Football: Northern State blanks Bemidji State 27-0
ABERDEEN, S.D. — Northern State appears to have Bemidji State’s number at Swisher Field.
And that number is zero.
Northern State blanked Bemidji State 27-0 on Saturday in a Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference college football game at Swisher Field. The last time the two teams played at Swisher Field two years ago, the Wolves shutout the Beavers 14-0.
“When you can take a power football team and shut them out, it is a good deal,” Northern State fullback/defensive end Cameron Pudwill said. “Especially at home.”
NSU held Bemidji to just 234 total yards, including 74 rushing yards. Bemidji entered the game averaging nearly 149 yards rushing per game. The Wolves held Avery Walker, the fourth-leading rusher in the league, to just 36 yards on 10 carries.
“We knew they were a physical team that liked to run the ball and we had to get them out of their element and make them pass, which we did,” said Pudwill, who finished with five tackles — 2.5 tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks and a quarterback hurry on the day.
And when the Beavers threw the ball, the NSU defense stopped that as well. Bemidji State’s quarterbacks Alex Hass and Ryan Shields each threw interceptions, with NSU’s Joe Parsley and Blaine Schmidt helping to preserve the shutout.
“A shutout becomes a team effort too,” Northern State coach Tom Dosch said. “Your defense has to do a great job of keeping them out, but offensively we really did a good job controlling the ball, controlling the clock. It is a team deal all the way.”
NSU’s offense had a solid day as well. The Wolves racked up 381 total yards of offense, including 295 passing yards. Jared Jacobson went 24-for-35 for a season-high 295 yards and had three passing TDs in the win.
“Our passing game and the effectiveness there is really what led to our total offensive effort,” Jacobson said.
Jacobson threw a 26-yard TD pass to Tanner White in the first quarter for the first points of the game. The play was set up by a nice double move by White.
“We set them up and Jared threw a good ball and made it easy for me,” White said.
White hauled in a career-high eight catches for a career-high 161 receiving yards.
“We are really starting to get into a rhythm that we didn’t really have at the beginning of the year,” White said. “Me and Jared seem to be getting into a little bit of a groove.”
Just two plays after the NSU touchdown, Hass was picked off by Parsley and he returned 17 yards to Bemidji’s 33-yard line. Jacobson then threw a seven-yard TD pass to tight end Conner Doherty to put NSU ahead 13-0. It appeared that Jacobson was going to get sacked on the play, but he scrambled away from the pressure and at the last moment pitched the ball to Doherty before he passed the line of scrimmage.
“I guess instincts just kind of took over and I was able to flip it to him and Conner made a good play because if he would have sat back it probably would have been an interception,” Jacobson said, “but he was able to come up and hats off to Conner to make a good play and make something happen.”
Nathan Shaw tacked on a 23-yard field goal with four minutes left in the half to put NSU ahead 16-0. Schmidt picked off Shields in the third quarter. Two plays later, true freshman Sean Schweichler took a pass from Jacobson and darted his way to the end zone. NSU converted the two-point conversion to go ahead 24-0. Shaw booted a career-long 41-yard field goal in the fourth quarter.
Bemidji State got the ball back one last time with 1:21 left and tried to get into the end zone to avoid being shutout. The Beavers got the ball into the Wolves’ red zone as time clocked down. From the eight-yard line, Shields threw a pass to Josh Malone, but the Wolves stopped him right at the one-yard line as time expired to keep the shutout intact.
“A lot of younger guys at the end of the game and they were trying to go down and score with some of their ones,” Dosch said. “It was great to see our kids keep them out of the end zone.”