FOOTBALL: Late safety helps Minnesota Crookston upset Bemidji State 16-14
CROOKSTON - The Minnesota Crookston football team forced a safety with 1 minute, 25 seconds, remaining in regulation and the Eagles held on to shock Bemidji State 16-14 Saturday afternoon.
It was UMC's first victory over Bemidji State since 1998 and second all-time. The Eagles (1-4, 1-0 NSIC North) also claimed the Hubcap Trophy for the first time ever.
The Beavers fall to 2-3 overall and 0-1 in the NSIC North.
Despite outgaining the Golden Eagles by almost half (317 yards to UMC's 146), the Beavers could never take advantage on the wet, rainy mess at Ed Widseth Field.
Senior running back Avery Walker rushed for a career-high 265 yards and scored both of BSU's touchdowns - one late in the second quarter and another early in the third.
But the Beavers never pulled away, thanks in part to three lost fumbles (they fumbled five times total). They also failed to score twice from fourth-and-goal - once from the UMC 1 midway through the second quarter and again from the UMC 2 with seconds remaining in the first half.
BSU also had a punt travel just seven yards and had a punt blocked.
Despite gaining just 146 yards of offense the Eagles scored on a pair of big plays.
Klye Larson hit Keoni Piceno with a 64-yard bomb during the first play of the second quarter to give UMC the lead.
BSU answered with a 2-yard rush from Walker to tie the game.
The Beavers took their first lead of the game in the third on a 1-yard score from Walker.
The Eagles tied it again late in the third quarter with a 15-yard run by Tommy Smith.
In the fourth quarter, the Eagles backed the Beavers up along the goal line with a 37-yard punt with just 1:44 to go in regulation.
The Beavers gave the ball to Walker but he couldn't get BSU out of the goal line.
On the second try he was tackled in the end zone by Tyler Hansen and Mychal Traylor, giving UMC the lead.
The BSU defense couldn't get the stop they needed and UMC held on for just their second NSIC win in six years.
The Beavers return home next Saturday to take on the University of Mary.
Minnesota Crookston 16, Bemidji State 14
Bemidji State 0 7 7 0 – 14
Minn. Crookston 0 7 7 2 – 16
UMC-Piceno 62-pass from Larson. (Maw kick), 14:48.
BSU-Walker 2-run (Pulkinen kick), 3:03.
BSU-Walker 1-run (Pulkinen kick), 11:16.
UMC-Smith 15-run (Maw kick), 4:42.
UMC-Team Safety (Hanson, Traylor tackle Walker), 1:25.