Beaver Fever Friday – Connor Cusick – Football

Bemidji State Football tests seven-game winning streak against Wolves to clinch at least share of NSIC North title

The Bemidji State Football team will look to extend its Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference leading seven-game winning streak this weekend by hosting Northern State University at Chet Anderson Stadium Saturday, Nov. 5.

The Beavers (7-2, 4-0 NSIC North) resume action in NSIC North Division play against the Wolves (6-3, 3-1 NSIC North) who are nipping at the heels of the Beavers in the NSIC North standings.

Saturday’s games between the Beavers and Wolves will be the final home game of the regular season at Chet Anderson Stadium and kick-off between the two teams is set for 1:00 p.m.

Bemidji State can clinch at least a share of the NSIC North Division title with a win over the Wolves but can win the division outright if it wins its final two games.

Bemidji State is receiving eight votes in the latest top-25 national poll but is ranked No. 22 in the latest media top-25 poll to enter the poll for the first time since preseason.

Bemidji State is also ranked No. 7 in the latest NCAA Regional Poll announced Monday with the top seven teams advancing to the regional tournament.

Bemidji State and Northern State have met a total of 44 times in the two program’s histories with the Beavers holding a 24-19-1 edge in the all-time record.

Bemidji State has won the last six meetings against the Wolves including last year’s 36-34 win in Aberdeen, S.D., on Nov. 6.

At home, the Beavers are 13-6-1 all-time against Northern State.

In last season’s meeting, Brandon Alt shredded the Wolves’ secondary and threw for 376 yards and four touchdowns on 30-of-46 passing.

The Beavers’ rushing attack also dominated in the game and the combination of Sage Booker and Makaio Harn combined for 191 yards on the ground with 110 from Booker.

Dhel Duncan-Busby caught a then career-high 103 yards and two touchdowns on six catches.

Bemidji State head coach Brent Bolte is a perfect 5-0 in his six-year head coaching career against Northern State.

Junior quarterback Brandon Alt threw for 359 yards on 25-of-38 passing in last week’s 34-15 win at SMSU. It was the 20th consecutive game where Alt has thrown for at least 250 yards.

Alt is approaching career milestones at Bemidji State and is 812 yards and eight touchdowns shy of surpassing Jordan Hein as the program’s career passing yardage and touchdown leader.

He continues to lead the NSIC in passing yards (2,863), touchdowns (26), yards per completion (15.39), points responsible for (164) and is second in the league in passing efficiency (159.1).

Alt is also fourth in Division II in passing yards, touchdowns and 14th in passing efficiency.

Alt’s primary target this season is senior Brendan Beaulieu. Beaulieu leads the NSIC with 1,026 receiving yards and is one of six receivers in DII over the 1,000-yard mark. He also leads the conference with nine receiving touchdowns and is 11th in DII. His 58 receptions this season is third in the NSIC and 11th in the nation.

He is the program’s all-time career receiving yards leader (3,247), receiving touchdowns leader (28) and is second in receptions (191), just five shy of tying Anthony Schreiber for most in program history.

His fellow receiver, Dhel Duncan-Busby is second in the NSIC with eight receiving touchdowns and fourth in yards (769).

Jalen Frye leads the Beavers’ rushing attack and has totaled 608 yards on 139 attempts (4.0/a). His seven touchdowns this season is seventh in the NSIC.

Bemidji State is led on defense by linebacker Spencer Wehr who has totaled 52 tackles including 34 solo tackles. He is followed by Colton Herman (44) Max Buduris (39) and Stephen Hoffman (34).

Zollie Kaplan paces the “Gang-Green” defense with 8.5 sacks this season and is tied for 10th in Division II, third in the NSIC. He has totaled 20.0 sacks in his career and is tied for fourth most in program history.

Sophomore Princeten Harris leads the Beavers with four interceptions which is tied for the conference lead and tied for 10th in DII.