Beavers host Wayne State in 16th Annual Shrine Game
Wednesday, September 12, 2012
Beavers host Wayne State in 16th Annual Shrine Game

Setting the Scene

Date: Saturday, September 15, 2012
Bemidji, Minn.
1:00 p.m.
Chet Anderson Stadium
Stadium Capacity/Surface:
Local Radio:
WMIS 92.1 The River
Brian Schultz
Brian Bissonette
Kelly Schultz
Internet Audio: and
Local Television:
KBSU Ch. 17
Scott Williams
Brett Leach
Web cast:

The Game
The Bemidji State University football team (1-1; 1-1 NSIC, 0-0 NSIC North) hosts Wayne State College (2-0; 2-0 NSIC, 0-0 NSIC South) Sept. 15 in a 1 p.m. Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference contest at Chet Anderson Stadium. The contest marks the 16th annual Shrine Game at Bemidji State. BSU is 10-5 all-time in Shrine Games. The Beavers are coming off a 38-10 loss at Minnesota State University, Mankato, while Wayne State is fresh off a 20-6 home victory against Minot State University.       

The Series
The Beavers and Wildcats have met 16 times, dating back to 1990, with Wayne State holding a 7-9 edge in the all-time series. BSU stunned the then-No. 14 Wildcats in the last meeting, downing WSC in Bemidji 21-10, Oct. 10, 2009. The Beavers are 3–3 at The Chet against the Wildcats. In the last five games, WSC is 3-2 and four of the last five meetings have been decided by 11 points or less.  

The Coaches
Bemidji State: Jeff Tesch
is in his 17th season roaming the sidelines at Bemidji State. He has posted an overall record of 107-68 (.611), which includes a 82-51 (.617) mark in NSIC tilts. In 17 seasons, Tesch has established BSU standards for games coached (175), victories (107), career winning percentage (.611) and conference wins (82). He secured his 100th victory at BSU in grand fashion with a 30-27 overtime upset road victory at then-No. 16 Augustana College Sept. 10, 2011. Prior to his tenure at BSU, Tesch, a two-time NSIC Coach of the Year (1999 and 2006), spent 12 years as an assistant at North Dakota, two on the staff of Central Missouri and one season at Montana State.

Wayne State: The 2012 season marks the eighth year for Dan McLaughlin as head football coach at Wayne State. He has a career mark of 48-33 overall and 44-22 in the NSIC as the Wildcats head coach. McLaughlin has turned Wayne State into a consistant winner with five straight winning seasons, a feat never achieved in the program’s 97 year history. He came to Wayne State after spending one season as offensive coordinator at Minnesota State in Mankato, Minnesota and was a graduate assistant coach at the University of Nebraska, after spending 15 seasons at the high school ranks.

The Program
Bemidji State is in its 87th season of football and owns an all-time record is 324-402-24 (.448) dating back to 1926, which includes a 185-252-9 (.425) mark in NSIC play. The Beavers own five conference titles (1947, 50, 57, 59 and 2006) and count the 2006 Mineral Water Bowl as their first post-season appearance. Under the direction of Tesch, BSU has posted winning records in 13 of the last 14 years and have registered 10 consecutive winning home campaigns.

Game Quick Snap
• Bemidji State has hosted Wayne State in the annual Shrine Game on two other occasions. The Beavers are 2-0 against Wayne State in the Shrine Game, winning 38-2 in 2002 and 52-38 in 1999.
• Wayne State is receiving votes in the AFCA poll.
• BSU was 4-0 against the NSIC South last season and are 5-1 in the last six meetings with the division.
• The Wildcat defense has allowed just six points in each of their first two games to lead the NSIC and rank No. 5 nationally in scoring defense.
• WSC has the ninth best passing offense in the league, while BSU has the third best passing defense in the conference.
• Head coach Jeff Tesch is 7-4 against Wayne State at BSU’s head coach.

Season Long Count
• BSU has posted a winning record in 12 of the last 13 seasons under head coach Jeff Tesch.
• The Beavers also have 10 consecutive winning seasons at home after going 5-1 in 2011 to tie a program record for wins at home (1985 - 5-0 and 2000 - 5-0).
• BSU will look to build on its sixth eight-win season under Tesch - who enters his 17th season at Bemidji State on a new six-year contract extension.
• BSU was tabbed sixth overall and third in the NSIC North in the Preseason NSIC Coaches’ Poll.
• The Beavers return 16 starters from a 2011 team that ranked in the national poll on three different occasions - including seven all-conference players.    • The Beaver offense finished the 2011 season averaging 26.8 points per game and welcomes eight starters, including 2011 All-American and 2012 preseason All-American tight end Brian Leonhardt.
• The ‘Gang Green’ defense returns seven starters from a year ago. Anchored by preseason All-American nose guard Matthew Shaver, the BSU defense was one of the best in the conference in 2011 allowing just 16.0 points per contest to rank No. 3 in the nation.
• 2012 captains are senior quarterback Lance Rongstad and Leonhardt on the offensive side of the ball and the defensive captains are senior linebacker Cory Crosby and junior linebacker Buckley Wright.
• Leonhardt was named a preseason All-American by four publications. Senior return specialist Beau Wakefield and Shaver also earned preseason All-American laurels.
• Leonhardt owns 1,125 career receiving yards, ranking second among Bemidji State tight ends since 1971 (Bruce Ecklund, 1,542 yards, 1980-83).
• The Beavers were 4-1 in 2011 when senior Dustin Kroeplin rushed for a touchdown and are 17-2 in his three-year career when he finds the end zone from the backfield. Through the air or on the ground, the Beavers hold a 18-3 record.
• Rongstad was named NSIC Offensive Player of the Week Sept. 4 after his performance against Upper Iowa. He totaled 228 passing yards, a career-high four passing touchdowns and led the team in rushing with 58 yards.
• He was the first NSIC Offensive Player of the Week from Bemidji State since Anthony Schreiber in 2006.

At Their Best for the Shrine
Bemidji State has a strong tradition of winning the Shrine Game. In the previous 15 events, BSU holds a 10-5 record, winning six of its last eight games. Last season, the Beavers downed Southwest Minnesota State 41-10. The Beavers are 2-0 against Wayne State in the Shrine Game, winning 38-2 in 2002 and 52-38 in 1999.

BSU in the Shrine
Southwest Minnesota State - W, 41-10 (9/17/11)
Augustana - L, 10-0 (9/11/10)
Winona State - W, 24-19 (9/12/09)
Minnesota State - L, 28-14 (9/6/08)
Minot State - W, 31-7 (9/8/07)
Minnesota, Crookston - W, 56-7 (9/23/06)
Minnesota State - W, 28-23 (9/10/05)
Wisconsin-River Falls - W, 58-14 (9/18/04)
Chadron State - L, 43-22 (9/13/03)
Wayne State - W, 38-2 (9/28/02)
Winona State - L, 41-35 (9/15/01)
Northern State - W, 39-38 (9/23/00)
Wayne State - W, 52-38 (9/18/99)
St. Thomas - W, 25-21 (9/12/98)
Southwest Minnesota State - L, 16-0 (9/27/97)

For more information on the Bemidji State football program, follow the Beavers on Twitter (@BemidjiStateFB or @BSUBeavers), like them on Facebook ( or or sign up for the TXTUpdates from text-messaging system through the "Mulitmedia" pull down menu on the main page of

Nestled in Northern Minnesota’s wooded region and located on the shore of Lake Bemidji, Bemidji State University sponsors 15 varsity athletic programs with NCAA Division I men’s and women’s hockey membership in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association, while its 13 NCAA Division II programs hold membership in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC).