FOOTBALL: Bemidji runs over Rocori 40-20 to remain undefeated
BEMIDJI — If not for the electrical issue at Chet Anderson Stadium, the Bemidji High School football team would have lit up the scoreboard against Rocori.
The Lumberjacks gained nearly 500 yards of total offense, Tanner Boes had three rushing touchdowns and Bemidji remained undefeated with a 40-20 win over the Spartans Friday night in Central Lakes Conference action.
“We came out of the gate well tonight,” Bemidji head coach Troy Hendricks said. “I’m proud of the effort the kids put in.”
Hendricks and quarterback James Hendricks both said homecoming, combined with the Lumberjacks’ 2011 loss to the Spartans in the Class 5A state championship game, was also a motivating factor.
“We were looking forward to starting out of the gates fast,” James Hendricks said. “Especially with this team and the loss two years ago in the Dome. We wanted to come out fast this game.
“We stressed it all week. We made sure we were motivated.”
In past games this season, Bemidji (5-0) had struggled out of the starting blocks before rallying in the second half to pull away.
This time around, that didn’t happen. Bemidji scored 33 unanswered points and took a 33-0 lead into halftime.
During the first series in the first quarter, quarterback James Hendricks ripped off a 50-yard touchdown run that put BHS up early.
The Lumberjacks missed the extra point and it was 6-0 early (the scoreboard malfunction also prevented anyone in the stadium from knowing exactly how much time was remaining in a given quarter).
After Rocori (1-4) failed to score on a drive, the Lumberjacks answered with another big play.
Boes found a hole in the Spartan line and ran for daylight, taking it in 60 yards for a score.
It was the first of three touchdowns on the night for Boes, who had 158 yards on 17 carries.
“He gets the ball, sees the hole and he goes,” James Hendricks said of his running back. “He’ll make a guy miss. He’ll never go down on first our second tackle. He’s able to run out people on the open fields. He’s just so good.”
In the second quarter, Boes scored early with a 6-yard touchdown run following a long Lumberjacks drive.
He completed his hat trick late in the half.
After finding a seam for a 49-yard run in which he broke three Spartan tacklers, he was taken down at the Rocori 1-yard line.
Two plays later, he punched it in for a touchdown to make it 33-0.
Earlier in the quarter Hendricks had found Jaylen Ingalls for a 70-yard touchdown.
In the second half Rocori scored on its first drive — a 47-yard touchdown pass from Tim Hansen to Alex Budde.
Hansen also scored later in the quarter on a 5-yard keeper.
But in general the Spartans couldn’t sustain much of anything against the Lumberjacks. By the time they scored again — a touchdown pass from Skippy Virchow to Cole Nelson with about a minute left in the fourth quarter — the game was already out of reach.
“We were able to run the ball with our base offensive play, run a zone,” Troy Hendricks said. “We just let Tanner have the football and let James run his reads. The defense stepped up to the plate and shut them down.”
Bemidji’s other touchdown in the third quarter came via a 24-yard pass from Hendricks to Ryan Hirt.
Hendricks finished the game with 139 yards passing, two touchdowns and an interception on 6 of 13 attempts. He also rushed for 50 yards and a touchdown.
Aside from Boes’ big game, Wakinyan also ran for a solid 76 yards on right carries. Five other players logged carries for BHS as well.
For Rocori, Hanson went 20-for-28 for 237 yards and a touchdown in addition to his rushing score. Virchow was 3-for-6 for 58 yards.
Budde caught 12 passes for 118 yards.
The Lumberjacks outgained the Spartans 473-300; 250 of Rocori’s yards were logged in the second half.
The homecoming victory improves the Lumberjacks to 5-0 overall going into next week’s heavyweight battle with rivals Brainerd. The Warriors are also 5-0 after their 7-0 win over St. Cloud Tech Friday night.
“This is a big game next week,” James Hendricks said. “We knew from the beginning of the year that it would be a telling point of where we are in the section. It will be close, competitive game. We’ve been waiting for it for a while.”
Bemidji 40, Rocori 20
Rocori0 0 14 6 - 20
Bemidji12 21 7 0 - 40
BHS-Hendricks 50-run (Annette PAT kick no good)
BHS-Boes 60-run (2-point conversion no good)
BHS-Boes 6-run (Annette kick good)
BHS-Ingalls 70-pass from Hendricks (Annette kick good)
BHS-Boes 1-run (Annette kick good)
Roc-Budde 47-pass from Hansen (2-point conversion good)
BHS-Hirt 24-pass from Hendricks (Annette kick good)
Roc-Hansen 2-run (2-point conversion no good)
Roc-Nelson 15-pass from Virchow (PAT kick good)