Bemidji State blanks Minot State 27-0
Beavers force six turnovers, records shutout in home opener
BEMIDJI, Minn. -- The Bemidji State "Gang Green" defense held Minot State to just 188 total yards, while forcing six turnovers in a 27-0 victory on Thursday in front of the largest crowd in Chet Anderson Stadium history. Bemidji State is now 12-1 against Minot State in the annual Beaver Bash.
A record 4,711 fans packed The Chet to see Bemidji State roll past its fellow Beavers and record its first shutout since Nov. 6, 2004, when the Beavers downed Wayne State College 24-0 at the Metrodome. The last time the Beavers blanked an opponent at home was Oct. 19, 2002, with a 37-0 victory against Southwest Minnesota State.
The defense was superb, holding Minot State to just one first down in the first half and letting it into the red zone just once, just to shut the door and force MSU to turn the ball over on downs. BSU recorded five interceptions by four different players to total 101 return yards and a touchdown. Senior safety Brody Scheff brought down a career-high two interceptions that totaled 40 yards.
The offense played well, as junior quarterback Lance Rongstad started his first collegiate game under center. He rushed for a team-high 50 yards and was 15-for-23 with zero interceptions, totaling 169 yards through the air.
BSU put the game out of reach by scoring 10 points in the third quarter and giving the Beavers a 27-0 advantage.
Bemidji State junior tight end Brian Leonhardt had six catches for a career-best 89 yards, while 11 BSU players had at least four tackles.
BSU, which won its ninth consecutive game in the series, has now shutout Minot State three times in 13 meetings.
Minot State is playing an independent schedule this season as it is in a transition year from National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) to NCAA Division II. MSU will be a member of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference starting 2012-13.