SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Bob Young Field) -- The No. 22 Bemidji State University football team ran out to another fast start Saturday night against No. 14 University of Sioux Falls, but a third quarter surge by the Cougars handed the Beavers their first loss of the season, 37-36. BSU (3-1, 3-1 Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference) went for a two-point conversion attempt with 17 seconds to go, which failed to end the interdivisional schedule.
The third quarter proved the dagger for the Beavers, as the “Gang Green” defense held the Cougars to three points in the first, second and fourth quarters combined. Junior quarterback Jordan Hein threw three first half touchdowns, one to senior wide receiver Vince Dinkel and two to junior wide receiver Christian Lunde, to help the Beavers to a 20-3 halftime lead.
At the end of the first half, Bemidji State had outgained Sioux Falls in total yards, 259-249, and in rushing yards, 133-111, while the defense forced three turnovers. A 34-point third quarter by the Cougars and a 10-point quarter by the Beavers set up a thrilling finish
Bemidji State forced two punts and a missed field goal in the final quarter, while possessing the ball for three drive opportunities. It wasn’t until the final drive, with 3:01 remaining in the game, until the Beavers found their rhythm offensively to move down the field. The unit drove 61 yards in seven plays, ending with a quarterback sneak by Hein, to bring the game within one point, 37-36.
Facing obstacles and pressure on the road, the offense went for two looking for the win instead of playing for over time. Hein handed off on a wide receiver sweep to senior Juwaan Richard running across the formation. Richard was inches from the goal line before a defender knocked the ball loose and ended BSU’s win attempt.
Bemidji State begins the NSIC North schedule Saturday, Oct. 1 with a road matchup against University of Mary. The Beavers and Marauders (0-4, 0-4 NSIC) kick off at 1 p.m. for the 11th game in the series. U-Mary was shut out in its first two games of the season versus Concordia University-St. Paul and No. 16 Augustana University before falling by 24 points at Southwest Minnesota State University.
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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).