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INDOOR FOOTBALL: Axemen fall at Cedar Rapids

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa — The Bemidji Axemen erased an early 17-point deficit, but fell short in a 48-37 loss to the Cedar Rapids Titans Saturday.

Bemidji also lost its starting quarterback Hunter Wanket, who left the game in the second quarter with a neck injury.

A touchdown run from Warren Matthews Jr. brought the Axemen all the way back to a 34-34 tie, but Laron Council’s touchdown on the following possession was the difference maker.

Bemidji had a chance to tie the game in the final minute, but had to settle for a field goal and it could not recover the onside kick or stop Cedar Rapids.

The Axemen trailed by two possessions before they even stepped on the field for offense as quarterback Spencer Ohm picked up an eight-yard rushing touchdown to take the early lead and the Titans capitalized on a DeMario Pippen fumble to kick a field goal to make it 10-0.

Cedar Rapids held the lead into the second quarter and eventually moved ahead by three scores at 17-0.

The Axemen scored the next 10 points, including a one-yard touchdown run by Pippen and trailed 17-10 at the intermission.

Cedar Rapids looked to be in complete control midway through the third quarter with a 24-13 lead and possession, but Jory Johnson turned the tables with an interception returned for a 30-yard touchdown.

Backup quarterback Joshua Aakre threw his first IFL touchdown in the fourth quarter, when he connected with Nick Truesdell for a 13-yard score.

BSU kicker Zach Pulkinen made three field goals, including a 45-yard kick, in his IFL debut.

Bemidji (2-3) will have a bye next week, before playing at Wyoming on April 11.

Look for a full recap in Tuesday’s Pioneer.

Cedar Rapids 48, Bemidji 37

Bemidji 0 10 10 17 37

Cedar Rapids 10 7 14 17 48

First quarter

C- Ohm 8-run. PAT Belmonte kick, 11:10.

C- Belmonte 20-field goal, 7:40.

Second quarter

C- Council 3-run. PAT Belmonte kick, 13:16.

B- Pulkinen 26-field goal, 8:48.

B- Pippen 1-run. PAT Pulkinen kick, 8:48.

Third quarter

B- Pulkinen 45-field goal, 11:05.

C- Hayes 12-kick return. PAT Belmonte kick, 11:01.

B- Johnson 30-interception return. PAT, Pulkinen kick, 6:32.

C- Sims 34-pass from Ohm. PAT, Belmonte kick, 5:08.

Fourth quarter

B- Truesdell 13-pass from Aakre. PAT, Pulkinen kick, 12:30.

C- Delmonte 19-field goal, 9:39.

B- Matthews Jr. 9-run. PAT Pulkinen kick, 7:13.

C- Council 2-run. PAT Belmonte kick, 4:12.

B- Pulkinen 30-field goal, :50.

C- Ohm 3-run. PAT Belmonte kick, :24.