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Beaver Fever Friday – Football – Brandon Alt

Bemidji State looks to come off its high-flying season-opener with another Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference North Division matchup against University of Mary. The Beavers and Marauders will play in the 13th game of the series at 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 8 at MDU Resources Community Bowl in Bismarck, N.D.

THE SERIES

Bemidji State holds a 8-4 lead in the series against U-Mary

Bemidji State has won four straight against U-Mary

The series began Oct. 7, 2006, a 27-21 win by U-Mary

The Beavers won last season’s meeting, 45-19, in Bemidji, Minn.

TEAM NOTES
Bemidji State

Head Coach Brent Bolte, in his third season, is 18-6 since taking over the program in 2016.

Bolte’s 18 wins are the most by any BSU head coach over their first three seasons.

The Beavers enter 2018 ranked fifth in the overall NSIC Preseason Coaches’ Poll and second in the NSIC North Division Preseason Coaches’ Poll.

BSU earned its fourth straight win over Northern State with a 38-17 victory in the 2018 season opener.

Sophomore linebacker Gabe Ames earned NSIC Defensive Player of the Week for the first time in his career after totaling 13 tackles, 3.0 tackles for a loss of 17 yards and two forced fumbles. Ames led the nation in forced fumbles and the conference in tackles for a loss.

The Beavers totaled four touchdowns of at least 40 yards and two of at least 60 against the Wolves. Senior wide receiver Landon Jones caught a 71-yard touchdown pass, senior running back Andrew Lackowski ran for a 58-yard touchdown, junior wide receiver Jacob Anderson caught a 40-yard touchdown and freshman running back Jalen Frye ran for a 58-yard touchdown.

BSU’s rushing attack ranked second in the NSIC and eighth nationally with 274 yards on the ground. Lackowski led the team with 141 rushing yards followed by Frye with 109 yards. The duo became the first set of Beavers with at least 100 yards rushing in a single game since Lackowski and former Beaver Tahi Nomane ran for over 100 yards each Oct. 21, 2017 against NSU.

For the first time since Nov. 5, 2016, the Beavers featured a 100-yard rusher and a 100-yard receiver. Jones led the team with four catches and 102 yards with one touchdown.

The Beavers’ passing efficiency ranked second in the conference behind redshirt freshman quarterback Brandon Alt with 199 passing yards, three touchdowns and no turnovers.

The “Gang Green” defense ranked second in the league with an opposing passing efficiency of 89.0.

The Beavers totaled three sacks against the Wolves, which ranks tied for third in the NSIC. Senior linebackers Vamougne Kanneh and Justin Van Houtan each recorded a solo sack while senior defensive lineman Dylan Ellingson and redshirt freshman linebacker Zollie Kaplan combined for a sack.

Bemidji State faces U-Mary head coach Craig Bagnell for the first time since Bagnell left the Beaver Football program after the 2017 season.

BSU holds an average margin of victory of 35.7 points over its last three games against U-Mary. Bemidji State has won four straight in the series and eight of 12 overall.

The Beavers enter the 2018 season ranked 5th in the overall NSIC Preseason Coaches’ Poll and 2nd in the North Division for the third consecutive season.

Olszewski was selected as the NSIC North Division Defensive Player of the Year and BSU’s Defensive Player to Watch for the second consecutive season.

Olszewski has previously earned three All-NSIC Defensive First Team honors, All-NSIC Special Teams Honorable Mention, NSIC Newcomer of the Year, Lindy’s Sports Magazine Preseason All-Division II Second Team, Football Gameplan’s 2016 Preseason All-American Team, Conference Commissioner’s Association (CCA) All-Super Region Three Second Team Defense, three NSIC Player of the Week accolades and D2Football.com Defensive Player of the Week, after tying a program single-game record of three interceptions Oct. 31, 2015 at Minot State University.

Olszewski ranks second in BSU history with 705 career punt return yards, fifth with 11 interceptions and third with 153 solo tackles. He is nine tackles shy of reaching the top 10 in program history.

Lackowski was chosen as BSU’s Offensive Player to Watch in the 2018 NSIC Preseason Coaches’ Poll after being selected 2017 All-NSIC North Division Offensive First Team.

Lackowski became the first BSU back to rush for over 150 yards in three consecutive games since Avery Walker did so during the 2013 season. He ran for 100+ yards four times in a span of five weeks last season, including setting career-high marks with 163 yards in week six against University of Mary, 166 in week seven at Minot State and 184 in week eight at Northern State University.

U-Mary

The Marauders lost in a heart-breaker, 14-13, at St. Cloud State University to open the 2018 season.

The Huskies scored a touchdown with 1:07 remaining in the game for the final go-ahead score.

Junior quarterback Jordan Velarde accounted for both of U-Mary’s touchdowns, running for a 20-yard score and throwing a 51-yard touchdown pass. Velarde finished with 191 passing yards, two total touchdowns and one interception.

U-Mary gave up 255 passing yards and 105 rushing yards to St. Cloud State.

Sophomore linebacker Jamison Lytle posted six total tackles and 2.5 tackles for a loss, while freshman defensive back Marquell Evans and junior linebacker Paul Guptill each recorded an interception.

U-Mary Head Coach Craig Bagnell will face Bemidji State for the first time since leaving the BSU program in 2017.

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