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FOOTBALL: Beaver defense dominates, delivers in the clutch for 44-0 shutout win

Dust off old schedules, and you’ll find that the program’s most recent shutout came in Week 3 of 2018. This time around, a couple of key plays preserved that precious zero on the scoreboard and gave the Beavers their fourth win in a row.

101222.S.BP.BSUFOOT Marco Cavallaro.JPG
Bemidji State sophomore Marco Cavallaro (99) shouts in celebration of a tackle during the first half against Concordia-St. Paul on Saturday, Oct. 8, 2022, at Chet Anderson Stadium.
Micah Friez / Bemidji Pioneer
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BEMIDJI -- Goose eggs are hard to come by.

But with big play after big play, the Bemidji State football team blanked Concordia-St. Paul 44-0 on Saturday at Chet Anderson Stadium.

“It’s hard to get a shutout in college football these days,” BSU head coach Brent Bolte said. “I don’t remember when our last shutout was, so it was great to get. Our guys were fired up about it.”

Dust off old schedules, and you’ll find that the program’s most recent shutout came in Week 3 of 2018. This time around, a couple of key plays preserved that precious zero on the scoreboard and gave the Beavers (4-2) their fourth win in a row.

First, defensive lineman Marco Cavallaro blocked a chip shot field-goal attempt on CSP’s first drive of the third quarter. Two drives later, when the Golden Bears (0-6) were finally marching, defensive back Caleb Young stopped a scrambling quarterback in his tracks at BSU’s 1-yard line, forcing another fumble that Zollie Kaplan recovered.

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A colony of Beavers make a tackle during the first half against Concordia-St. Paul on Saturday, Oct. 8, 2022, at Chet Anderson Stadium.
Micah Friez / Bemidji Pioneer

“It starts with us, especially the D-line being physical by smacking them in the mouth every play,” Cavallaro said. “That sets the tone for the game, and everyone else will follow. I think that’s what we did.”

The NSIC’s top-ranked offense did its thing, scoring first on Brendan Beaulieu’s 18-yard catch and run in the first quarter, then on Jalen Frye’s 1-yard rush in the second quarter for a 13-0 advantage at halftime.

Jarrett Gronski added a 2-yard rushing TD in the third quarter, and the Beavers really poured it on with a 21-point fourth quarter. Bryce Duffy, Grant Glazier and Jake Hill all caught touchdown passes in the final frame, with Glazier’s doubling as the first catch of his Bemidji State career.

But, as explosive as the offense was, nothing was taking the spotlight away from the defense. Likewise, nobody was taking away their shutout.

101222.S.BP.BSUFOOT Stephen Hoffman, Cade Barrett, and Marco Cavallaro.JPG
Bemidji State's Stephen Hoffman (94), Cade Barrett (97) and Marco Cavallaro (top right) combine for a tackle during the first half against Concordia-St. Paul on Saturday, Oct. 8, 2022, at Chet Anderson Stadium.
Micah Friez / Bemidji Pioneer
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Bemidji State junior Brady Bartz (30) gives a passionate pregame speech before a game against Concordia-St. Paul on Saturday, Oct. 8, 2022, at Chet Anderson Stadium.
Micah Friez / Bemidji Pioneer

“That’s literally what we’ve been working for all year, getting a goose egg,” Cavallaro said. “It’s great to come out and do it on CSP because they have a great scheme. … Their record doesn’t really reflect how they play. We wanted to come out and show that we were the more dominant team.”

A performance like Saturday’s isn’t the first that Bolte has seen. But it sure is a welcome throwback to Beaver defenses of old.

“We talk about having a championship standard and a championship defense, which we’ve had for a lot of years here,” Bolte said. “The defense made plays. We got some turnovers in the red zone, which is big, and we found a way to keep the goose egg up there.”

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Quarterback Brandon Alt finished with 255 yards on 17-for-26 passing with two touchdowns and zero interceptions, with Beaulieu racking up 140 receiving yards on seven catches. Frye gained 103 yards on 22 rushes, his first 100-yard game of the season.

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Bemidji State offensive linemen Ty Cobb (76) and Bill Ketola (73) block during the first half against Concordia-St. Paul on Saturday, Oct. 8, 2022, at Chet Anderson Stadium.
Micah Friez / Bemidji Pioneer

Young and Jarrett Klein had seven tackles apiece to lead the defense, while Stephen Hoffman forced another fumble in the third quarter that Ricky Thompson II fell on.

Saturday’s victory is also Bemidji State’s 200th all-time win at Chet Anderson Stadium, the program’s scenic lakeside home since 1939.

BSU will hope to keep rolling when it faces Minnesota State Moorhead at noon on Saturday, Oct. 15, in Moorhead.

Bemidji State 44, Concordia-St. Paul 0

CSP 0 0 0 0 -- 0

BSU 7 6 10 21 -- 44

First quarter -- BSU TD, Beaulieu 18-yard catch from Alt (Rodriguez PAT), 7-0 BSU.

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Second quarter -- BSU TD, Frye 1-yard rush (Rodriguez PAT blocked), 13-0 BSU.

Third quarter -- BSU FG, Cusick 22-yard kick, 16-0 BSU; BSU TD, Gronski 2-yard rush (Cusick PAT), 23-0 BSU.

Fourth quarter -- BSU TD, Duffy 36-yard catch from Alt (Cusick PAT), 30-0 BSU; BSU TD, Glazier 19-yard catch from McGath (Cusick PAT), 37-0 BSU; BSU TD, Hill 11-yard catch from McGath (Cusick PAT), 44-0 BSU.

101222.S.BP.BSUFOOT Brendan Beaulieu.JPG
Bemidji State senior Brendan Beaulieu (19) makes a catch and runs into the end zone for a touchdown during the first half against Concordia-St. Paul on Saturday, Oct. 8, 2022, at Chet Anderson Stadium.
Micah Friez / Bemidji Pioneer
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Bemidji State's Max Buduris (7) and Stephen Hoffman (94) celebrate after the BSU defense made a play during the first half against Concordia-St. Paul on Saturday, Oct. 8, 2022, at Chet Anderson Stadium.
Micah Friez / Bemidji Pioneer
101222.S.BP.BSUFOOT Dhel Duncan-Busby.JPG
Bemidji State senior Dhel Duncan-Busby (14) signals for a first down after making a catch during the first half against Concordia-St. Paul on Saturday, Oct. 8, 2022, at Chet Anderson Stadium.
Micah Friez / Bemidji Pioneer
101222.S.BP.BSUFOOT Brandon Alt.JPG
Bemidji State junior Brandon Alt (10) slings a pass to the flat during the first half against Concordia-St. Paul on Saturday, Oct. 8, 2022, at Chet Anderson Stadium.
Micah Friez / Bemidji Pioneer
101222.S.BP.BSUFOOT Jamel Stone.JPG
Bemidji State sophomore Jamel Stone (20) covers Concordia-St. Paul's Nathan Gimza during the first half on Saturday, Oct. 8, 2022, at Chet Anderson Stadium.
Micah Friez / Bemidji Pioneer
101222.S.BP.BSUFOOT Maalik Knox.JPG
Bemidji State sophomore Maalik Knox surveys the field before a play during the first half against Concordia-St. Paul on Saturday, Oct. 8, 2022, at Chet Anderson Stadium.
Micah Friez / Bemidji Pioneer
101222.S.BP.BSUFOOT Jalen Frye.JPG
Bemidji State junior Jalen Frye runs forward after making a catch during the first half against Concordia-St. Paul on Saturday, Oct. 8, 2022, at Chet Anderson Stadium.
Micah Friez / Bemidji Pioneer

Micah Friez is the former sports editor at the Bemidji Pioneer. A native of East Grand Forks, Minn., he worked at the Pioneer from 2015-23 and is a 2018 graduate of Bemidji State University with a degree in Creative and Professional Writing.
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