Bemidji State football rumbles over Northern State for third straight win
The Bemidji State football extended its winning streak to three straight games Saturday afternoon by running through Northern State.
The Beavers defeated the Wolves 42-20 with a power rushing attack under sunny skies on a breezy day at Swisher Field.
Bemidji State pulled away by scoring three straight touchdowns in the second quarter to take a 28-7 lead at halftime.
Bemidji State scored the first two touchdowns of the second half and led 42-7 midway through the third quarter.
The Beavers improved to 4-1 overall (3-1 NSIC) and Northern State remained winless at 0-5 (0-4 NSIC).
Bemidji State moved to the top of the NSIC North standings with a 2-0 divisional record.
The win also ended Bemidji State's road losing streak at six games, which dated back to last season's opener at Minot State.
The Beavers return home next Saturday to face St. Cloud State in the homecoming game at Chet Anderson Stadium.
St. Cloud State (2-3 overall, 2-2 NSIC) are winners of two straight games and defeated Upper Iowa 57-10 on Saturday.
Should the Beavers defeat St. Cloud State and Wayne State defeat Upper Iowa next week, it would set up a key home game against the Wildcats on Oct. 10 with potential playoff implications.
Against Northern State, the BSU offensive and defensive lines were dominant in the victory.
The offensive line paved the way for 271 yards rushing, well above Bemidji State's 227 yards per game average entering the game against Northern State.
Dustin Kroeplin did most of the damage on the ground for the Beavers.
The freshman running back rushed 18 times for 112 yards and two touchdowns. He scored a 3-yarder on the opening drive of the game and his 1-yard cutback early in the second quarter put BSU up 14-0.
Quarterback Derek Edholm was 6-for-10 passing for 70 yards for two touchdowns and had one interception. He rushed three times for 32 yards and scored on a 23-yard scramble for the last score of the first half.
Andrew Schultz and Brian Leonhardt were on the receiving ends of Edholm's two touchdown passes.
Backup quarterback Lance Rongstad played out about the final 22 minutes of the game and completed all five of his attempted passes for 88 yards and rushed for 69 yards.
Nate Solors capped off Bemidji State's scoring in the second half with an 11-yard touchdown run through the middle of the field with 8:38 remaining in the third quarter.
After that score, Bemidji State brought in the backups.
Northern State scored its final two touchdowns in the final five minutes of the game.
One of the best rushing defenses in Division II continued to play well and limited Northern State to 72 yards on the ground and 256 overall yards.
Bemidji State's defensive line created a strong pass rush and did not allow any easy runs. Defensive end Rob Wills capped off the good showing for the first team defense in the third quarter when he intercepted a pass at midfield and nearly returned it for a touchdown. It came on the possession after Solors' touchdown.
Jake Anderson had Bemidji State's lone fumble recovery on the day, which came at a critical time in the second quarter when BSU was ahead 21-7. That fumble recovery was converted to a touchdown on Edholm's 23-yard run to make it 28-7.
Dusty Sluzewicz led the Beaver defense with seven tackles in the win.