Bemidji State to host U-Mary on Homecoming weekend
Thursday, October 1, 2015
Bemidji State to host U-Mary on Homecoming weekend
Photo Credit: Justin Oakman Photography

BEMIDJI, Minn. -- The Bemidji State University football team (1-3; 0-0 NSIC North) and University of Mary (0-4, 0-0 NSIC North) play the 10th all-time game in series history at Chet Anderson Stadium Saturday. The Beavers come off a 47-7 win a week ago, while the Marauders are looking for their first win of the season.

Bemidji State jumped into the win column a week ago with a 47-7 win at Concordia University-St. Paul. The Beavers got started scoring early and did not let up. The offense put up five touchdowns and 517 yards while the “Gang Green” defense stood tough on every drive. The Golden Bears totaled just 109 offensive yards, 75 coming on their final drive after the Beavers starters had been pulled from the game. BSU’s defense only allowed five first downs through the game, forcing three-and-outs on eight of 12 of CSP’s offensive drives. Sophomore quarterback Jordan Hein set career marks through the air, passing for 272 yards and four touchdowns.

Mary enters the weekend matchup against Bemidji State after falling last Saturday to Wayne State College, 24-10. The Marauders fell behind early and a late touchdown drive in the fourth quarter was not enough to help in a comeback. Mary totaled 281 offensive yards, averaging 4.5 yards per play. Senior running back Adam Woroniecki paced the Marauders on offense, totaling 103 rushing yards on 14 attempts, averaging 7.4 yards per carry. Senior defensive back Preston Tescher totaled 11 tackles on defense, seven solo and four assisted to stay within the top 12 tacklers in the NSIC.

The Series

Bemidji State and U-Mary continue the matchup’s short series with the 10th all-time meeting in the teams’ histories. The Beavers lead the series 5-4 with two teams alternating wins over the past five games. BSU won the most recent matchup, 21-20, in Bismarck, N.D., Oct. 4, 2014. Junior quarterback Ryan Shields led the Beavers on a game-winning drive with 9:10 left in the game, connecting with sophomore Christian Lunde for an eight-yard touchdown pass.

Head Coach Jeff Tesch, now in his 20th season at BSU, will aim to keep the Beavers’ series lead above a .500 winning percentage after coaching in every meeting in the series history since the Marauders joined the NSIC in 2006.

The Teams

Bemidji State: Bemidji State was picked to finish fourth in the North Division and ninth overall in the league’s preseason coaches poll. As always, the Beavers will rely on the strength of their defense to power through the rough-and-tumble NSIC, but in 2015 Tesch returns 10 of 11 starters on the offensive side of the ball including all skill position players, which generates excitement around the Beavers offensively. Junior wide receiver Juwaan Richard is proving to be the go-to guy, recording 23 receptions and 226 yards to lead the team. Hein found seven receivers a week ago at CSP with three recording receiving touchdowns. Sophomore running back Tahi Nomane had a career game at CSP, rushing for 116 yards on 24 carries. Freshman kicker/punter Isaac Aanerud also put up career numbers while hitting four field goals, one from 50-yards, and five extra points to earn NSIC Special Teams Player of the Week honors.

On the defensive side of the ball, senior linebacker and 2014 All-NSIC Second Team pick Colton Blascyk shoulders the load for an inexperienced "Gang Green" defense, which lost eight regular starters from 2014. He currently leads the team in tackles with 35 (ranking seventh in the NSIC), including 4.5 tackles for a loss, two sacks and one forced fumble. Freshman cornerback Gunner Olszewski has not let his inexperience affect him, as he is second on the team with 31 tackles and also has one forced fumble and one tackle for a loss.

U-Mary: The Marauders enter Bemidji, Minn., with a 0-4 record for the first time since 2010. U-Mary was slated to finish 12th in the NSIC after finishing 2014 5-6 overall. Sophomore wide receiver Brennan Doan paces the offense with 27 receptions, ranking second in the NSIC. Junior defensive back Danielle Whitaker leads the Marauder defense, ranking tied for first in the NSIC in interceptions with two while ranking tied for third in passes defended with six. Senior defensive back Preston Tescher leads the team in tackles with 33, ranking tied for 12th in the NSIC.

A Glance Ahead

Bemidji State hits the road once again next Saturday, as University of Minnesota, Crookston plays host to continue NSIC North play. The Beavers have the possibility of facing back-to-back winless teams as the Golden Eagles enter week five looking for their first win.

The Beavers own a .909 winning percentage in the series history, which dates back to Oct. 29, 1927, a 6-0 win by BSU. BSU is 20-2 all-time vs. UMC, including the most recent matchup, a 38-3 win in Bemidji, Minn. The Beavers fell by four points or less in both of the team ‘s losses to the Golden Eagles.

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).