The Beaver defense was stingy the whole game, forcing six turnovers, all with the Golden Bears in field goal range. Aside from Scheff’s three interceptions, they added two fumble recoveries and another interception from senior safety Dusty Sluzewicz on the Bears’ first drive. Freshman defensive lineman J.J. Reinke sacked the quarterback three times in the game, helping put pressure on a passing attack that gave the Beavers some trouble.
The Beavers got on the board early, with a three-yard touchdown run by junior running back Dustin Kroeplin. The touchdown was Kroeplin’s sixth of the season and was scored just five minutes into the game.
The Beavers would continue to put pressure on the Bears when junior quarterback Lance Rongstad connected with senior wide receiver Cameron Abram for the longest touchdown pass of Rongstad’s career. Abram took a 56-yard pass to the house, putting the Beavers up 14-0 to end the first half.
The Golden Bears responded in their first drive of the second half, scoring on a long third down pass, making the score 14-7. The Beavers didn’t hold up though, scoring on their next possession with a 68-yard drive. Rongstad added a rushing touchdown to his day, bringing the ball in with a ten-yard run. The Beavers’ extra point attempt was blocked, keeping the score 20-7.
The Beavers’ defense stepped it up, with all of Scheff’s interceptions coming with the score 20-7.
The team stats were not indicative of the game’s score, with the Bears dominating the stat line. The Bears’ 21 first downs and 442 total offensive yards eclipsed both the Beavers’ 13 first downs and 281 total offensive yards, but the turnovers were the Bears’ undoing.
The Beavers’ rushing attack picked up 175 yards, and Rongstad passed for a total of 106 yards. Kroeplin led the Beaver runners with 72 yards and a score, and Rongstad added 52 yards, including his 10-yard touchdown. Senior running back Brandon Miles added 44 yards, and sophomore running back Brent Kondziolka added ten yards.
In the air, the Beavers’ 106 yards went to four receivers. Abram had just his one touchdown catch for 56-yards, junior wide receiver Matt Gandrud had two catches for 21 yards, junior tight end Brian Leonhardt had one catch for 17 yards and junior wide receiver Christian Metz had one catch for 12 yards.
When the final buzzer sounded, the Beavers took the traditional run into Lake Bemidji for the eleventh time under head coach Jeff Tesch. The Beavers were joined by BSU President Richard Hanson, and the splashing would be capped off with the BSU school song.
The Beavers will get to stay home for one more weekend when the MSU-Moorhead Dragons come to town for the annual Battle of the Axe. The game starts at 1:00 p.m. at Chet Anderson Stadium.