Beaver Football Gameday – Game 7 – October 21, 2023 – vs Concordia St Paul

The Bemidji State Beavers Football team, returning home to Chet Anderson Stadium, takes on the Golden Bears from CSP. Our pregame show starts at 12:30am 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).

BEMIDJI, Minn. – The No. 15/9 Bemidji State University Football team started early piling up 19 points in the first quarter on their way to the 38-3 home win over Concordia-St. Paul in Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference play inside Chet Anderson Stadium on Saturday.

Bemidji State (6-1, 6-1 NSIC) scored just over two minutes in and never looked back. Following a 19-0 lead after the first 15 minutes, the Beavers stretched the lead to 31-0 at halftime. BSU benefited from a big game on special teams with three blocked punts on three consecutive punt attempts by the Golden Bears (2-6, 1-6 NSIC). The first was blocked by Marcus Hansen, then on the second punt Stephen Hoffman was able to get a piece of the punt. Then the final block was sent back by Jacob Drietz to complete the hat trick. Entering this week, only eight teams in NCAA Division II had at least three blocked punts. It wasn’t just the special teams, but the defense had three interceptions and three sacks. Max Buduris had an interception return for a touchdown. Cole Sorby and Colton Hinrichs added an interception each. Luke Hessenauer had 1.5 sacks, Buduris added a sack and Theodus Ringgold added a half-sack.

Overall, Bemidji State outgained CSP, 350-262, with BSU rushing for 223 yards. It’s the first time in 32 games that the Beavers have rushed for more yards than passing in a game. Brandon Alt completed 10-16 for 114 yards and two touchdowns. He has now thrown for 100 passing touchdowns in 33 games. Sage Booker caught two passes for 33 yards. Joey Baron added four catches for 28 yards and a score. Jake Hill had the other touchdown on a 20-yard reception.

Ali Mohamed led the rushing attack carrying the ball 10 times for 77 yards and two touchdowns. Jarrett Gronski had 11 for 52 yards. Jayden Washington carried it seven times for 47 yards and a score. Booker added four carries for 32 yards.

Buduris had a big game with seven tackles (four solo), a tackle for loss, a sack, two pass breakups and a 10-yard interception return for a touchdown. Jarrett Klein and Spencer Shaver added six tackles apiece.

It was a strong start right away for the Beavers. After forcing the Golden Bears to a three-and-out, the first blocked punt arrived. Hansen flew through the line to block the punt that went out of bounds at the CSP 4. On the next snap, Mohamed went in for the touchdown for the 6-0 lead.

On the next drive, the defense was able to force a turnover on downs near midfield. After the Beavers turned the ball over, another blocked punt was in line. This time, Hoffman was able to get a piece of the punt.

Following the second blocked punt, the offense drove 76 yards to push the lead to 12-0. During the eight-play drive, Alt found Baron for 14 yards and then another 18-yard pass from Alt to Washington were the big plays. All of that led to the 20-yard pass from Alt to Hill for the 12-0 lead.

Another three-and-out followed for the Beaver defense and that setup the third blocked punt. Drietz was able to get through this time and set the Beavers up inside the 10. On the next play, Alt found Baron for the six-yard strike to push the lead to 19-0 late in the first quarter.

Nearly midway through the second quarter, the Beavers expanded on the lead. Starting at the BSU 36, Mohamed rushed the ball four straight times to account for all 64 yards on the drive. He started off with a 24-yard rush, then added a 21-yard carry. After a 10-yard run, he finished it from nine yards out for the 25-0 advantage.

The scoring wasn’t finished yet in the opening half. With Concordia-St. Paul starting at their own seven, Buduris jumped in front of a Reed Styer pass and returned it 10 yards for the touchdown to provide the halftime score of 31-0.

Both teams then mostly ran the ball for the second half with Bemidji State scoring their final points early in the third quarter. After Sorby’s interception and return had the ball at the CSP 22, Washington capped the drive with a two-yard TD run for the 38-0 lead.

CSP tallied their only points late in the third quarter when Payton Eue connected on a 42-yard field goal to provide the final margin of 38-3.

With the win, Bemidji State has now won three straight in the series and improve to 8-2 at home against CSP. BSU has outscored the Golden Bears 124-17 over those three wins.

With results around the NSIC, the last undefeated team in the conference is now Augustana. The Vikings picked up the 28-10 home win over Minnesota State. Minnesota Duluth rolled to the 42-7 win at Minot State. Northern State recorded the upset home win over Wayne State 28-26. The updated standings has Augustana at 7-0 in NSIC play, followed by Bemidji State, Minnesota State and Minnesota Duluth all at 6-1. Wayne State, MSU Moorhead and Wayne State are all 4-3.

Bemidji State travels to face Minnesota Duluth next Saturday, Oct. 28 with kickoff set for 12 p.m.