Big second half sends Bemidji State past Crookston 45-3 in season finale
The Bemidji State University football team ended the 2010 campaign on a positive note as the Beavers dominated the second half and coasted to a 45-3 home victory over Minnesota-Crookston.
Saturday's win capped the careers of a senior cast which posted a 36-20 overall record during the past five seasons. Among the highlights during their tenure was winning the NSIC championship in 2006.
"The guys did a lot for the program," said BSU head coach Jeff Tesch whose team finished the campaign 7-4 overall and 6-4 in the NSIC. "We're going to miss them in the locker room, the things they did in the community and just that camaraderie. They're just a great group of kids."
The Beavers needed only three plays to score on the game's initial possession. Aaron Roland set the table when he returned the kickoff to the Crookston 49 and Steven Battle took it from there.
Quarterback Derek Edholm handed the ball to Battle on each play and the senior gained eight yards on his first carry, 26 on the second and scored a 15-yard touchdown on the third.
Jessie Sundby booted the conversion, and 82 seconds into the game the Beavers were on top to stay.
Crookston (1-10, 0-10) kicked a field goal on its opening drive but BSU answered with another quick touchdown. Dustin Kroeplin fueled the four-play drive with a 40-yard scamper and Kroeplin capped the march on the next play when he caught a 16-yard TD pass from Edholm.
With 5:44 to play in the opening stanza Bemidji State enjoyed a 14-3 advantage and appeared to have everything well in hand.
Defenses controlled play the remainder of the half, however, and BSU had to settle for the 14-3 cushion at the break.
The Beavers fashioned a 14-3 edge in first downs at intermission but Crookston's passing attack netted 172 yards and kept the Golden Eagles within reach.
That trend ended early in the third quarter, however, as BSU's Andrew Eagan returned an interception 40 yards for a touchdown on the fourth play of the drive.
After the defense forced a punt the Beavers needed only four plays to score again, this time on a 6-yard run by Edholm.
BSU tallied its third TD of the quarter with 3:15 to play when Battle completed a 58-yard drive with a 14-yard run.
The Beavers added a pair of scores in the final stanza as Sundby kicked a 22-yard field goal and Brian Leonhardt caught a 5-yard TD toss from Edholm who completed 13 of his 23 passes for 152 yards and two touchdowns. Edholm finished his career with a school-record 57 touchdown passes.
Battle gained 117 yards on 15 carries while Brand Hamling ran six times for 64 yards. Collectively BSU's ball carriers gained 328 yards.
Andrew Schultz caught five passes for 49 yards.
BSU 45, UM-Crookston 3
UM-Crookston 3 0 0 0 - 3
BSU 14 0 21 10 - 45
BSU-Battle, 15-run. PAT-Sundby kick. 1:22
UMC-Secrest, 25-FG. 6:59
BSU-Kroeplin, 16-pass from Edholm. PAT-Sundby kick. 9:16
BSU-Eagan, 40-interception return. PAT-Sundby kick. 2:11
BSU-Edholm, 6-run. PAT-Sundby kick. 5:32
BSU-Battle, 14-run. PAT-Sundby kick. 11:45
BSU-Sundby, 22-FG. 2:48
BSU-Leonhardt, 5-pass from Edholm. PAT-Sundby kick. 8:04