BISMARCK, N.D. (Bismarck Community Bowl) -- Bemidji State's "Gang Green" defense dictated play from start to finish today, as the Beavers rolled to a 21-7 Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference North Division battle over the University of Mary (N.D.) in Bismarck, N.D.
BSU's defensive unit allowed a meager 70 rushing yards, just 295 yards of total offense, picked off three passes, added a blocked punt and not only kept the Marauders out of the end zone for the first three quarters of the game, it prevented U-Mary from finding its way into the red zone for the first 58 minutes of the game.
The green and white set the tone early forcing UM into a quick three-and-out on their opening drive before Aaron Roland (Jr., DB, Wahpeton, N.D.) got his hand on the ensuing punt to give ball to Derek Edholm (Jr., QB, Anoka, Minn.) and the Bemidji State offensive unit on U-Mary's 25 yard line.
Dustin Kroeplin (Fr., RB, Withee, Wis.) rattled off 11 of his game-high 105 yards on the ground before Edholm tossed his 21st touchdown of the season to full back Troy Dale (Fr., Portland, N.D.). The 14-yard scoring play stands as the first trip to the end zone for Dale and gave the Beavers a 7-0 lead 7:47 into the game.
Bemidji State extended its lead to 14-0 midway through the second quarter on the longest play to this point in the season.
Following a penalty on punt return, the Beavers found themselves pinned on their own 11 yard line. A seven-yard pass to Andrew Schultz (Jr., WR, Grand Forks, N.D.) gave the Beavers a thrid-and-three and Edholm would find playmaker Cameron Abram (Sr., WR, Brooklyn Park, Minn.) got the first down and a whole lot more. The play went for 82 yards, six points and nearly half of the BSU quarterback's 190 passing yards on the day.
The score would remain 14-0 through the remainder of the second, the third an deep into the fourth quarter, but Bemidji State piled another touchdown to their advantage with 7:12 to go in the game. Kroeplin found the endzone from seven yards out to complete a 10-play, 68-yard possession buoyed by a 31-yard reception by Christian Metz (Fr., WR. Cambridge, Minn.). Jesse Sundby (So., K/P, Argyle, Minn.) booted the extra point attempt through the uprights to make the score 21-0.
The Marauders spoiled the Gang Green shutout with 1:13 left on the clock. Jamal Lomax capped a seven-play, 54-yard drive, with a two-yard TD plunge. Rett Thibodeaux added the point after to bring the score to its final resting place, 21-7.
It wasn't the offensive explosion he's put up over the last two weeks, but Edholm again posted solid numbers. He finished 12-of-22 for 190 yards and two touchdowns, while rushing 13 times for 14 yards. Kroeplin's fourth 100-yard day of the season led all players and five BSU receivers caught two passes.
Henry Lau accounted for 224 of the Marauders' 295 yards completing 23-of-45 passing attempts while throwing three interceptions. Lomax made 19 rushing attempts to net 70 yards.
A BSU defense that got interceptions from Brody Scheff (So., S, Waconia, Minn.), Sid Johnson (Jr., CB, Fairbanks, Alaska) and Tiger Ellison (Sr., Jr., Columbus, Ohio) was led by linebacker Andrew Eagan (Jr., LB, Sauk Village, Ill.) who made nine stops (three solo), while Jake Anderson (Sr., LB, Karlstad, Minn.) added four tackles, which included 1.5 quarterback sacks and a pair of tackles for loss.
The Beavers, now 7-3 overall and 6-3 in league play, wrap up NSIC play and the 2009 regular season next week when they travel to St. Paul, Minn. to go head-to-head with Concordia University-St. Paul. The opening kick off is set for 1:00 p.m. from the newly-opened Sea Foam Stadium.