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FOOTBALL: Defense prevails in BSU Spring Game victory for Team Green

Offensive lineman Joe Woods (62) celebrates with his teammates during a drill prior to Bemidji State's spring football game Sunday at Chet Anderson Stadium. (Austin Monteith | Bemidji Pioneer)1 / 3
Quarterback Brandon Alt begins his cadence prior to the snap during Bemidji State's spring football game Sunday at Chet Anderson Stadium. (Austin Monteith | Bemidji Pioneer)2 / 3
Running back Andrew Lackowski carries the ball on a rushing attempt in Bemidji State's spring football game Sunday at Chet Anderson Stadium. (Austin Monteith | Bemidji Pioneer)3 / 3

BEMIDJI -- For the second year in a row, the “Gang Green” defense stood tough and bested their offensive counterparts as Team Green prevailed 32-31 over Team White to win the Bemidji State football program’s Annual Green and White Spring Game Sunday afternoon at Chet Anderson Stadium.

Defensive backs John Vogeler and Jake West each came away with an interception to help provide Team Green (BSU’s defense) with the edge on the scoreboard.

“Guys competed really well today,” Vogeler said. “We’ve been practicing really hard all spring, and as you can see (on) both sides of the ball -- 32-31 -- it was a close game. Everybody competed today.”

Vogeler and Michael Junker, both incoming seniors, served as captains for the Green, while incoming seniors Andrew Lackowski and Joe Woods captained Team White (BSU’s offense).

“It was a good thing for the younger guys to kind of step up, get a game-like feel in,” said Lackowski, the Beavers’ leading rusher in 2017.

“I think anytime you get through a spring game you want to make sure it’s not too lopsided,” Bolte said. “... We got what we wanted. We got out a lot of guys to get out and get their reps early and then got to sit some guys, which was nice.”

“It gets the young guys to kind of feel what gameday’s like,” Lackowski said of the experience the younger members of the team get from playing in the spring game.

Junior Jared Henning and freshman Brandon Alt split time at quarterback.

The afternoon started with a run drill as the game featured drills between each quarter. The other drills included a board drill, goal line one-on-ones and the Michigan drill.

The defense got on the board early with a fourth-down stop on the first possession of the day.

Later in the first half, Alt connected with Lackowski for a 10-yard touchdown pass on the freshman’s first drive.

Interceptions by Vogeler and West continued to give the defense the upper hand during the fourth quarter. Late in the game, Henning guided the offense to a touchdown that handed Team White a 31-30 lead.

A missed field goal by Mason Hoffer on the final play of the game delivered the defense the final points it needed to pull off the 32-31 victory.

“You could see our strengths in the backfield in the back half (of the game),” Bolte said of the defense. “Vogeler, Mikey Junker, I thought Jake West had a really nice day… We’re getting there. Up front, we have a couple guys out that we held, but linebackers took a step forward today. We’re really young at inside linebacker -- talented, but young.

“I thought everything kind of worked out the way you want it in the spring game. It was a nice, good game. It came down to Hoffer getting a shot to hit a game-winner, which was neat for him.”

The Beavers have three more spring practices left before the program hosts its youth camp at Chet Anderson Stadium on Saturday, April 21. Registration begins at 10 a.m. with the camp set to run from 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

The season opener against Northern State on Thursday, Aug. 30, is still more than four months away, but Bemidji State is already preparing for its first opponent.

Summer workouts await first, but the fall cannot come soon enough.

“Really going off of the spring game, we’ve just got to come into the summer ready to go,” Lackowski said. “We’ve still got a long way to get better and get ready for that Thursday night.”

Austin Monteith

Austin Monteith is a sports reporter for the Bemidji Pioneer. He is an Illinois native and a Butler University graduate. Follow him on Twitter @amonteith92.

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