October 22, 20111st2nd3rd4thFinal
Bemidji State770721
University of Mary72114749
1st Quarter
MARYTD11:48Gross 2 Yd Run (Ryan kick)
BSUTD04:05Kroeplin 3 Yd Run (Pulkinen kick)
2nd Quarter
MARYTD14:56Gross 2 Yd Run (Ryan kick)
MARYTD13:53Steffan 64 Yd Pass From Darrah (Ryan kick)
BSUTD03:14Kroeplin 1 Yd Run (Pulkinen kick)
MARYTD00:38Steffan 30 Yd Pass From Bagnell (Ryan kick)
3rd Quarter
MARYTD13:54Murray 17 Yd Run (Ryan kick)
MARYTD06:32Steffan 29 Yd Pass From Bagnell (Ryan kick)
4th Quarter
MARYTD13:05Murray 39 Yd Run (Ryan kick)
BSUTD07:20Miles 2 Yd Run (Pulkinen kick)
Stats at a GlanceBSUMARY
1st Downs1826
3rd Down Conversions8-155-13
4th Down Conversions1-12-3
Passing (Comp-Att)95 (9-23) 379 (19-27)
Rushing (Att)290 (47) 193 (43)
Total Yards385572
Fumbles Lost20
U-Mary stuns No. 20 Bemidji State 49-21
Saturday, October 22, 2011
U-Mary stuns No. 20 Bemidji State 49-21
BISMARCK, N.D. (Bismarck Bowl) - University of Mary dominated play from the opening kickoff and rolled to the 49-21 upset of No. 20 Bemidji State University Saturday in a Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference football game at Bismarck Bowl. The Beavers fall to 6-2 overall and 5-2 in the NSIC with the loss.

Big Marauder plays and timely turnovers by the Beavers led to BSU suffering its second loss of the season. The Marauders posted four touchdown plays of 29 yards or more in the game. The Beavers gave the ball away three times (interception and two fumbles) that cost them 14 points at key moments in the game. U-Mary quarterback Craig Bagnell returned to starting action after missing three games due to injury and posted 315 yards and two touchdowns. The Beavers allowed 572 yards of offense (379 pass, 193 rush), giving-up more than 500 yards of offense for the first time this season.

The Marauders forced the Beavers three-and-out on the opening drive of the game and then rumbled down the field and posted a touchdown on a six-play, 61-yard drive. The touchdown was the first allowed by the Beavers in the first quarter this season. Entering the contest the Beavers had dominated the first opponent’s drive and the first quarter, allowing just 159 yards and three points on the opponents’ first drive and owning a 70-6 first quarter advantage.

The Beavers responded with four minutes remaining in the opening frame with a touchdown of their own to knot the contest 7-7. The Beavers started the drive with good field position at the U-Mary 40, then used four plays to find the end zone on a junior running back Dustin Kroeplin (Withee, Wis.) three yard rushing score.  

U-Mary retook the lead 14-7 on the first play of the second quarter, scoring from two yards out after putting together a 10-play, 77-yard drive to the end zone. Just minutes later the scoreboard read 21-7 in the favor of the home team as Marauder defensive back Mike Wagner picked-off junior quarterback Lance Rongstad (Eleva, Wis.) at the U-Mary 36. The first play for the Marauder offense saw wide receiver Curtis Darrah find fellow receiver Tyler Steffan for a 64-yard touchdown strike.

BSU was forced three-and-out on its next possession and then U-Mary orchestrated another good drive deep into Beaver territory. The Marauders got all the way to the BSU 18, facing a fourth-and-one situation, but was stuffed by the ‘Gang Green’ defense. The offense used the momentum change and marched 82 yards in 12 plays to the end zone. Kroeplin capped the drive with a one yard score that broke the goal line. BSU used its legs to get the end zone on the drive, getting 78 yards on the ground.

U-Mary recaptured the two touchdown lead on the next possession, scoring from 30 yards out on a Bagnell/Steffan connection to make it 28-14. The BSU offense had 34 seconds left in the half when it took the field at its own 41. Rongstad competed three passes and rushed once to get BSU in deep field goal range at the U-Mary 30, but sophomore Zach Pulkinen (K, Minot, N.D.) was unable to convert on the 47-yard field goal attempt and the Beavers went into halftime down 28-14.

The Marauders got the ball to start the second half and posted a five-play, 80-yard drive to the end zone to take a 35-14 lead. The Beavers continued to go with the run game on the ensuing possession, getting big 47-yard rush from junior Justin Lee (WR, Elgin, Ill.) that put them down to the Marauder 25. But on the next play, U-Mary forced Rongstad to fumble and recovered the ball at its 22.

The defense held the home team and the Beavers got the ball back at its 22, hoping to get back into the game as the clock read 7:34 in the third quarter. The U-Mary defense had a different plan. On the second play of the drive the Marauder defense forced senior running back Brandon Miles (Kenai, Alaska) to fumble and hand the ball to the rolling U-Mary offense at the BSU 27. Two plays later the scoreboard read 42-14 and the Beavers were in a hole it wouldn’t get out of.

U-Mary made it 49-14 early in the fourth quarter and Miles scored for BSU in the fourth to make it 49-21 and that is where it stood.

Rongstad finished with 79 yards through the air and led the team with 112 yards on the ground. The rushing yardage marks a carer-high the first 100 yard game for Rongstad this season and the second of his career (105 yards vs. St. Cloud State, Oct. 3, 2009). He completed eight of his 21 pass attempts. Lee rushed eight times for 102 yards (12.8 yards per carry) for a career-high rushing yardage and his first-career 100 yard day. Kroeplin rushed 12 times, but couldn’t find a rhythm as he posted 39 yards (3.2 yards per carry). He scored twice to up his season total to eight. The Beavers fall to 16-2 in his career when he rushes for a touchdown.

Senior wide receiver Cameron Abram (Brooklyn Park, Minn.) and junior Matt Gandrud (WR, Elk River, Minn.) each had 25 yards to lead the Beaver recievers. Senior Brody Scheff (S, Waconia, Minn.), BSU’s leading tackler, led the team in takedowns with 11 (three solo). Junior Cory Crosby (LB, Cold Spring, Minn.) had 10 tackles (five solo), one of which was for a loss (-2 yards).

BSU continues on the road Oct. 29 as it travels to Northern State University for a NSIC North battle beginning at 2:30 p.m.

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