Derek Edholm and Dustin Kroeplin led the Bemidji State football team to a 21-7 victory over the University of Mary on the road Saturday afternoon at the Bismarck Community Bowl.
Edholm passed for 190 yards and two touchdowns with both scores coming in the first half.
Kroeplin rushed for more than 100 yards for the third time this season. The freshman running back finished with 105 yards and one touchdown.
Bemidji State led the game 14-0 at halftime and Kropelin's 7-yard touchdown run midway through the fourth quarter put Bemidji State up 21-0.
Jamal Lomax scored Mary's lone touchdown on 2-yard run with 1:13 left in the game.
Lomax, the No. 2 ranked running back in the NSIC, was limited to 71 yards by the Bemidji State defense.
The BSU defense put in another strong effort with three forced turnovers and three sacks on Mary quarterback Henry Lau three times.
The three turnovers came on interceptions by Brody Scheff, Sid Johnson and Tiger Ellison.
The BSU defense has allowed only two touchdowns over the last six quarters of play.
"The defense just played really, really well today," Bemidji State head coach Jeff Tesch said. "And for the first time this year our red zone offence was not able to convert. We could have had two or three more touchdowns if it wasn't for drops, but we ran the ball enough to be OK."
Edholm spread the ball around to seven different receivers and was 12-for-22 passing with no interceptions.
Troy Dale and Cameron Abram were on the receiving ends of Edholm's touchdowns.
Dale scored on a 14-yard reception at 7:47 of the first quarter and Abram scored on an 82-yard reception at 7:12 of the second quarter to make it 14-0 Bemidji State.
Bemidji State improved to 7-3 overall and 6-3 in NSIC play.
U-Mary fell to 5-5 overall and 5-4 in NSIC play.
The game was important to the Beavers, who needed the win to keep postseason hopes alive.
Bemidji State's still needs help from other teams to make Division II national tournament. The Beavers are still in contention for the Mineral Water Bowl.
The annual game takes the best two teams from the NSIC and the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletic Association not to make the national playoff field and puts those teams in a game at Excelsior Springs, Missouri.
BSU played in that game in 2006.
Minnesota State, Mankato and Minnesota-Duluth lead the NSIC with 9-0 records and are likely to make the national playoffs regardless of what happens next week.
Helping BSU's postseason cause was Augustana's loss to Winona State on Saturday. Augustana entered the week alone in second place in the NSIC and now dropped back into the glut of teams tied in third place.
Bemidji State is in five-way tie for third place with Augustana, Wayne State, Winona State and St. Cloud State.
Last season, there were three teams from the NSIC to make the national playoff field. With so many tied for third place, there are a number of different outcomes.
The fate of Bemidji State, and the four other teams tied for third place, will come down to the last week of the season.
Bemidji State ends the season next Saturday on the road against Concordia-St. Paul.