Football: St. Cloud downs Beavers 45-6
BEMIDJI —When this year’s seniors look back on their football careers at Bemidji State they will be proud of what they accomplished. In 2009 the Beavers who red-shirted had the opportunity to study from the best as their mentors went 8-3.
In 2110 BSU fought its way to a 7-4 mark and the next fall the Beavers compiled another impressive 8-3 record.
A year ago Bemidji State went 7-4 to cap a four-year run that produced 30 victories and only 14 losses.
Saturday at Chet Anderson Stadium the program celebrated this year’s seniors and their accomplishments. St. Cloud State, however, put a damper on the party as the Huskies stormed to a 17-0 lead at the break and cruised to a 45-6 victory.
Saturday’s triumph was St. Cloud’s eighth in nine outings and upped its NSIC North record to 4-1.
Bemidji State dipped to 2-7 overall and 0-5 in the division.
Beaver head coach Jeff Tesch was disappointed with his team’s efforts but after the warm-ups he had an inkling that the afternoon might follow this path.
“I could tell by the way we entered the field (prior to the introductions) that we weren’t ready to play,” Tesch said. “I thought that we would come out and play hard for our seniors but we didn’t.
“And this is a very good senior class,” Tesch continued. “The seniors have been entertaining and they won a lot of games. It’s just too bad that we couldn’t play better in this game.”
BSU had an opportunity to take the early lead Saturday after recovering a St. Cloud fumble at the Huskie 30 on St. Cloud’s initial play from scrimmage.
Bemidji State’s offense gained only three yards in as many plays, however, and a 44-yard field goal attempt was short.
The defense held firm on St. Cloud’s next drive as BSU held the Huskies out of the end zone on three straight plays from inside the 5-yard line. The visitors did manage three points, however, as Eric Mielke booted a 21-yard field goal.
BSU’s offense put the defense back onto the field a few minutes later when Ryan Shields’ pass was tipped and intercepted by the Huskies at the Bemidji State 42.
After a pair of first downs St. Cloud found the end zone when quarterback Phillip Klaphake scored on an 11-yard scamper.
A Beaver fumble early in the second quarter gave the Huskies possession at the BSU 42 and six plays later Michael Walker scored from the 4-yard line to up St. Cloud’s cushion to 17-0.
The Huskies erased any hopes of a Bemidji State comeback by outscoring the Beavers 21-0 in the third quarter. The home team avoided the shutout early in the fourth period when Avery Walker scored on a 55-yard pass from Sam King.
King was making his quarterbacking debut and entered the game midway through the third quarter after backup quarterback Alex Hass was injured.
Shields, Hass and King combined for 11 completions in 25 attempts.
Walker reached triple digits once again as the senior gained 102 yards on 28 rushes. Early in the fourth quarter he gained four yards on a run and those yards put him over 1,000 for his career.
“It was nice for Avery to get his 1,000 yards,” Tesch said.
“Avery’s a very talented kid and today he was running with a lot of passion. He was the highlight of our day and I wish we had him again next year.”
Among the Beavers who hope to match Avery’s career yardage is former Lumberjack Brady Schmidt. The redshirt freshman began the season on special teams but he has worked his way into the offensive schemes.
Saturday Schmidt gained nine yards on his lone carry and also caught one pass.
“We have flexible personnel and, in some situations, I am considered a starter,” Schmidt said. “The coaches told me at the start that if I worked my way up (the depth chart) I’d get some playing time and that’s what I’m trying to do.
“Right now there are guys ahead of me who have earned their spots and I’m just trying to work hard enough to earn mine.”
Schmidt’s next opportunity to see playing time will be next Saturday when the Beavers head to MSU Moorhead. The season will end on Nov. 16 at Minot.
“There is pride on the line now,” Tesch said of the team’s motivation. “I told the kids to remember how blest they are to be able to play football. Some kids can’t.
“And if you can play, why not go hard the final two weeks.”
St. Cloud 10 7 21 7 - 45
BSU 0 0 0 6 - 6
SC-Mielke, 21-FG. 7:06
SC-Klaphake, 11-run. PAT-Mielke kick. 12:16
SC-Walker, 4-run. PAT-Mielke kick. 7:15
SC-Walker, 2-run. PAT-Mielke kick. 1:11
SC-Brown, 26-pass from Klaphake. PAT-Mielke kick. 7:38
SC-Berger, 86-pass from Klaphake. PAT-Mielke kick. 12:33
BSU-Walker, 55-pass from King. PAT-kick failed. 0:17
SC-Walker, 79-run. PAT-Mielke kick. 12:30