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Video – Beaver Fever Friday – Damon Benham – Football

The Bemidji State University football season will continue as the program was selected to represent the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Saturday, Dec. 3 in the 2016 Mineral Water Bowl in Excelsior Springs, Mo. BSU (8-3) will face Washburn University (7-4) in the second-ever post-season appearance for the Beavers.

The NSIC and Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association represent the two leagues selected to the annual Mineral Water Bowl. Bemidji State capped a record-setting season with a 76-13 win over University of Minnesota Crookston Saturday, Nov. 12 on senior day. The program’s eight wins was the most since reaching the same mark in 2011. The Beavers were ranked in the American Football Coaches Association Coaches’ Top 25 Poll and D2Football.com Media Top 25 Poll multiple times during 2016, the first instance of being ranked in either poll since 2011.

BSU finished second in the NSIC North Division and third in the overall standings. Bemidji State began the season with a win at home against Upper Iowa University before traveling to previously-ranked No. 6 Minnesota State University Mankato and taking a convincing 45-17 win in Mankato, Minn. The Beavers were within seven points in each of their three losses, and fell by a total margin of nine points. The program’s eight wins is the eighth time in program history to reach that mark.

The Washburn Ichabods finished sixth in the MIAA regular season standings, while scoring 27.7 points per game and allowing 28.6. Washburn focuses on running the ball, averaging 152 yards per game on the ground to rank eighth in the MIAA compared to 214.4 passing yards per game to rank 11th. The Ichabods’ defense has had success in stopping opponents’ rushing attacks, but have faced some adversity with their pass defense. WU ranks second in the MIAA in rushing defense and eighth in passing defense. When the Ichabods are able to cause pressure on their opposing quarterback, they have caused 27 sacks and 16 interceptions. Washburn’s four losses came by teams with a combined 37-7 record.

The Beavers and Inchabods have never faced each other. Bemidji State made one appearnace in the Mineral Water Bowl, taking place Dec. 2, 2006 against Pittsburg State University. The Beavers fell to the Gorillas, 35-27, in the last game played versus a MIAA opponent.

Excelsior Springs is a city of 10,000, located 35 miles northeast of Kansas City, Mo. It was founded in 1880 on the site of one of the many mineral water springs that occur naturally throughout the city. The waters were used to treat a variety of maladies and before long visitors were arriving from all over the world.

The Mineral Water Bowl has been an Excelsior Springs tradition since 1948. The Bowl got its start as a high school game, and made its return after a 17-year hiatus in 1992 as a post-season junior college contest. The Bowl has hosted Division II teams since 2000, and today is the only NCAA-sanctioned bowl game for Division II football.

The Mineral Water Bowl will be held at Tiger Stadium on the campus of Excelsior Springs High School, where it has been held since 2004.

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