Beavers stifled by No. 19 Mavericks in first loss, 45-24

September 18, 20211st2nd3rd4thFinal
Bemidji State1077024
Minnesota St.101471445
1st Quarter
MSUFG12:56Williams 31 Yd
BSUFG08:46Hoffer 20 Yd
MSUTD06:02Brooks (Williams kick)
BSUTD00:21Peters 15 Yd Pass From Alt (Hoffer kick)
2nd Quarter
MSUTD13:00Vasser 1 Yd Run (Williams kick)
BSUTD10:24McGath 3 Yd Run (Hoffer kick)
MSUTD00:07Williams 4 Yd Pass From Ekern (Williams kick)
3rd Quarter
BSUTD13:00Peters 9 Yd Pass From Alt (Hoffer kick)
MSUTD04:31Ekowa 3 Yd Run (Williams kick)
4th Quarter
MSUTD13:40Ekowa 1 Yd Run (Williams kick)
MSUTD06:29Sleezer 16 Yd Run (Williams kick)
Stats at a GlanceBSUMSU
1st Downs2628
3rd Down Conversions5-155-13
4th Down Conversions0-10-1
Passing (Comp-Att)261 (25-61) 201 (11-23)
Rushing (Att)108 (19) 339 (59)
Total Yards369540
Fumbles Lost00
Beavers stifled by No. 19 Mavericks in first loss, 45-24
Saturday, September 18, 2021
Beavers stifled by No. 19 Mavericks in first loss, 45-24
Photo Credit: David Faulkner

MANKATO, Minn. (Blakeslee Stadium) -- Bemidji State University football faced its first loss of the season to the high-scoring offense of No. 19 Minnesota State University, Mankato, 45-24, Saturday afternoon at Blakeslee Stadium in Mankato, Minn. The Beavers fall to 2-1 overall after the Mavericks total 540 yards of offense compared to 369 for BSU.

Sophomore quarterback Brandon Alt threw for a program single-game record 61 attempts against the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference’s ninth-ranked passing defense. Alt completed 25 passes for 261 yards to go along with two touchdowns and two interceptions.

Junior wide receiver Brendan Beaulieu led the receiving unit with seven catches for 80 yards, followed by freshman wide receiver Bubba Peters with four catches for 59 yards and two touchdowns. Sophomore running back Makaio Harn recorded 95 yards on the ground on 11 carries.

Senior defensive tackle Josh Wleh and sophomore defensive back Keontay Shorter led the defense with seven tackles each, while Wleh recorded his first sack of the season. BSU totaled 6.0 tackles for a loss and 2.0 sacks but allowed the MSU offense to 288 rushing yards.

Saturday’s game remained a one-score difference through the first three quarters, as Minnesota State and Bemidji State both opened with field goal drives. The Beavers drove 14 plays and 71 yards as senior kicker Mason Hoffer connected on a 20-yard field goal to tie the game, 3-3. Sophomore quarterback Brandon Alt completed four passes while sophomore running back Makaio Harn ran for 21 yards on the drive.

Junior defensive back Jake West recorded his first interception of the season to stop MSU on its second drive of the game. BSU gave away its first turnover on the next drive, as an interception returned 50 yards for a touchdown gave MSU a 10-3 lead. Alt came back two drives later to lead a 64-yard drive and a touchdown pass to freshman wide receiver Bubba Peters to tie the game again, 10-10.

The pattern of BSU answering touchdowns continued into the second quarter as freshman quarterback Sam McGath entered the game and ran in a three-yard touchdown to tie the game, 17-17, with 10:24 to play in the second quarter. The Mavericks entered halftime with a 24-17 lead after scoring a touchdown with seven seconds remaining in the quarter.

Bemidji State’s opening drive of the second half provided an 84-yard drive, highlighted by a 52-yard run by sophomore running back Makaio Harn. Alt and Peters connected for a nine-yard touchdown to tie the game, 24-24, which gave Peters his second receiving touchdown of the game and fifth over the last two games.

The Beavers held off the Mavericks on the ensuing drive to force a punt and a possible go-ahead drive. Alt followed to throw his second interception of the game to set up MSU for a 67-yard touchdown drive for the final lead of the afternoon. MSU scored a touchdown on three of the next four drives to go ahead, 45-24. The Bemidji State offense faced three three-and-outs to finish the game and weren’t able to drive for more than 27 yards after BSU’s second turnover of the day.

Kicker Mason Hoffer remained perfect from the field on field goal and extra point attempts this season, now with three field goals and eight extra points. He also averaged 36.6 yards on eight punts, totaling 293 yards with a long of 62 yards.

BSU has now lost six straight games against ranked opponents, last taking a win against Minnesota State on Sept. 10, 2016.

Bemidji State returns home for a two-game stretch, beginning Sept. 25 with a Homecoming matchup against (RV) Augustana University.

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).