MINOT, N.D. (Herb Parker Stadium) -- The rushing attack of Bemidji State University continued to shine in a 40-14 win against Minot State University Saturday at Herb Parker Stadium in Minot, N.D. BSU’s (5-2, 3-0 Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference North) “Gang Green” defense helped secure the team’s fourth win in a row with a second half shutout against MiSU (1-6, 1-2 NSIC North).
Bemidji State rushed for a season-high 328 yards, behind the legs of junior running back Andrew Lackowski with 154 yards and senior running back Tahi Nomane with 97 yards. Nomane punched in two touchdowns on the ground, including a season-long 28 yard run in the second quarter.
The BSU defense shut out the MiSU offense in the second half, which included two three-and-outs and two turnover on downs from within the red zone. Junior corner back Gunner Olszewski kept his nose around the football with a team-high 10 tackles, including one tackle for a loss. Senior linebacker Niko Daniello also added to his team-leading season total in tackles with eight Saturday, including three solo.
Minot State drove into BSU territory on its first drive but was forced to punt after a 4th and one, setting up BSU at its own 20-yard line. Bemidji State drove the full 80 yards in seven plays, capped by a 42-yard touchdown run by senior quarterback Jordan Hein. Hein’s first rushing touchdown of the season put BSU up early, 6-0.
On the ensuing possession for Minot State, an errant pitch to the running back gave the ball back to Bemidji State and senior safety Evan Tompkins on the MSU 8-yard line. Two plays later, Hein found sophomore full back Matt Gross on a four-yard touchdown pass in the middle of the end zone to take a 12-0 lead.
The “Gang Green” defense forced its first three-and-out of the day to set up BSU’s third score of the day. Hein combined for 63 passing yards to put the Beaver at the MSU 2-yard line, which was followed with a short touchdown run by Nomane.
Minot State got on the scoreboard with its first score of the day after an 11-play, 74-yard drive that culminated with a one-yard touchdown rush. Bemidji State continued to move the ball on the ground, adding another rushing touchdown and 165 rushing yards in the half, to enter halftime with a 26-14 lead.
The ground game continued to power Bemidji State in the second half, as Lackowski surpassed 100 yards for the second consecutive game with a 47-yard run. He became the first BSU running back to top 100 rushing yards in consecutive games since Avery Walker did so in 2013. His long run was the majority of a 90-yard touchdown drive to open the half, which ended with a five-yard touchdown pass from Hein to senior wide receiver Christian Lunde. Bemidji State scored on both of its offensive possessions in the third quarter, the second going to Gross for his second receiving touchdown of the day, to take a 40-14 lead heading into the fourth.
Lackowski recorded the first back-to-back games by a Beaver with over 150 rushing yards, again following in the footsteps of Walker in 2013. Hein finished with 138 yards passing and three touchdowns, including two scores to Gross from four yards or less. Sophomore Blair Van Ess led all BSU receivers with 45 yards on two catches.
Bemidji State continues its road trip within the Dakotas with while heading to Northern State University Saturday, Oct. 21 in Aberdeen, S.D. The Beavers and Wolves are scheduled to begin the 41st all-time meeting between the two programs at 2:30 p.m. from Swisher Field.
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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).