November 10, 20121st2nd3rd4thFinal
Minot State00000
Bemidji State72171449
Scoring
1st Quarter
BSUTD03:36Hemling 2 Yd Run (Pulkinen kick)
2nd Quarter
BSUTD12:15Kondziolka 2 Yd Run (Pulkinen kick)
BSUTD05:52Wakefield 26 Yd Pass From Rongstad (Pulkinen kick)
BSUTD00:45Gandrud 7 Yd Pass From Rongstad (Pulkinen kick)
3rd Quarter
BSUTD03:25Hemling 1 Yd Run (Pulkinen kick)
4th Quarter
BSUTD14:50Walker 9 Yd Run (Pulkinen kick)
BSUTD08:25Leonhardt 10 Yd Pass From Rongstad (Pulkinen kick)
Stats at a GlanceMINOTBSU
1st Downs425
3rd Down Conversions2-1011-14
4th Down Conversions0-00-1
Passing (Comp-Att)28 (9-20) 225 (16-24)
Rushing (Att)29 (20) 201 (54)
Total Yards57426
Penalties3-177-60
Turnovers41
Fumbles Lost00
Interceptions41
Possession20:3439:26
Defense sets table for Beaver offense in 49-0 win; Share of NSIC North title
Saturday, November 10, 2012
Defense sets table for Beaver offense in 49-0 win; Share of NSIC North title

BEMIDJI, Minn. (Chet Anderson Stadium) – With a 49-0 victory Saturday, the Bemidji State University football team earned a share of the 2012 Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference North Division title. The Beavers scored 21 points off defensive turnovers to claim the victory against Minot State University. The win improved BSU to 6-1 in the NSIC North, sharing the title with University of Minnesota Duluth.

The Gang Green defense pitched its second consecutive shutout against Minot State, winning 27-0 at home a season ago. BSU allowed 57 yards - a head coach Jeff Tesch-era record, while the Bemidji State offenses gathered 426 total yards. The game was the final contest for 17 seniors for the green and white. The 2012 class racked up 30 wins in their careers to place second among classes at Bemidji State, trailing the 31 wins by the 2006 and 2007 squads. The 2012 class does own the record for conference wins in a four-year span with 27.

The Beavers started 1-3, but finished the 2012 season 7-4 to record its 14th .500-plus record in the last 15 seasons and a 5-1 record at Chet Anderson Stadium ties a program-best for home wins in a season and marks the 11th consecutive winning record at home. The 6-1 North record is BSU’s best showing in the five years the league has had North and South Divisions.

The defense allowed four MSU first downs, tying a Tesch-era record the team set Aug. 26, 2010 in a 24-7 win against Minot State. The Beavers allowed just 28 passing yards, another record in the 17 seasons Tesch has guided Bemidji State. BSU posted four interceptions, two by senior Charles Hrdlicka (CB, Wolf Lake, Minn.) and two by junior Larry Miller (CB, Dallas, Texas). Miller returned his two picks for 68 yards and set-up two BSU touchdowns, while Hrdlicka brought his two interceptions back 15 yards and set-up one offensive score. BSU allowed the 57 yards in 40 plays, just 1.4 yards per play.

The offense posted a balanced attack, totaling 225 yards passing and 201 yards on the ground. Three different players finished with 60 or more yards rushing and five different receivers caught a pass. Senior running back Brad Hemling (Richland Center, Wis.) led the ground game with 65 yards and two touchdowns, while junior Avery Walker (RB, Milwaukee, Wis.) added 61 yards and a score and senior quarterback Lance Rongstad (Eleva, Wis.) finished with 60 rushing yards. Rongstad passed for 225 yards and three touchdowns, going 16-for-24 with one interception (on the first pass attempt of the game).

After throwing an interception in its first possession, the Bemidji State offense marched 81 yards into the end zone in a season-high 16 plays that ate up a season-best 8:18 off the first quarter clock. The drive was capped when Hemling punched in a two-yard rush for a 7-0 lead.

The BSU defense picked Minot State quarterback Zac Cunha on three consecutive possessions in the first half and the offense took the ball the rest of the way for two, second quarter scores off turnovers. The first was a two-yard run by junior  fullback Brent Kondziolka (Orland Park, Ill.) that was set-up by a Miller interception. The second score came on a 26-yard connection between Rongstad and senior Beau Wakefield (WR, Butternut, Wis.) that Miller also had a hand in, as he picked Cunha at the BSU 9 and returned it 49 yards into Minot State territory.

BSU tacked on another score in the second on an eight-play, 80-yard drive that was polished off with a Rongstad seven-yard pass to senior wide receiver Matt Gandrud (Elk River, Minn.). Bemidji State owned a 28-0 lead at the break, its largest lead at halftime this season.

The Beavers continued to roll on both sides of the ball in the second half, as Hemling found the end zone on a one-yard rush past the goal line to make it 35-0, then a Hrdlicka interception set-up a five-play, 20-yard drive that Walker polished off with a nine-yard run to the end zone.

The final score of the game was snapped by senior center Brett DeLange (Plainfield, Ill.), thrown by senior quarterback Rongstad and caught by senior tight end Brian Leonhardt (Blaine, Minn.). It was a 10-yard pass play that finished a 10-play, 63-yard drive and put the Beavers ahead 49-0.

Linebacker Cory Crosby (Cold Spring, Minn.) did what he had been doing all season long and led the team in tackles with eight (five solo), including 1.5 tackles for loss (-2 yards). Five other Beavers added four tackles apiece, including senior nose tackle Bryan Syrstad (DL, Thompson, N.D.). Miller and Hrdlicka each posted three tackles.

Gandrud caught five passes for 77 yards and score, while senior wide receiver Justin Lee (Elgin, Ill.) had five receptions for 67 yards. He finished the season as the team-leader in receptions (45) and reception yards (687). Leonhardt brought in three catches for 37 yards and the touchdown.

With under five minutes to play Tesch took a timeout when the offense was on the field to allow the seniors to come off the field to a standing ovation, and then again for the defense just minutes later. The 2012 offensive seniors are Troy Dale (TE, Portland, N.D.), DeLange, Hemling, wide receiver Jody Henningson (North Aurora, Ill.), running back Dustin Kroeplin (Withee, Wis.), Gandrud, Garrett Lee (TE, Ostego, Minn.), J. Lee, Leonhardt, Alonzo Melton (OL, Minneapolis, Minn.), Christian Metz (WR, Cambridge, Minn.), Rongstad and Wakefield. On defense, seniors are Dan Christensen (LB, Chicago, Ill.), Crosby, Hrdlicka and Syrstad.

Rongstad splashed his name all over the BSU record books, as he finished his career top 10 in 15 different offense categories, notably first in rushing yards per carry (5.87 yards per rush), fourth in total offensive yards (5,687 offensive yards) and fifth in touchdowns responsible for (48 touchdowns – 26 passing, 21 rushing, 1 receiving). Also, his 21 rushing touchdowns established a new record for career rushing touchdowns by a quarterback, as did his 2,074 rushing yards.

Other seniors in the record books include, Crosby, Kroeplin, Leonhardt and return specialist Wakefield. Crosby finished in the top 10 in almost all the defensive categories, including fifth in tackles with 326 (133s-193a). Kroeplin made his mark on nine BSU charts, which include third in rushing touchdowns (31 touchdowns), fourth in rushing yardage (2,849 yards), rushing attempts (578 attempts), points scored (210 points) and overall touchdowns scored (34 – three receiving) and fifth in 100-yard rushing games (11 100+ rushing games). Leonhardt finished tied for eighth in touchdown receptions (15) and 10th in receptions (112). Wakefield completed his career fifth in punt return yardage (321 yards) and seventh in kick return yards (786 yards).

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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