Beaver Football Gameday – Game 2 – September 9, 2023

The Bemidji State Beavers Football team travels to Marshall, MN to take on teh Southwest Minnesota State Mustangs. Our pregame show starts at 4:30pm on 92.1 The River. Listen in on the Beaver Radio Network (92.1 Bemidji, 107.9 Grand Rapids, 95.3 Thief River Falls, and 94.5 Baudette)

The No. 11/10 Bemidji State University Football team built a 21-7 halftime lead on their way to claiming the 34-14 road victory at Southwest Minnesota State on Saturday night at Mattke Field. In the process, head coach Brent Bolte stands alone in second in the program record book for wins as a head coach with 54.

It was another balanced attack for Bemidji State (2-0, 2-0 NSIC) rushing for 153 yards and throwing for 238 yards for 391 on the evening. The defense stuffed another rushing attack limiting Southwest Minnesota State (1-1, 1-1 NSIC) to just 59 net yards on the ground. Nine of the last 15 games the Beavers have held an opponent to under 100 rushing yards.

Senior Brandon Alt completed 21-36 for 238 yards and a score. Senior Dhel Duncan-Busby caught six passes for 66 yards. Senior Joey Baron grabbed four passes for 43 yards and a touchdown. Junior Jake Hill added three receptions for 41 yards. Out of the backfield, senior Sage Booker had four catches for 34 yards.

On the ground, senior Ali Mohamed rushed 16 times for 58 yards and a touchdown. Booker had seven carries for 51 yards and a touchdown. Junior Jarrett Gronski carried it seven times for 26 yards and added a score.

Seniors Cole Sorby and Spencer Wehr led the defense with six tackles apiece. Seniors Jarrett Klein and Max Buduris, along with redshirt sophomore Marcus Hansen added five tackles each. Hansen had three tackles for loss and two more sacks. He also added a forced fumble. BSU forced three fumbles, recovering two by juniors Jamel Stone and Darnell McCrea.

Bolte improves to 5-0 against SMSU as head coach and the Beavers have won 18 of the last 19 meetings since 1997 and have won five straight in the series.

Right away the defense set the tone forcing a three-and-out. The offense went to work out near midfield keeping the drive moving on a big third-and-seven conversion when Alt hit Duncan-Busby for 22 yards to the SMSU 31. Another third down arrived inside the 10 on third-and-three, Mohamed powered through to move the chains with the first down at the five. A couple of snaps later, Mohamed capped the drive with a two-yard surge to the end zone for the 7-0 lead just over five minutes in.

BSU’s defense forced another quick three-and-out and the offense would move right down the field again. This time beginning at the BSU 35, Alt found Duncan-Busby for 11 yards and then for nine more to move into SMSU territory at the 44. Alt pushed the Beavers into the red zone with a 24-yard find to Baron down to the 18. Faced with a fourth-and-two, Alt went back to Duncan-Busby for the first down at the four. Two snaps later, Booker carried it in from two yards out for the rushing touchdown and a 14-0 lead near the end of the first quarter.

The Mustangs answered back with a lengthy drive that spanned the end of the first quarter and chewed up nearly six minutes of the second quarter that ended with a two-yard TD run to trim the lead to 14-7.

It wouldn’t take long for Bemidji State to regain the two touchdown advantage. Junior De’vonta’ Roberts returned the kickoff 38 yards to put the ball out near midfield. After several running plays had the ball just outside the red zone at the SMSU 21, BSU moved the chains on third-and-four with a 10-yard pass from Alt to Booker. Then on third-and-six at the seven, Alt found Baron for the seven-yard TD across the middle to push Bemidji State back in front by 14 at 21-7 with five minutes to go before halftime.

Southwest Minnesota State threatened to score before the half, moving the ball to the BSU 16. On a shotgun snap, the Beavers were able to get pressure on Marcus Martin resulting in a strip sack by Hansen. McCrea landed on the loose ball to preserve the 21-7 lead entering halftime.

Bemidji State received the ball to start the second half and would move the ball from the BSU 20 to the SMSU 11 before junior Marko Jovisic converted on the 29-yard field goal for the 24-7 lead with 10 minutes to play in the third.

After the teams traded possessions, the defense forced another big turnover near midfield. On fourth-and-three at the BSU 45, SMSU went for it. Martin found Eric Lira for 11 yards and the first down, but Stone forced the fumble and then recovered for another big turnover.

The Beavers turned that into three more points early in the fourth quarter when Jovisic connected from 23 yards out for the 27-7 lead.

Southwest Minnesota State kept fighting answering back with a scoring drive capped on a 24-yard pass from Martin to Donald Austin leaving BSU ahead 27-14 with 11:58 to play in the game.

BSU wasn’t able to move the ball on the next drive and SMSU moved out near midfield faced with a fourth-and-1 at the SMSU 43. The Mustangs went for it and on the pass attempt, Cade Barrett broke it up to turn the ball over on downs.

With just under nine minutes to play, the Beavers put the game away with the ensuing drive. In just five plays, BSU went 57 yards to find the end zone. The big play was Alt finding Hill for 31 yards to the SMSU six. After another pass play to Hill had the ball at the one, Gronski finished the drive off with a one-yard TD run for the 34-14 lead with 6:10 to play.

Bemidji State will return home next Saturday (Sept. 16) when they host Winona State with kickoff set for 2 p.m. at Chet Anderson Stadium. It will be the Shrine Game/Senior Day/Family Weekend.




  1st 2nd 3rd 4th OT Total
BSU 14 7 3 10 0 34
SMSU 0 7 0 7 0 14

First Quarter

09:18 – BSU – Ali Mohamed 2 yd run (Marko Jovisic kick)09:18 – BSU – Ali Mohamed 2 yd run (Marko Jovisic kick)

03:31 – BSU – Sage Booker 2 yd run (Marko Jovisic kick)03:31 – BSU – Sage Booker 2 yd run (Marko Jovisic kick)

Second Quarter

09:34 – SMSU – Brye Hardel 2 yd pass from Marcus Martin (Carter Dicker kick)09:34 – SMSU – Brye Hardel 2 yd pass from Marcus Martin (Carter Dicker kick)

04:59 – BSU – Joey Baron 7 yd pass from Brandon Alt (Marko Jovisic kick)04:59 – BSU – Joey Baron 7 yd pass from Brandon Alt (Marko Jovisic kick)

Third Quarter

10:27 – BSU – Marko Jovisic 29 yd field goal10:27 – BSU – Marko Jovisic 29 yd field goal

Fourth Quarter

14:57 – BSU – Marko Jovisic 23 yd field goal 14:57 – BSU – Marko Jovisic 23 yd field goal

11:58 – SMSU – Donald Austin 24 yd pass from Marcus Martin (Carter Dicker kick) 11:58 – SMSU – Donald Austin 24 yd pass from Marcus Martin (Carter Dicker kick)

06:10 – BSU – Jarrett Gronski 1 yd run (Marko Jovisic kick) 06:10 – BSU – Jarrett Gronski 1 yd run (Marko Jovisic kick)