BEMIDJI -- There was no fourth-quarter comeback this week for the Bemidji State football team. A string of magical late-game finishes for the Beavers was snapped in a 27-14 loss to Winona State at Chet Anderson Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
“As I told the guys, you’re living on the edge quite a bit,” BSU head coach Brent Bolte said. “We’ve been right there a few weeks, but it ended up catching up with us and it was really a matter of execution to be honest with you.”
BSU (5-2, 3-1 NSIC North) had a chance to create some more magic late in the game when it got the ball back trailing 20-14 with 9:39 to go in the game, but another interception allowed the Warriors (5-2, 2-2 NSIC South) to extend the lead to its final score.
Redshirt-junior quarterback Emmett Enright made his third collegiate start and completed 27 of 48 passes for 287 yards, but his five interceptions -- three of which came in WSU territory -- proved costly.
“You certainly can’t turn the ball over as much as we did,” Bolte said. “Emmett had a tough day, but they have a good defense.”
Sophomore running back Jalen Frye rushed for a career-high 179 yards on 30 carries and two touchdowns that came out of the wildcat formation.
“We missed him when he was banged up. He’s dynamic,” Bolte said. “We need to keep him in there and utilize him. Obviously, we’ve got to be able to throw the ball and I think that’s what we came out against Winona in the first half. We were spreading it around, loosening up the box. Other teams like Southwest just were slamming everybody in there and really forcing you to pass. We’ve got to be balanced.
“I think we had the right game plan. It’s just unfortunately some miscues and some untimely stuff causes us to come up on the short end of the stick today.”
Senior defensive back Michael Junker recorded two interceptions, which matched a career high, as the defense came up with six sacks to help keep the Beavers in the game.
“That’s our job on defense is just to get those stops,” Junker said. “Just get our offense the ball back as much as possible.”
Brendan Beaulieu led BSU with 104 receiving yards, while Malik Williams caught a team-high 11 passes for 66 yards.
Late in the first quarter, Frye sprinted into the end zone out of the wildcat for the 11-yard score to tie the game at 7-7.
The Warriors took a 10-7 lead into halftime following a 35-yard field goal and a second quarter that saw each team throw two interceptions.
In the third quarter, an interception led to a 25-yard WSU field goal. Sam Santiago-Lloyd rushed three yards for the first of his two touchdowns one drive later for a 20-7 lead entering the fourth quarter.
Frye dashed 17 yards for his second wildcat touchdown of the day to narrow the deficit to 20-14 early in the fourth quarter. Following Enright’s fifth interception, however, WSU put the game out of reach on Santiago-Lloyd’s 2-yard touchdown run. The Warrior running back piled up 231 yards on 39 carries for the game.
The Beavers nearly made it a one-possession game with 3:17 to play, but Jacob Anderson’s fourth-down catch in the end zone was ruled to have come out of bounds.
Bemidji State will head to Concordia-St. Paul for its final interdivisional game of the season next Saturday, Oct. 26, at noon.
Winona State 27, Bemidji State 14
WSU 7 3 10 7 -- 27
BSU 7 0 0 7 -- 14
WSU-13:08, Anderson 47-yd TD pass from Burke (Ortiz kick).
BSU-3:25, Frye 11-yd TD run (Hoffer kick).
WSU-14:56, Ortiz 35-yd field goal.
WSU-6:02, Ortiz 25-yd field goal.
WSU-1:57, Santiago-Lloyd 3-yd TD run (Ortiz kick).
BSU-11:57, Frye 17-yd TD run (Hoffer kick).
WSU-7:31, Santiago-Lloyd 2-yd TD run (Ortiz kick).