Carey Woods found the end zone three times and Cody Rutledge scored on his third interception of the night to lead the Bemidji High School football team to a 40-13 season-opening victory Friday at Moorhead.
The Lumberjacks fashioned a 13-0 lead after Mitchell Hendricks converted his second field goal of the game 2:40 into the third quarter but Moorhead closed the gap to 13-7 a minute later and seemed poised to present a stiff challenge.
Those hopes were quickly dashed, however, as Woods scored on an 84-yard pass from Hendricks and, on Bemidji's next possession, Woods outraced the defense for a 71-yard touchdown scamper.
Bemidji continued its attack in the final stanza as Hendricks again found Woods for a touchdown, this one from six yards out. Cody Rutledge added the exclamation point to the victory when he returned an interception 60 yards for the touchdown and a 40-7 lead.
The defenses controlled play in the opening period as the Jacks managed only one first down while the Spuds collected two. Neither team threatened although Bemidji was able to slowly gain an edge in field position.
The territorial advantage paid dividends early in the second period as BHS returned a punt to its 45-yard line. Alex Fenson caught a 9-yard pass from Hendricks on a third-and-eight situation to keep the drive alive and on the next play Hendricks hit Woods for a 27-yard gain.
The march eventually stalled at the 6-yard line and Hendricks came on to boot a 27-yard field goal.
Bemidji's defense forced a 3-and-out and Woods set the table for another Jacks score when he returned a punt from the Bemidji 23 to the Moorhead 39.
Keying the drive was a 20-yard pass from Hendricks to Fenson and with 2:10 to play in the half Brady Schmidt scored from four yards out.
Hendricks kicked the conversion and the Jacks took a 10-0 lead into the break.
Rich Seado recovered a fumble on the second play of the second half and Hendricks capped the march with a 21-yard field goal.
The rest of the game proved to be the Carey Woods show. With 7:07 remaining in the third period he scored on an 84-yard pass reception. After Moorhead went nowhere on its next possession Woods took a pitch from Hendricks, worked the sideline, cut to the inside and scored on a 71-yard dash through the defense.
Rutledge's second interception of the contest gave BHS a first down at the Jacks 48 and Woods finished the drive with his third TD of the evening, this one coming on a 6-yard pass from Hendricks.
A minute later Rutledge picked off Spud quarterback Aaron Lien for the third time and returned it 60 yards for Bemidji's final score.
The Lumberjacks return to action Friday when they visit Fergus Falls.
Bemidji 40, Moorhead 13
Bemidji 0 10 16 14 - 40
Moorhead 0 0 7 6 - 13
Bem-Hendricks, 27-FG. 5:01
Bem-Schmidt, 4-run. PAT-Hendricks kick. 9:50
Bem-Hendricks, 21-FG. 2:40
Moor-Uglem, 10-pass from Lien. PAT-Raymond kick. 3:58
Bem-Woods, 84-pass from Hendricks. PAT-run failed. 4:53
Bem-Woods, 71-run. PAT-Hendricks kick. 7:36
Bem-Woods, 6-pass from Hendricks. PAT-Hendricks kick. 4:17
Bem-Rutledge, 60-interception return. PAT-Hendricks kick. 5:22
Moor-Moon, 24-run. PAT-kick failed. 7:36