September 10, 20111st2nd3rd4th1OT Final
Bemidji State73014630
Augustana (SD)07314327
1st Quarter
BSUTD01:23Leonhardt 34 Yd Pass From Rongstad (Pulkinen kick)
2nd Quarter
AUGIETD14:20O'Keefe (Behrens kick)
BSUFG00:05Pulkinen 21 Yd
3rd Quarter
AUGIEFG10:40Behrens 20 Yd
4th Quarter
AUGIETD14:54Mahone 2 Yd Run (Behrens kick)
BSUTD11:45Miles 9 Yd Run (Pulkinen kick)
BSUTD04:07Rongstad 1 Yd Run (Pulkinen kick)
AUGIETD00:40Holsen 9 Yd Pass From Hanson (Behrens kick)
AUGIEFG15:00Behrens 26 Yd
BSUTD15:00Kondziolka 5 Yd Pass From Rongstad
Stats at a GlanceBSUAUGIE
1st Downs1819
3rd Down Conversions6-136-16
4th Down Conversions0-00-1
Passing (Comp-Att)240 (18-33) 301 (23-42)
Rushing (Att)127 (39) 91 (29)
Total Yards367392
Fumbles Lost11
Tesch earns 100th career victory as Beavers upend No. 16 Vikings in OT
Saturday, September 10, 2011
Tesch earns 100th career victory as Beavers upend No. 16 Vikings in OT
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Kirkeby-Over Stadium) – Head coach Jeff Tesch earned his 100th career victory at Bemidji State University Saturday as the Beavers knocked-off No. 16 Augustana College 30-27 in overtime at Kirkeby-Over Stadium in Sioux Falls, S.D. Thirty-seven points were scored between the two teams in the fourth quarter and overtime as the squads traded blows all the way to the end when junior quarterback Lance Rongstad (Eleva, Wis.) found a wide open Brent Kondziolka (So., RB, Orland Park, Ill.) for a five-yard score in overtime.

“It was quite a day with a lot of emotions,” Tesch said. “It was a hard, draining day, but a great win on the road. It was a lot of fun for the kids.”

Tesch is in his 16th season as head coach at Bemidji State. He reached 100 wins in 164 games and is the program’s leader in wins, games coached, winning percentage (.610) and conference wins (75). He ranks among the top 25 active Division II coaches in wins and winning percentage. Assistant head coach and co-defensive coordinator Rich Jahner joined Bemidji State with Tesch and celebrates the accomplishment with him.

“I’m humbled and thankful I was able to stick around this long and have the continuity in the coaching staff and trust of the players to lead them all these years,” Tesch said of the win mark. “That’s really the fun part of the whole thing.”

Junior tight end Brian Leonhardt (TE, Blaine, Minn.) brought in a career-high 129 receiving yards and recorded one touchdown, becoming the first BSU player to surpass 100 reception yards since George Kadlec brought in 149 receiving yards and two touchdowns against Concordia University, St. Paul Nov. 8, 2008.

The Beavers earned their first win against a ranked opponent since defeating then-No. 14 Wayne State College 21-10 Oct. 10, 2009. BSU picks up its first overtime victory since Oct. 26, 2002 when it defeated Minnesota State University Moorhead 35-28 in two overtimes. Under Tesch, the Beavers are 4-2 in games that go into overtime.   

The win moves BSU to 2-0 on the season and 1-0 in NSIC play, while placing the Vikings 0-2 overall and 0-1 in NSIC play. The Beavers improve to 2-4 all-time against Augustana and revenged the embarrassing 10-0 loss they suffered last season at home. The 30 points scored almost surpasses the 31 points BSU had totalled in the five previous games against Vikings (all-time score 31-129 prior to Saturday). The lone victory the Beavers had over the Vikings came at home in 1962.

BSU snapped a three-game losing streak in NSIC openers with the win. Under Tesch, the Beavers own a 7-9 mark in games that open the lid on conference play.

Junior Beau Wakefield (WR, Butternut, Wis.) took the opening game kick 38 yards to the BSU 40 yard line. The Beaver offense then took over and drove down to the Augie 13 yard line, but Rongstad threw his first interception of the season at the three yard line and handed the ball to the home team.

The BSU ‘Gang Green’ defense forced the Augustana offense three-and-out in its first two drives and sophomore Jason Bromm (LB, South Barrington, Ill.) forced a fumble that was recovered by senior safety Brody Scheff (Waconia, Minn.) on the Vikings’ third drive to give the ball to the BSU offense at the Augie 35. On the second play of the drive, Rongstad found Leonhardt open in the middle of the field for a 34-yard catch-and-run touchdown to draw first blood and take a 7-0 lead with 1:23 remaining in the first quarter. The passing touchdown was the first of the season for Rongstad and the reception score was number one for Leonhardt in 2011.

On BSU’s first offensive drive of the second quarter, a mis-played option pitch between Rongstad and junior running back Dustin Kroeplin (Withee, Wis.) fumbled the ball to the Vikings with an open backfield and Augie’s Dan O’Keefe took the ball 45 yards for a defensive score that tied the game 7-7.

The Beavers added a 21-yard field goal from sophomore kicker Zach Pulkinen (Minot, N.D.) with just under five seconds remaining in the first half after driving 73 yards in 17 plays that ate up 6:26 off the game clock. Rongstad was forced to spike the ball at the Augie three yard line to stop the clock and give Pulkinen a shot at the field goal to give BSU the 10-7 lead into the half.

Augustana received the ball in the second half and drove down to the BSU eight yard line. Two Beaver penalties put the ball at the BSU two yard line, but two Augie penalties pushed the Vikings back to the nine yard line. The penalties and a defensive stop forced a 20-yard field goal attempt that split the uprights good and tied the game 10-10.

The rest of the third quarter went scoreless, but Augustana started the fourth on the BSU two yard line and took the first play into the end zone for a 17-10 lead. The Beavers came back strong and drove the ball 69 yards into the end zone. The drive was capped by senior running back Brandon Miles (Kenai, Alaska) walking into the end zone from nine yards out to tied the game for the third time at 17-17. Rongstad and Leonhardt connected twice in the drive and combined for 49 yards.
The defense held Augie on the ensuing drive and the Beaver offense continued to roll. BSU got into Viking territory at the Augie 38. The coaching staff then pulled a trick play. Junior wide receiver Justin Lee (Elgin, Ill.) took the ball on a reverse and then instead of running, threw a pass to junior wide receiver Matt Gandrud (Elk River, Minn.) for a 37-yard strike that put the Beavers down to the one yard line. On second and goal from just inches from the goal line, Rongstad broke the plane and gave BSU the 24-17 lead with just 4:07 remaining on the clock. The Beavers successfully ran the Lee passing play last season against University of Minnesota Duluth for a touchdown.

After converting the extra point, Pulkinen then boomed a kick into the end zone for a touchback to inhibit Augie from getting yardage off the kickoff. The BSU defense then came up huge and forced the Viking offense four-and-out. The Beavers took over at the Augie 27 with hopes of closing the door on the No. 16 team in the nation. Unfortunately for BSU, it couldn’t get a first down and went for a 37-yard field goal. The attempt was blocked and all of a sudden the Vikings had new life. Starting at its own 35 yard line, with one timeout and 2:06 left on the clock Augie orchestrated a 65-yard drive that took them to the end zone to tie the game 24-24 with 40 seconds remaining.

BSU ran one play before kneeling down to exhaust the regulation game clock and send the contest into overtime. The Beavers won the coin toss and elected to play defense first. After allowing Augie to gain 20 yards on the first play and get down to the BSU five yard line, the ‘Gang Green’ defense bore down and forced the Vikings to a field goal that sailed just inside the uprights to give the home team a 27-24 lead.

Then it was Rongstad and the offense’s turn. Saturday’s game was just Rongstad’s second at the starting quarterback position, but his poise and his legs looked like those of a veteran as he rushed for 15 yards on the first play for the Beavers. On the second play he picked-up another five yards on the ground to put BSU on the Augie five. Wasting no time, BSU ran a play that found Kondziolka all alone in the end zone, enabling Rongstad to float the ball to Kondziolka for his first career touchdown and a Beaver football victory.

Rongstad finished the game with a career-high 203 passing yards and two touchdowns through the air, while rushing for a team-best 64 yards and one score. Leonhardt earned his 129 yards on six receptions. Gandrud posted 57 yards on four receptions (one from Lee). Kroeplin returned from injury for his first game of the 2011 season and carried the ball 15 times for 36 yards. Junior linebacker Cory Crosby (Cold Spring, Minn.) led the defense in tackles with seven (six solo), including the only BSU sack that pushed the Vikings back 13 yards. Three defenders posted five or more tackles.

BSU dominated the stat board in the first half, but Augustana came back in the second and finished the game out-gaining BSU 392-367 in total yards. The Beavers held the Vikings to 91 yards rushing on 29 attempts. BSU owned the time of possession 46:08-28:52, despite only running one more play than Augie.

The Beavers host Southwest Minnesota State University Sept. 17 at 6 p.m. at Chet Anderson Stadium for the annual Shrine Game. The game will be the first NSIC home game of the season.

Bemidji State University, located in Bemidji, Minn., is an NCAA Division II institution and a member of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC).