The Randolph Rockets took advantage of a few Bethlehem Academy miscues to defeat the Cardinals 20-7 at Bruce Smith Field Saturday.  Rockets Head Coach Mike Schmidt told KDHL during the Randolph Coaches Show he wanted  his team to be more balanced offensively this season.

Randolph was just that, balanced.  For example in the first quarter my unofficial statistics had the Rockets with 39 yards rushing, 23 yards receiving while BA didn't event pick up a first down in the quarter.

The Rockets scored with 9:46 to go in the first half after starting a drive on the BA 38 yard line when junior quarterback Jacob Weckop avoided a sack and hit sophomore receiver 6'4 Tyson Cooreman in the front of the end zone near the pylon.  A two point run attempt was no good.

With 1:40 to go in the half Randolph got their second score when running back, senior Mack Swanson scored from 10 yards out.  Swanson has an ability to make would be tacklers miss and weave his way through traffic.  The extra point kick was good making the score Randolph 14, Bethlehem Academy 0.

Cardinals returner Aiden Tobin had a nice return on the ensuing kick to set his team up at the 46 yard line.  After completing no passes to that point in the game senior quarterback Bo Dienst led his team down the field with two passes being the key plays of the drive.

BA scored as the clock literally hit zero on a 13 yard throw from Dienst to running back, junior Brady Strodtman.  Eliot Smith kicked the extra point to make the score 14-7 at the half.  The biggest play of the 7 play scoring drive up to the TD was an across the field 29 yard completion to Tobin.

After JJ Malecha was crowned Bethlehem Academy Homecoming King at halftime the Cardinals appeared to have the momentum they took into the break.

They got the ball to start the second half at the 35 yard line and went right down the field.  A Strodtman 35 yard run was the key play of the drive in addition to a Dienst 10 yard keeper.  BA also mixed in more carries for running back senior Jason Shuda.

Shuda looked like he was going score to get his team closer to tying the game when he fumbled at the goal line.  Randolph linebacker senior Kaven Blonigen recovered the ball in the end zone for a touchback.

From that moment on the Rockets dominated the action in part due to some miscues for the Cardinals.  On their second series of the half BA started a drive on their 28 and went backwards ending inside the 5 so Strodtman had to punt out of his own end zone.

Randolph would start their offensive possession at the 21 yard line of BA.  The Rockets scored on a Weckop 7 yard run up the middle with 47.4 seconds to go in the third quarter.  A two point conversion attempt was unsuccessful making the score 20-7.

Randolph would start their next two possessions at the 35 and 32 of BA but the Cardinals defense stiffened.  Senior Riley Kangas had 3 sacks in those two series.  One of those drives ended in a fumble recovery by Lucas Linnemann for Bethlehem Academy.

Weckop ended a Cardinal drive with an interception of a Dienst pass late in the contest.

Seniors Eliot Smith and Kangas were named the Malecha's Auto Body players of the game for Faribault Bethlehem Academy primarily for their defensive efforts.

The Cardinals go to Hayfield (1-0) Friday while Randolph travels to Rushford-Peterson (0-1).


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