September 29, 20121st2nd3rd4thFinal
Minnesota, Crookston00022
Bemidji State7147735
1st Quarter
BSUTD02:22Kroeplin 5 Yd Run (Pulkinen kick)
2nd Quarter
BSUTD14:42Rongstad 34 Yd Run (Pulkinen kick)
BSUTD11:21Lee 66 Yd Pass From Rongstad (Pulkinen kick)
3rd Quarter
BSUTD02:55Dale 5 Yd Pass From Rongstad (Pulkinen kick)
4th Quarter
BSUTD11:15Lee 7 Yd Run (Pulkinen kick)
Stats at a GlanceUMCBSU
1st Downs1419
3rd Down Conversions3-124-11
4th Down Conversions0-02-2
Passing (Comp-Att)139 (18-33) 168 (12-19)
Rushing (Att)97 (25) 241 (42)
Total Yards236409
Fumbles Lost31
BSU celebrates Homecoming with 35-2 win against Minnesota, Crookston
Saturday, September 29, 2012
BSU celebrates Homecoming with 35-2 win against Minnesota, Crookston

BEMIDJI, Minn. (Chet Anderson Stadium) – The Bemidji State University football team halted a three-game losing skid and improved its record to 2-3 with an emphatic 35-2 win against Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference foe University of Minnesota, Crookston Saturday in its annual Homecoming Game. With the win, the Beavers continued a tradition of jumping into Lake Bemidji after a Homecoming victory.

The Beavers (2-3, 2-3 NSIC, 1-0 NSIC North) won the turnover battle and posted two scoring plays of more than 30 yards in the win, turning the trend of the last three games. The BSU defense and special teams forced and recovered three Minnesota, Crookston (1-4, 1-4 NSIC, 0-1 NSIC North) fumbles and picked UMC quarterback A.J. Barge once, while only losing one fumble to earn a plus three in turnover margin. The Beavers entered the game -2.75 in the category, due mostly to fumbling 11 times in the first four games.

Senior quarterback Lance Rongstad (Eleva, Wis.) returned after missing the Sept. 22 game to throw for 159 yards and two touchdowns and rush for 53 yards and a score. He had one rush of 34 yards that found the end zone and found a wide-open senior receiver Justin Lee (Elgin, Ill.) for a 66-yard touchdown strike. Both scoring plays marked the longest rush and longest reception by the Beavers this season, finally finding big plays from the offensive side of the ball.

Defensively the Gang Green defense continued to stifle the opposing offense, as the squad shutout the Golden Eagles offensively and held UMC to 236 yards of total offense. More importantly, the Beavers allowed just 97 rushing yards to a team averaging 183.5 yards per game coming into the contest. The low rushing output was largely due to the fact the BSU held the NSIC’s leading rusher, Richard Haley to 52 yards – 88 yards shy of his season average.

The Beavers also retained a traveling trophy between the Highway 2 rivals, a Hubcap. BSU is now a 9-0 in the Hubcap games that date back to 2004.

Senior running back Dustin Kroeplin (Withee, Wis.) found the end zone for the first time this season after the Beavers turned a missed UMC field goal into a 12-play, 80 yard drive that ate up a season-high 7:09 of clock time to own a 7-0 lead towards the end of the first quarter.

A 14 point second quarter handed the Beavers a 21-0 advantage into halftime. Sophomore safety Scott Christensen (Stockbridge, Ga.) recorded his second interception of the season and returned it 11 yards to the Minnesota, Crookston 34 to set-up the first second quarter score. The BSU offense then trotted onto the field and wasted no time as Rongstad got behind his blockers and rushed 34 yards and dove into the end zone for his team-leading second rushing touchdown of the season.

The momentum needle continued to bounce on the side of the Beavers in the next defense series, as BSU allowed just six yards and a three-and-out punt. The Bemidji State offense waited just two plays to score as Rongstad connected with Lee, as the wide out got behind the safeties up the middle and completed the 66-yard catch and run score. The touchdown was Lee’s first since scoring twice Nov. 6, 2010 – a 16 game lull.

Special teams came up big in the third quarter, forcing a fumble at the UMC 5 and recovering in prime territory. The offense again wasted no time getting past the goal line, as Rongstad found senior tight end Troy Dale (Portland, N.D.) on the first play for a five-yard score – the first receiving touchdown since his freshman season (Oct. 31, 2009) – to give BSU a 28-0 lead.

The Beavers converted on back-to-back drives for the second time in the game with another 80-yard drive that saw 10 plays take 4:52 off the clock to end the third and begin the fourth quarter. The drive was capped by Lee’s second touchdown of the day, this time with his legs on a seven-yard run into the end zone to hand the home team a 35-0 advantage.

Minnesota, Crookston avoided the shutout midway through the fourth frame with a safety after the UMC punter pinned the Beavers at their own 1.

Kroeplin led the Beavers in rushing with his season-high 93 yards on 14 carries. Junior transfer Avery Walker (RB, Milwaukee, Wis.) added 66 yards on the ground on just six carries. Lee finished with 86 yards receiving and 12 yards on the ground. Senior tight end Brian Leonhardt (Blaine, Minn.) was the only other receiver with multiple receptions, as he brought in two for 37 yards.

For the fourth consecutive game, the Beaver defense was led by senior Cory Crosby (LB, Cold Spring, Minn.), as he totaled 13 tackles (four solo) and one tackle for loss (-1 yard). Fellow inside backer junior Jason Bromm (South Barrington, Ill.) finished with nine tackles (two solo) and a tackle for loss. Cornerback Larry Miller (Jr., Dallas, Tex.) totaled four tackles (all solo) and a career-high three pass break-ups.  

The Beavers take to the road Oct. 6 for a battle at University of Mary beginning at 2:30 p.m. Last season, BSU fell to the Marauders 49-21 in Bismarck, N.D.

For more information on the Bemidji State football program, follow the Beavers on Twitter (@BemidjiStateFB or @BSUBeavers), like them on Facebook ( or or sign up for the TXTUpdates from text-messaging system through the "Mulitmedia" pull down menu on the main page of

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).