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FOOTBALL: Beavers demolish U-Mary in 66-0 shutout victory

BISMARCK, N.D. -- The Bemidji State football team shut out the University of Mary in resounding fashion Saturday afternoon with a 66-0 victory in Bismarck, N.D.

The Beavers (2-0, 2-0 Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference North Division) received another productive week from its running backs who collected 422 yards on the ground.

True freshman Sage Booker rattled off 163 yards on 12 carries with two touchdowns, while redshirt freshman Jalen Frye also cracked triple digits with 127 yards on 22 carries to give the Beavers dual 100-yard performances for the second straight week. True freshman Sherrod Kpahn notched two second-half touchdowns on his eight carries for 52 yards, and junior fullback Matt Gross rushed for 22 yards on four carries and a touchdown.

The “Gang Green” defense pitched its second shutout in as many seasons by holding the Marauders (0-2, 0-2 NSIC North) to 262 total yards, all of them passing. The Beavers earned four takeaways with three interceptions and a fumble recovery.

The BSU offense wasted no time on its first drive.

After the defense held U-Mary to a three-and-out, Gunner Olszewski returned the ensuing punt 59 yards to the Marauders’ 27. Redshirt freshman quarterback Brandon Alt completed a seven-yard pass to sophomore receiver Mannie Kugmeh for the first touchdown.

After a BSU punt on its next possession, the Beavers offense scored on seven straight possessions, including six straight touchdowns.

Alt threw touchdowns of 37 yards to junior wide receiver Jacob Anderson and 66 yards to senior wide receiver Landon Jones. Junior quarterback Jared Henning threw BSU’s final touchdown pass of the first half on a 28-yard score to senior wide receiver Jamison White.

The Beavers rushing attack accounted for 249 yards in the first half and rushing touchdowns by Booker and Frye. Booker ran in two touchdowns from 26 and 34 yards out while Frye totaled 102 rushing yards during the first half. Gross also added a touchdown late in the second quarter.

Bemidji State finished the day rushing for 422 yards, the most for the program since running for 480 yards Oct. 1, 2016, at U-Mary.

Alt exited the game after the first half with his second straight three-touchdown passing performance, the first Beaver quarterback to do so since at least 1999. Alt threw for 149 yards on six completions, while Henning also ended the game with six completions for 56 yards and one touchdown.

The margin of victory was the largest for the Beavers since a 70-0 win over Minnesota Morris on Oct. 28, 2000.

The loss spoiled U-Mary head coach Craig Bagnell’s reunion with his former team. Bagnell was an assistant for BSU from 2014-17, and served as offensive coordinator his last three seasons.

Bemidji State will rekindle it’s Highway 2 rivalry with Minnesota Crookston next weekend. The Beavers and Golden Eagles kick-off at 4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 15, in the 26th game of the series.

Bemidji State 66, U-Mary 0

BSU 21 28 3 14 -- 66

UM 0 0 0 0 -- 0

First Quarter

BSU-11:54, Kugmeh 7 pass from Alt (Aanerud PAT).

BSU-4:23, Booker 26 run (Aanerud PAT).

BSU-0:57, Anderson 37 pass from Alt (Aanerud PAT).

Second Quarter

BSU-13:03, Jones 66 pass from Alt (Aanerud PAT).

BSU-10:36, Booker 34 run (Aanerud PAT).

BSU-2:40, Gross 3 run (Aanerud PAT).

BSU-0:53, White 28 pass from Henning (Aanerud PAT).

Third Quarter

BSU-8:59, Aanerud 26 field goal.

Fourth Quarter

BSU-8:50, Kpahn 12 run (Hoffer PAT).

BSU-3:30, Kpahn 1 run (Hoffer PAT).