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Bemidji State football: Beavers score early and cruise to third straight victory over Northern State

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sports Bemidji, 56619

Bemidji Minnesota P.O. Box 455 56619

If you run into Bemidji State University football defensive coordinator Rich Jahner, don't be surprised if he is grinning from ear to ear. His nature is to always be in a good mood and his approach to the world around him always takes a positive spin.

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Well, almost always.

Jahner admits that on game-day mornings his demeanor changes. His way of psyching for the upcoming gridiron challenges is to adopt a less cordial persona, at least internally.

When the Beavers faced Northern State Saturday at Chet Anderson Stadium, Jahner didn't have to wait very long to return to his old self, however. BSU scored on its opening three possessions and cruised to a 41-13 victory.

Midway through the second period Jahner was joking with the players. And by the end of the game he and everyone associated with the team had plenty to smile about, including:

--Quarterback Derek Edholm passed for four touchdowns and now has a school-record 53 in his career. Prior to Saturday's game the school record was 51;

--Dustin Kroeplin rushed for a career-high 200 yards on 23 carries. In the first half the sophomore gained 120 yards on 13 rushes and that performance set the table for BSU's 27-6 lead at intermission;

--Defensively the Beavers forced two critical turnovers which led to a pair of Bemidji State touchdowns;

--After the second of those turnovers, a fumble at the BSU 2-yard line, the offense iced the win with a 98-yard touchdown drive which consumed almost nine minutes of the third quarter and upped Bemidji State's cushion to 34-6. Any Northern State hopes of a comeback ended after that series.

"It was a good day at the office," said Beaver head coach Jeff Tesch. "I was proud of how everybody played today We controlled the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball and offensively our running backs ran hard and we made the plays."

Kroeplin was the main beneficiary of the efforts of the linemen.

"The offensive line really did well and without their help we wouldn't have had the success that we did," Kroeplin said. "Our game plan was to execute every time we had our hands on the ball. We also want to execute on defense and special teams because when we execute in all three phases I think we are unstoppable and we can overcome any adversity."

Bemidji State faced adversity only once Saturday. The Beavers had fashioned a 27-0 lead late in the first half but the Wolves made things interesting with a touchdown in the final 35 seconds and were within 27-6 at the break.

BSU was stopped on its initial possession of the second half.

But Northern took over and advanced to the Beaver 2-yard line before the defense forced a fumble which was recovered by Brody Scheff.

The offense made Northern pay for that mistake as, behind eight Kroeplin runs, BSU went the length of the field and scored when Edholm hit Andrew Schultz for a 5-yard touchdown.

"Northern had started to gain some momentum and we wanted to give our defense a break," Edholm said about the lengthy and time-consuming march. "That drive was a huge payoff for us and when we capped it off with a touchdown we put the nail in Northern's coffin."

The TD pass to Schultz was one of four on the day for Edholm. After Kroeplin opened the scoring with a 15-yard run on BSU's opening drive Edholm connected with tight end Brian Leonhardt on a 13-yard score and early in the second stanza teamed with Justin Lee on a 11-yard touchdown.

In the fourth quarter Edholm capped his record-setting day with another pass to Leonhardt, this one from 15 yards out.

"I'm very grateful and humbled with the record," the senior said. "I have had great receivers to throw to and have had the honor of playing with great linemen during my career. Having this record is something I'll be able to talk about when I come back as an alumni."

And odds are when he runs into Jahner and they look back at Saturday's game, his old coach will be smiling.

If you run into Bemidji State University football defensive coordinator Rich Jahner, don't be surprised if he is grinning from ear to ear. His nature is to always be in a good mood and his approach to the world around him always takes a positive spin.

Well, almost always.

Jahner admits that on game-day mornings his demeanor changes. His way of psyching for the upcoming gridiron challenges is to adopt a less cordial persona, at least internally.

When the Beavers faced Northern State Saturday at Chet Anderson Stadium, Jahner didn't have to wait very long to return to his old self, however. BSU scored on its opening three possessions and cruised to a 41-13 victory.

Midway through the second period Jahner was joking with the players. And by the end of the game he and everyone associated with the team had plenty to smile about, including:

- Quarterback Derek Edholm passed for four touchdowns and now has a school-record 53 in his career. Prior to Saturday's game the school record was 51;

- Dustin Kroeplin rushed for a career-high 200 yards on 23 carries. In the first half the sophomore gained 120 yards on 13 rushes and that performance set the table for BSU's 27-6 lead at intermission;

- Defensively the Beavers forced two critical turnovers which led to a pair of Bemidji State touchdowns;

- After the second of those turnovers, a fumble at the BSU 2-yard line, the offense iced the win with a 98-yard touchdown drive which consumed almost nine minutes of the third quarter and upped Bemidji State's cushion to 34-6. Any Northern State hopes of a comeback ended after that series.

"It was a good day at the office," said Beaver head coach Jeff Tesch. "I was proud of how everybody played today We controlled the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball and offensively our running backs ran hard and we made the plays."

Kroeplin was the main beneficiary of the efforts of the linemen.

"The offensive line really did well and without their help we wouldn't have had the success that we did," Kroeplin said. "Our game plan was to execute every time we had our hands on the ball. We also want to execute on defense and special teams because when we execute in all three phases I think we are unstoppable and we can overcome any adversity."

Bemidji State faced adversity only once Saturday. The Beavers had fashioned a 27-0 lead late in the first half but the Wolves made things interesting with a touchdown in the final 35 seconds and were within 27-6 at the break.

BSU was stopped on its initial possession of the second half.

But Northern took over and advanced to the Beaver 2-yard line before the defense forced a fumble which was recovered by Brody Scheff.

The offense made Northern pay for that mistake as, behind eight Kroeplin runs, BSU went the length of the field and scored when Edholm hit Andrew Schultz for a 5-yard touchdown.

"Northern had started to gain some momentum and we wanted to give our defense a break," Edholm said about the lengthy and time-consuming march. "That drive was a huge payoff for us and when we capped it off with a touchdown we put the nail in Northern's coffin."

The TD pass to Schultz was one of four on the day for Edholm. After Kroeplin opened the scoring with a 15-yard run on BSU's opening drive Edholm connected with tight end Brian Leonhardt on a 13-yard score and early in the second stanza teamed with Justin Lee on a 11-yard touchdown.

In the fourth quarter Edholm capped his record-setting day with another pass to Leonhardt, this one from 15 yards out.

"I'm very grateful and humbled with the record," the senior said. "I have had great receivers to throw to and have had the honor of playing with great linemen during my career. Having this record is something I'll be able to talk about when I come back as an alumni."

And odds are when he runs into Jahner and they look back at Saturday's game, his old coach will be smiling.

BSU 41, Northern State 13

Northern St. 0 6 0 7 - 13

BSU 13 14 7 7 - 41

First Quarter

BSU-Kroeplin, 15-run. Pat-Sundby kick) 4:50

BSU-Leonhardt, 13-pass from Edholm. Pat-kick blocked. 11:50

Second Quarter

BSU-Lee, 11-pass from Edholm. PAT-Sundby kick. 3:03

BSU-Kroeplin, 45-run. PAT-Sundby kick. 9:22

NS-Mau, 6-pass from Wanner. PAT-kick failed. 14:24

Third Quarter

BSU-Schultz, 5-pass from Edholm. PAT-Sundby kick. 14:26

Fourth Quarter

BSU-Leonhardt, 15-pass from Edholm. PAT-Sundby kick. 4:40

NS-Morrison, 10-run. PAT-Thomas kick. 10:11

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