Bemidji HS football: St. Cloud Tech bottles up Jacks
St. Cloud Tech brought the Bemidji Lumberjacks back to earth Friday night, handing the Jacks a 42-21 pasting at Chet Anderson Stadium.
Bemidji came into the game fresh from a dramatic 15-13 upset over Brainerd last Friday. Tech was demolished by Sartell 42-14 the same night.
But the Tigers controlled the line of scrimmage Friday and took advantage of continual short field positions to run up a 28-0 score in the third period and hold off Bemidji down the stretch.
Bemidji held a 385-289 lead in total offense but generally was kept bottled up in its own territory much of the night.
The Jacks scored on two bombs, a 72 yard Mitch Hendricks to Ryan Rude pass and a 68 yard run from Jesse Eck in the closing minutes.
Otherwise they managed only one field length drive to score.
Tech also used the long ball. But it was more to set up shorter touchdowns. Alex Hanks threw for three scores and ran for another as Bemidji's pass rush was non existent.
The first period was an evenly played affair with neither team scoring.
Bemidji had one opportunity after taking a short punt at the Tech 44 and moving to the 10 where a fumbled pitchout cost 11 yards and a fourth down pass came up short at the eight.
Bemidji stopped Tech on a Tom Runningen interception at the Tech 42 but went nowhere and punted into the end zone. early in the second quarter.
Tech then went on an 80 yard drive to score with Ryan Heaton ripping off runs of 25 and 18 to reach the 24 from where Hanks hit Jon Eckberg for the score.
Dan Stoterau converted.
Another fumbled pitch out set back the Jacks and Tech started at the Bemidji 36 following a punt. Hanks hit John Walker for 36 yards and Bennett Johnson went in from the five. Stoterau made it14-0.
Jobe Peterson's interception and return to the Bemidji 31 set up the third score which came on an eight yard Hanks to Scott Nystrom aerial Stoterau's kick was true again for a 21-0 bulge.
The two teams traded fumbles and Bemidji crossed midfield shortly before halftime before dying at the 35.
At the break Tech had a 189-114 yardage advantage.
Any serious comeback hopes died after Kellan Euerle returned the second half kickoff 57 yards to the Bemidji 32 and the Tigers scored in eight plays. Hanks went the final one. Stoterau's kick was wide.
Bemidji then broke through, going 77 yards on 11 plays to score. The big gainers were 42 and 26 yard strikes to Rude.
Evan Olson went the final yard on fourth down. Mike Rees' kick was wide.
It took Tech only five plays to get this one back after Tyler Wieber returned the kickoff 42 yards to the Bemidji 38. Hanks hit Nystrom for 28 yards to the five and after a loss passed to Nystrom from the 10 to score. Heaton ran the two point conversion.
Bemidji needed only one play to equal this score., Dom Hayle returned the kickoff to the 28 and Rude made a juggling catch near midfield and raced away from all pursuit for a 72 yard score. Olson ran the conversion. Bemidji trailed 35-14.
Each team added a final period score. Tech's came dramatically when Chris Hutton picked off a Hendricks pass at the 20 and rolled 80 yards up the north sideline to score. Stoterau made it 42-14.
Bemidji had time for one final gasp, also scoring dramatically as Eck started around right end, reversed his field and rambled 68 yards to paydirt. Rees added the final point.
Bemidji ended with a one yard rushing edge but 95 through the air. Hendricks hit 14-21 for 212 yards with Rude making six grabs for 158.
Hanks was 6-12 with Nystrom's 4-57 tops.
Eck took rushing honors on his one carry. Olson bad 48 yards on 15 tries. Heaton had 62 and Johnson 56 for the Tigers.
Things get no easier next Saturday at Alexandria. The next home game is Oct. 9 with Sartell.