The Bemidji State Beavers Football team, fresh off a bye week, and a three point loss to MSU Mankato two weeks ago, travels to Wayne State this weekend. Our pregame show starts at 11:30am 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)
WAYNE, Neb. – The No. 15/11 Bemidji State University Football team showed no rust from the bye week scoring on their first two drives to propel the Beavers to the 33-23 road win on Saturday afternoon at Wayne State College in Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Play.
Several milestones were hit in the process. With his 345 passing yards, Brandon Alt has exceeded 10,000 for his career. The win was the 400th in program history. It was also the first home loss for Wayne State over the past two seasons, having gone 9-0 during that time.
Bemidji State (5-1, 5-1 NSIC) dominated play right away. After forcing Wayne State (5-2, 4-2 NSIC) to go three-and-out to start the game, the offense went to work. Faced with third-and-10 at the WSC 35, Alt eluded pressure to find an open Sage Booker near the sideline. He broke free for the 35-yard score for the 7-0 lead just over four minutes in.
The defense forced another three-and-out and the offense took over near midfield. Alt found Brice Peters for 18 yards and then Peters again for 23 more yards to place the ball at the five. After an Alt to Jake Hill pass netted nine yards to the one following a false start, it was third-and-goal at the one. Alt went to Dhel Duncan-Busby who out jumped the defender for the touchdown and a 14-0 lead at the 6:50 mark.
Wayne State put together a drive on their third possession, but the defense limited the damage. Following a trip into the red zone, BSU would stop the drive forcing a 36-yard field goal for the 14-3 lead late in the first quarter.
The teams traded possessions throughout the second quarter with the defenses making big plays. Late in the quarter, Wayne State was able to get inside the red zone again but were denied the end zone. Settling for the 27-yard field goal to provide the halftime score of 14-6.
A big theme of the game was the defense limiting the points in the red zone. Midway through the third quarter, another drive by the Wildcats ended up in the red zone. WSC pushed the ball to the three, but a false start, three-yard rush and one-yard rush led to third-and-goal from the six. The Wildcats tried to throw for it, but it was incomplete. Another field goal followed, this one from 24 yards was good leaving BSU with the 14-9 lead.
Bemidji State answered and stretched the lead back to double digits. Alt started the drive with a 12-yard strike to Duncan-Busby then closed the drive with a 50-yard pass to Duncan-Busby as the Beavers went 75 yards in just two minutes to push the lead to 20-9 following a missed extra point.
After forcing a quick three-and-out, the offense took no time adding to the lead. With the ball at the BSU 38, Alt hit Drayton Lehman for 49 yards down to the one. On the next snap, Ali Mohamed found the end zone for the 27-9 lead.
To start the final frame, Wayne State found the end zone for the first time on a one-yard run by quarterback Nick Bohn to leave the lead at 27-16.
Both defenses then came up big. With the Beavers down near the red zone, a fumble was recovered and returned all the way to the BSU 39. On the second snap of the drive for the Wildcats, the BSU defense stood tall when Ricky Thompson II intercepted Bohn’s pass at the BSU 45.
Bemidji State collected a big defensive score when Wayne State was driving just past midfield and Caleb Young stepped into a Bohn pass and returned the interception 63 yards for the touchdown. That stretched the lead to 33-16 with just eight minutes to play.
While the game looked to be almost over, Wayne State came right back. On the next drive, the Wildcats tallied a 75-yard touchdown to cut the deficit back to 10 at 33-23. Then an interception by the Wildcats had the ball at the BSU 39. Wayne State had the ball down to the three for a first-and-goal. After an incomplete pass, a rushing play netted two yards to the one. Bohn tried to rush it in from there but was stopped short bringing up fourth-and-goal at the one. WSC went right back to Bohn on the keeper, but he was hit behind the line to turn the ball over on downs.
That big defensive stop sealed the win for the Beavers, as by the time Wayne State got the ball back with just over two minutes to play, they would turn the ball over on downs at the BSU 36 to preserve the 33-23 victory.
BSU held the slight 462-458 advantage in total yards, throwing for 345 yards. WSC threw for 410 yards. The Beaver defense kept WSC to just 48 rushing yards. Neither team recorded a sack and WSC had the ball for over 36 minutes.
Alt completed 22-39 for 345 yards and three touchdowns. Duncan-Busby caught seven passes for 108 yards and two touchdowns. Peters added seven catches for 91 yards and Lehman had his one catch for 49 yards. Booker added his 35-yrd receiving touchdown. Sam McGath led the rushing attack with four carries for 43 yards. Alt and Mohamed added 17 yards apiece with Mohamed adding a rushing touchdown.
Spencer Wehr led the defense with 10 tackles and 2.5 tackles for loss. He also had a pair of pass breakups. Jarrett Klein picked up nine tackles and a half tackle for loss. Max Buduris had three pass breakups.
Bemidji State improves to 3-0 away from home this year and have won four straight against Wayne State.
BSU will return home to host Concordia-St. Paul next Saturday for Youth Football Day with kickoff set for 1 p.m. at Chet Anderson Stadium.