October 13, 20121st2nd3rd4thFinal
Northern State60006
Bemidji State1472023
1st Quarter
BSUTD06:10Kroeplin 2 Yd Run (Pulkinen kick)
NSUTD04:13Jacobson 3 Yd Run
BSUTD00:19Leonhardt 4 Yd Pass From Rongstad (Pulkinen kick)
2nd Quarter
BSUTD05:40Gandrud 16 Yd Pass From Rongstad (Pulkinen kick)
3rd Quarter
Stats at a GlanceNSUBSU
1st Downs2222
3rd Down Conversions4-129-15
4th Down Conversions1-41-3
Passing (Comp-Att)296 (24-40) 182 (17-28)
Rushing (Att)38 (31) 199 (42)
Total Yards334381
Fumbles Lost11
Beavers win third straight with 23-6 victory versus Northern State
Saturday, October 13, 2012
Beavers win third straight with 23-6 victory versus Northern State

BEMIDJI, Minn. (Chet Anderson Stadium) – A balanced offensive attack and stout defense guided the Bemidji State University football team to a 23-6 Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference North victory Saturday against visiting Northern State University. The win makes three straight for the Beavers, improving to 4-3 overall, 4-3 in the NSIC and a perfect 3-0 record in NSIC North play.  

The ‘Gang Green’ defense allowed the one Northern State score on its first possession of the game after allowing two big plays of 22 and 28 yards, respectfully, but a missed extra point put just six on the board for the Wolves. The rest of the game, the BSU defense limited big plays and the special teams units came up big with a blocked field goal attempt, en route to its second game of the season holding the opponent to six or less points.

The Beavers took the opening kickoff 16 plays and 84 yards to the end zone, which was capped by a two-yard blast by senior running back Dustin Kroeplin (Withee, Wis.). The drive – which stands as BSU’s longest of the season for both plays and yards – was guided by senior quarterback Lance Rongstad (Eleva, Wis.), as he found three different receivers for 31 yards and rushed for 28 yards. Kroeplin ran for 25 yards of his 112 yards in the drive without posting a carry of more than four yards.

The Beaver offense put two more touchdowns on the board during their next two possessions as they continued to run on all cylinders. BSU used three plays of more than 10 yards to help it get down the NSU 4 before Rongstad found senior tight end Brian Leonhardt (Blaine, Minn.) for his first touchdown of the season. The play to set-up first-and-goal was a 17-yard strike from Rongstad to senior receiver Justin Lee (Elgin, Ill.).

The next touchdown was started and finished by senior wide receiver Matt Gandrud (Elk River, Minn.). A staple on special teams his entire career, Gandrud blocked a 27-yard field goal attempt and the Beaver offense took over at their own 33. Mixing the run and pass game BSU got down to the NSU 16 when Rongstad found Gandrud and he followed his blockers into the end zone for his second touchdown of the season. 

The extra point was tacked on by junior Zach Pulkinen (K/P, Minot, N.D.) and the scoreboard read 21-6.

Those numbers didn’t change through halftime and into the third quarter when a bad snap by NSU on a punt attempt rolled out the back of the end zone and handed the Beavers a safety – the second for BSU this season - for the 23-6 lead.

The Wolves entered Bemidji State territory in their final four possessions, but were forced to punt, missed a field goal, fumbled and turned the ball over on downs attempting to get into the end zone.

The Beavers were again led by senior linebacker Cory Crosby (Cold Spring, Minn.), as the veteran totaled 14 tackles (seven solo), forced a fumble and posted career-highs for both tackles for loss (4.0, -38 yards) and sacks (2.5, - 34 yards). Crosby captained a complete defensive effort, as nine players finished with four or more tackles, three of which had eight, including sophomore Nate Adams (DL, Litchfield, Minn.). He recorded a career-high eight tackles (one solo) with a career-best 1.5 sacks that forced the Wolves back 13 yards. In all, BSU stuck the Wolves behind the line of scrimmage four times and sacked the NSU quarterback four times to total 57 yards lost for the visitors. 

The Beaver offense was efficient on third down, especially in the first half, converting on six of eight attempts in the first 30 minutes and finishing 9-for-15. The defense only allowed NSU to convert four of its 12 third down attempts and one of four fourth down tries.

BSU controlled the time of possession by 10 minutes, despite only out-gaining the Wolves by 47 yards and running one less play. The Beaver ground attack totaled 199 yards, led by Kroeplin’s second consecutive and 11th career 100-yard game. His 112 yards jumps his career total to 2,845 yards and moves him up to fourth all-time at Bemidji State. Rongstad accompanied his 182 yards and two scores through the air with 57 yards on the ground, including a 28-yard scamper. The BSU defense stifled the Northern State run to just 38 yards.

Lee posted his fifth 70-plus yard receiving day this season with 88 yards. He has totaled 489 yards this season and is averaging 69.9 yards per game. He owns 995 career receiving yards. Gandrud finished with 41 yards.

Pulkinen was good on all three extra point attempts, pinned Northern State inside the 20 on all three of his punts that totaled 131 yards (43.7 yards per punt) – including a 55 yard punt that tied a career-high – and posted 246 yards on four kickoffs to average 61.5 yards per kick.

The Beavers enter their toughest two-game stretch of the season, as they take to the road for the next two contests, starting with University of Minnesota Duluth Oct. 20. UMD was ranked No. 9 in the nation entering this week and host BSU at 1 p.m. at Malosky Stadium.  

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).