BEMIDJI, Minn. (Chet Anderson Stadium) -- Senior wide receiver Vince Dinkel made two key plays late in the fourth quarter for the Bemidji State University football team, but a missed extra point following a 17-yard touchdown reception by Dinkel proved the difference in Saturday's 42-41 loss to Minnesota State University Moorhead. The Beavers (7-3, 4-2 Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference North Division) executed a successful hook-and-ladder play on fourth and 37 to set up the Dinkel touchdown grab with 39 seconds to go.
Bemidji State and MSU Moorhead stayed within eight points of each other throughout the game, while the Beavers held a 21-20 lead at halftime. Junior wide receiver Blake Holder opened scoring for BSU with a 77-yard touchdown reception in the first quarter. Holder finished the day with 129 receiving yards, his third consecutive 100-yard game, and one touchdown to lead the Beavers’ receiving corps.
Junior running back Tahi Nomane provided the Beavers with points off turnovers, as a fumble set up BSU on the MSUM one-yard line. Nomane punched in his 10th touchdown of the season and capped a seven-play, 70-yard drive on the next possession with his longest touchdown run of the season from 21 yards out. Nomane recorded his first 100-yard rushing game of the season, finishing with 100 on the day. The Dragons again closed the gap with a touchdown of their own, an 11-yard pass from quarterback Demetrius Carr to wide receiver Damon Gibson, to cut the Beavers’ halftime lead to 21-20.
Both teams turned the ball over twice in the second half, as a Bemidji State interception gave MSU Moorhead momentum with a 42-35 lead and 2:25 left in the game. The Beavers were able to force a three-and-out for a chance to make the comeback and force overtime or go for the two-point conversion for the win. BSU went 81 yards on seven plays, spanning one minute and 18 seconds, for the potential game-tying score. Junior quarterback Jordan Hein was sacked on three consecutive plays, setting up a fourth-and-37 from the BSU 34.
Offensive coordinator Craig Bagnell drew up a hook-and-ladder play that was executed to perfection, as Hein found Dinkel on the left side of the field for 24 yards, who then pitched back to senior wide receiver Juwaan Richard. Richard ran for 25 yards to set up a first down from the MSUM 17. Hein found Dinkel on the left side of the end zone, who made a jumping catch over the defender with 39 seconds to play. The game-tying extra point hit the right upright of the field goal post to bounce out and preserve MSUM’s 42-41 lead.
Hein threw for 275 yards and two touchdowns, while adding another touchdown on the ground. He moved into sole possession of second place on BSU's all-time touchdowns responsible for list, totaling 72 scores at BSU. Hein is three touchdowns shy of setting the program record.
Bemidji State closes the 2016 regular season with senior day Saturday, Nov. 12 against University of Minnesota Crookston. The Beavers and Golden Eagles play in the Highway 2 rivalry for the Hubcap with kickoff set for 1 p.m. from Chet Anderson Stadium.
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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).