Bemidji State set to host rival Minnesota Crookston
Thursday, October 9, 2014
Bemidji State set to host rival Minnesota Crookston

BEMIDJI, Minn. -- The Bemidji State University football team (1-4; 1-0 NSIC North) plays host to University of Minnesota Crookston (0-5, 0-1 NSIC North) this weekend at the scenic Chet Anderson Stadium. The game brings the coveted “Hubcap” up for grabs as the Golden Eagles are currently in possession.

The Series

The Bemidji State and Minnesota Crookston series dates back to Oct. 29, 1927 with the Beavers owning the all-time record of 19-2. BSU holds a 4-1 record in the last five meetings between the teams with the loss coming last season in Crookston by a score of 16-14. Last year marked the first time UMC had defeated the Beavers since Sept. 5, 1998, in a 34-30 game. Since 2004, BSU and UMC have been playing for a traveling trophy, a Hubcap, to signify its Highway 2 rivalry. With the Golden Eagles currently holding the trophy, the Beavers are ready to bring it back to Bemidji. Since the inception of the “Hubcap,” BSU is 9-1 in those games.

The Teams

Bemidji State: The Beavers pushed through to earn their first victory of the 2014 season last weekend as they defeated University of Mary, 21-20. With the win over the Marauders, BSU comes into this weekend’s game undefeated in NSIC North action. The Beavers compiled 383 yards of total offense, including 297 passing yards. Bemidji State has been out scored 188-99 this season in their first five games but has outscored their opponents in the second and third quarters, 73-65. Ryan Shields led the BSU offense by completing 17-of-38 passes for 276 yards and two touchdowns. Holder ended the weekend recording six catches for 99 yards and one touchdown, while Tony Peterson led the Beavers run game recording 18 carries for a net of 43 yards. Defensively, Colton Blascyk was the leader posting 12 tackles, including 2.5 for loss.

Bemidji State and U-Mary battled back and forth Saturday. The score was tied on two occasions before BSU was able to gain its first lead of the game in the fourth quarter. After letting up an early score in the third quarter, the Beavers answered as sophomore quarterback Shields threw one pass for a 39-yard touchdown to Blake Holder making it a 14-14 game. Gaining the lead in the fourth quarter, the Beavers drive was fueled by a 57-yard catch by Juwaan Richard. Christian Lunde then scored from eight yards out on a pass with 9:16 remaining and the successful Kyle Fodness extra point kick provided the Beavers their first lead at 21-20. BSU held on to its lead as the defense forced U-Mary to punt and then a turnover on downs in its last two possessions of the game. The defense posted a season-best four sacks against the Marauders.

BSU is now ranked sixth overall in the NSIC for passing offense as it has posted 1,401 yards going 99-for-216 in five games. The Beavers are also the second-least penalized team in the conference (21) behind U-Mary. Three of the four BSU losses come from teams that are currently undefeated (5-0) in the NSIC, and two are nationally ranked.

Minnesota Crookston: The Golden Eagles come to Bemidji longing for their first win of the season after losing their fifth straight to St. Cloud State Saturday, 45-24. The offense is averaging 13.0 points per game while posting 253.4 yards of total offense per game. Redshirt junior Ben Bucholz, who has completed 83-of-146 passing attempts for 810 yards and six touchdowns this season, leads the Golden Eagle offense. UMC’s top-targeted receiver has been freshman Adam Connette, as he has recorded 224 yards on 23 catches and two touchdowns.. Leading the UMC run game with 197 yards on 51 attempts in five games is junior Talo Pascal. Defensively, senior Greg Lofquist leads the attack totaling 66 tackles, which puts him second in the league, including 21 solo stops, and 4.5 tackles for a loss (-17 yds). Lofquist has also earned one sack (-9 yds.) and one interception, which he returned 13 yards.