|September 28, 2013||1st||2nd||3rd||4th||Final|
|BSU||TD||13:37||Hass 12 Yd Run (Pulkinen missed kick)|
|BSU||TD||09:05||Walker 67 Yd Pass From Hass (Pulkinen kick)|
|SMSU||TD||05:47||Cross 8 Yd Pass From Kern (Schuveiller kick)|
|BSU||TD||03:13||Quinn (Pulkinen kick)|
|SMSU||TD||14:20||Tonderum 3 Yd Run (Schuveiller kick)|
|SMSU||TD||08:10||Tonderum 77 Yd Run (Schuveiller kick)|
|BSU||TD||01:51||Walker 6 Yd Pass From Hass|
|SMSU||FG||09:40||Schuveiller 31 Yd|
|SMSU||TD||03:49||Dean 26 Yd Pass From Kern (Schuveiller kick)|
|BSU||TD||08:29||Kondziolka 15 Yd Pass From Hass|
|BSU||TD||05:37||Walker 40 Yd Run|
|SMSU||FG||03:26||Schuveiller 33 Yd|
|BSU||FG||00:48||Pulkinen 37 Yd|
|Stats at a Glance||SMSU||BSU|
|3rd Down Conversions||4-18||7-16|
|4th Down Conversions||3-4||1-1|
|Passing (Comp-Att)||241 (17-42)||171 (11-21)|
|Rushing (Att)||265 (40)||213 (46)|
BEMIDJI, Minn. (Chet Anderson Stadium) – The Bemidji State University football team used an eight-play, 55-yard drive in the waning moments of regulation to set up a 37-yard game-winning field goal by Zach Pulkinen (K/P, Sr., Minot, N.D.). The 41-40 homecoming victory allows the Beavers improve to 2-2 overall and 2-2 in Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference play.
The lead changed six times, as the momentum pendulum swayed back and forth between the teams all game. The game-winning dive took 2:33 and added to Bemidji State’s time of possession victory in the game, 35:16 to 24:44, a category BSU has failed to win all season. The Beaver offense took a large step forward, as it totaled 384 yards and recorded 18 first downs – equal to the first downs compiled in the last two games.
Senior running back Avery Walker (Milwaukee, Wis.) rushed for a career-high 170 yards and a touchdown and added 73 yards receiving for two scores to lift the struggling offense. Senior quarterback Alex Hass (Milaca, Minn.) went 11-for-21 for 171 yards and three touchdowns. His one interception was returned for a touchdown.
Sophomore linebacker Connor Quinn (Geneva, Ill.) entered the contest as the second-leading tackler in the NSIC and again led the Beavers with 13 tackles (six solo) and an interception returned for a touchdown. The score was his second of the season, as he picked up a fumble and returned it for a touchdown at Winona State University in the first game of 2013.
The Beavers used a 65-yard opening kickoff return by Josh Malone (Fr-RS, WR, Gordan, Wis.) to set the tone for the first quarter. Hass ran in the first score from 12-yards out, but a blocked extra point made the score 6-0. BSU then capped a five-play, 99-yard drive with a dump pass from Hass to Walker for a 67-yard catch and run. Quinn’s late first quarter 20-yard interception return for a touchdown gave BSU the 20-7 lead after one frame.
As good as the first quarter was for BSU, the second and third were a struggle. Besides a six-yard touchdown reception by Walker with 1:51 to play in the first half, the Beavers were outscored 30-6 in the two middle quarters.
With 8:29 remaining in regulation, Hass connected with senior fullback Brent Kondziolka (Orland Park, Ill.) for a15-yard strike, then with under six minutes to play, Walker busted through a hole up the middle for a 40-yard touchdown to hand BSU the 38-37 lead – the one point lead was due to three consecutive failed two-point conversions by BSU.
SMSU responded with a 33-yard field goal with 3:26 remaining, setting up the game-winning drive for Bemidji State.
Which one… With the lead changing six different times it is hard to choose a major turning point to the game. It really came down to the stingy defense played by the Beavers in the final 10 minutes and the resurrection of an offense that had been one of the worst in the league through the first three games.
Offensive Player of the Game
Avery Walker (Sr., RB, Milwaukee, Wis.) posted a much-needed career-game as a Beaver with 243 all-purpose yards and three touchdowns. He carried the ball 29 times for 170 yards (5.9 yards per carry) and a score. Both his receptions went for touchdowns and totaled 73 yards.
Defensive Player of the Game
Connor Quinn (So., ILB, Geneva, Wis.) posted a game-high 13 tackles (six solo) and scored his second touchdown of the season on a 20-yard interception return for a touchdown. He also added a half tackle for loss and a pass break-up.
Special Teams Player of the Game
Zach Pulkinen (Sr., K/P, Minot, N.D.) served as one of many heroes Saturday, as his 37-yarder capped a see-saw match. He also totaled 60.2 yards off the tee and averaged 40.7 yards per punt.
Stat of the Game
35:16 – 24:44 – BSU controlled time of possession for the first time this season.
“He Said It”
Avery Walker – “I contribute our success this week to how hard we worked in practice. We (the offense) got tired of being the issue. I credit my offensive line and my coaches calling the plays. It’s not all on me, believe me, the holes were huge. I have to give the credit where it is due.”
Notable - Homecoming Tradition
The Beavers celebrated the win with the traditional jump in Lake Bemidji. Since 1995, BSU has celebrated a Homecoming victory with a jump in Lake Bemidji and since that first leap, BSU is 14-5. In the last seven Homecoming games, BSU is 6-1.
"The win felt good, but the lake was too cold for me," said Avery Walker.
"These guys wil come back 10, 20, 30 years from now and talk about this game and tell another generation how exciting this tradition is and I don't think it could have turned out any better," said head coach Jeff Tesch.
"It felt good," said Connor Quinn about getting into the lake. "I want to get in every year."
• The Beavers have created six turnovers that have resulted in 28 points.
• The win versus Southwest Minnesota State makes 13 in a row versus the Mustangs and improves the all-time series to 22-20-1 in favor of the Beavers.
• With the 41-40 win, since 1999, BSU improves to 28-2 when scoring 40-49 points and 3-13 when allowing 40-49 points.
• The Beavers have won four straight Homecoming games and are 13-5 under head coach Jeff Tesch in the annual contest.
• BSU split its four games with the NSIC South, 2-2, and now enter the seven-game NSIC North schedule.
The Beavers travel west to Crookston, Minn. Oct. 5 to battle the University of Minnesota Crookston (0-4, 0-4 NSIC). The game is set for a 1 p.m. kick off.
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).