September 15, 20121st2nd3rd4thFinal
Wayne State3701020
Bemidji State0071017
Scoring
1st Quarter
WSCFG03:56Martin 37 Yd
2nd Quarter
WSCTD00:16Pulscher 3 Yd Run (Martin kick)
3rd Quarter
BSUTD07:53Rongstad 3 Yd Run (Pulkinen kick)
4th Quarter
BSUFG10:36Pulkinen 39 Yd
WSCTD06:58Davidson 11 Yd Run (Martin kick)
BSUTD03:15Gandrud 5 Yd Pass From Rongstad (Pulkinen kick)
WSCFG00:35Martin 42 Yd
Stats at a GlanceWSCBSU
1st Downs1223
3rd Down Conversions3-165-15
4th Down Conversions0-00-2
Passing (Comp-Att)163 (17-31) 348 (24-41)
Rushing (Att)77 (37) 103 (37)
Total Yards240451
Penalties13-1016-55
Turnovers15
Fumbles Lost04
Interceptions11
Possession27:5732:03
Wildcats nip Beavers with late field goal, 20-17
Saturday, September 15, 2012
Wildcats nip Beavers with late field goal, 20-17

BEMIDJI, Minn. (Chet Anderson Stadium) -- Wayne State College lifted a 42-yard field goal through the uprights with 35 seconds to play to edge the Bemidji State University football team, 20-17, Saturday in a Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference contest at Chet Anderson Stadium in Bemidji, Minn. Turnovers punished the Beavers for the second consecutive game, as five giveaways led to 17 Wildcat points.

Senior quarterback Lance Rongstad (Eleva, Wis.) threw for a carrier-high 348 yards to guide the Beavers (1-2, 1-2 NSIC) to a season-high 451 yards of total offense, while the Gang Green defense held the Wildcats – who are receiving votes in the national poll - to 240 total yards. Despite the inflated numbers, mistakes and turnovers haunted the Beavers for the second consecutive game, as BSU lost four fumbles, was intercepted once and had a punt blocked. Those miscues led to 17 of the 20 Wayne State (3-0, 3-0 NSIC) points.

Last week at Minnesota State University, Mankato, five fumbles lost led to 24 of the 38 points the Mavericks put on the board.

The Beavers also dominated first downs (23-12) and time of possession (32:03-27:57) and was gifted more than 100 yards in penalties for the second straight week, but failed to convert the extra help into enough points for victory.

The Beavers faced a 10-0 halftime deficit after allowing a touchdown just before half after a costly fumble at midfield. BSU came out in the second half with more purpose and put a seven spot on the board when Rongstad rushed three yards to the end zone to cap a seven-play, 42 yard touchdown drive to cut the Wildcat lead to 10-7 midway through the third frame.

BSU then knotted the game at 10-10 early in the fourth quarter, turning a WSC field goal miss into three points of its own on a 39-yard field goal from junior Zach Pulkinen (P/K, Minot, N.D.).

The Wildcats couldn’t get much going on offense in the second half, but the special teams unit and defense picked up the slack down the stretch. A three-and-out deep in its own territory forced the Beavers to punt and on the attempt, and untouched Richard Daniel came flying in and blocked Pulkinen cleanly, enabling his teammates to fall on the ball at BSU’s 11 yard line. One play later the road squad held a 17-10 advantage.

With just under seven minutes showing on the clock, the Beavers got on the back of Rongstad, as he took the ensuing kickoff 75 yards down the field in 10 plays, ultimately connecting with senior wide receiver Matt Gandrud (Elk River, Minn.) for a five yard touchdown. A successful extra point made it 17-17 with 3:15 remaining in regulation.

The Gang Green defense came up large again and pushed back WSC four yards and forced them to punt the ball back to the Beavers. Senior return man Beau Wakefield (Butternut, Wis.) brought the punt back to midfield, but an illegal block in the back penalty placed BSU at its 25 yard line. On the first play of the drive, a poor snap to Rongstad in shotgun formation led to another fumble recovery for the Wildcats, as they took over at the BSU 11.

Fortunately for the Beavers, an unsportsmanlike penalty on WSC placed the ball at the BSU 26. The defense yet again came up large and allowed just a yard in three plays, forcing a long 42-yarder for Wildcat kicker Max Martin – who had missed a 33 yard attempt at the same goal posts at the start of the fourth quarter.

A good snap, hold and boot by Martin put the ball through the uprights and gave the Wildcats the 20-17 lead with only 35 ticks left for BSU to work with. After the kick return, BSU had the ball at its own 20, but two plays into the desperation drive, the ball was stripped from the hands of Rongstad as he fled the pocket and the fourth fumble lost of the day went the way of the Wildcats and the game ended in victory formation for WSC. 

Rongstad added 56 yards on the ground to guide the Beaver rushing attack and total more than 400 yards of individual offense (404 yards) to become the first Bemidji State player to reach that plateau since Nathan Sannes passed for 396 yards and rushed for 42 (438 total offensive yards) against Wayne State, Nov. 5, 2005. Through the air, he went 24-for-41 with a touchdown and interception. The 41 attempts and more than 300 yards through the air mark the first time a BSU quarterback attempted more than 40 attempts and threw for 300 yards since Derek Edholm did so against University of Minnesota Duluth Oct. 24, 2009 (41 attempts, 391 yards) – also a Bemidji State loss.

Rongstad continued to evenly distribute his yards to the veteran receiver core, connecting with his favorite target so far this season, senior Justin Lee (Elgin, Ill.), eight times for 122 yards. Both marks established career-highs for Lee, set two weeks earlier against Upper Iowa University. He owns 214 receiving yards this season, to already establish a career-high for yards in a season. Gandrud posted a career-high 90 yards on a career-best five receptions. Senior wide receiver Jody Henningson (North Aurora, Ill.) added a career-mark of 76 yards on four receptions and Wakefield posted a career-high four receptions for 29 yards.

On the defensive side of the ball, redshirt freshman Connor Quinn (LB, Geneva, Ill.) made his first-collegiate start and recorded seven tackles (five solo) with 1.5 tackles for loss (-8 yards). BSU’s top two tacklers this season again led the way with 10 tackles each. Senior linebacker Cory Crosby (Cold Spring, Minn.) posted three solo tackles with 1.5 tackles for loss (-2 yards), while fellow inside backer Jason Bromm (South Barrington, Ill.) had one of his 10 tackles as a solo effort and added a half tackle for loss. Sophomore safety Scott Christensen (Stockbridge, Ga.) made his second consecutive start of the season and posted six tackles (three solo) with a team-high 2.5 tackles for loss (-11 yards).

The Beavers will look to regroup Sept. 22, as they travel to new NSIC member University of Sioux Falls for a 12 p.m. kickoff at Bob Young Field in Sioux Falls, S.D.

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

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).

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