Bethel, Minn. 45, Wis.-Eau Claire 42

Updated: October 4, 2003, 8:35 PM ET

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. -- Bethel used key offensive and defensive plays late in the game Saturday to edge out Wisconsin-Eau Claire 45-42.

Wisconsin-Eau Claire took a 42-28 lead on a three-yard run by Joe Gast in the fourth quarter, but lost the game to Bethel's offensive comeback.

Gast finished the game with 15 carries for 111 yards.

Bethel tied the game on two consecutive rushing touchdowns by Chris Evans within three minutes. Evans finished the game with 13 carries for 30 yards.

Wisconsin-Eau Claire's Matt Wassink then recovered a Matt Evenson fumble at the Bluegold's 30 yard line.

But Bethel's defense held, and the Royals secured the game with a 22-yard field goal by Paul Techetter.

Bethel's All-American candidate quarterback Scott Kirchoff finished 30 for 57 for 380 yards and a touchdown.

This story is from ESPN.com's automated news wire. Wire index

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