, who won this season’s Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference offensive player of the year award , accounted for four touchdowns in the win and had 241 yards of total offense. Roste is also one of 15 semifinalists for the Gagliardi Trophy, which honors the top NCAA Division III student-athlete in football, academics and community service. Roste was a semifinalist for the award last season as well.

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Roste threw for three touchdowns and no interceptions in the Royals' win on Saturday. Roste had an efficient game for the Royals as he completed 19 of his 24 passes for 214 passing yards.

The Bethel offense, which features Parkers Prairie native Josh Helling, outgained Linfield 373-261. Helling, who is in his sophomore year, has been a starter on the Bethel offensive line throughout the season.

Josh Helling blocking for Roste.jpg
Parkers Prairie native Josh Helling (63) blocks for Alexandria native Jaran Roste (1) in a game during the 2022 season for the Bethel University football team. Helling is a sophomore while Roste is a senior.
Contributed photo

Helling and the rest of the Royals offensive line kept Roste clean for most of the game on Saturday as the Wildcats only had one sack. The Royals' offensive line created good running lanes that helped the team finish with 159 rushing yards.

After a Linfield field goal to begin the game, Roste threw his first touchdown pass of the game (five yards) to wide receiver Joey Kidder to put the Royals up 7-3 with 2:02 left in the first quarter.

After another Linfield field goal, Roste capped a quick and short drive with a two-yard rushing touchdown to put Bethel up 14-6 early in the second quarter. Bethel went into halftime with a 17-13 lead.

The Royals put the game away with an 11-yard touchdown pass from Roste to Kidder with 4:15 left in the third quarter and a 65-yard touchdown pass from Roste to Kidder with 10:42 left in the fourth quarter, which gave the Royals a 30-13 win.

Bethel took good care of the football as it committed zero turnovers while Linfield committed three.

This road playoff win is the Royals' second this postseason as it began the playoffs with a win in Illinois over the No. 11 ranked Wheaton College, 34-32 on Nov. 19.

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Bethel who is ranked No. 13, takes on a Mary Hardin-Baylor team who has beaten Trinity (Texas) 24-17 and Huntingdon, 54-0 in the postseason.

The winner of this game will face the winner of the North Central (Illinois)-Ithaca on Saturday, Dec. 10 in the national semifinals.

Sam Stuve covers a variety of sports in the Douglas County area. He also is assigned to do some news stories as well.
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