Offensive struggles in the last two weeks drop record to 0-5.
Four turnovers including two returned to pay dirt led Bemidji State University to a commanding 56-0 win over University of Minnesota Crookston to spoil Homecoming at Ed Widseth Field. The Beavers improve to 23-2 all-time against the Golden Eagles and take home the “Hubcap” trophy, commemorating the 88 miles of Highway 2 between the two schools.
Minnesota Crookston falls to 0-5 with the loss (0-1 NSIC North). Bemidji State improved to 3-2 (1-0 NSIC North) with Saturday’s win.
The Golden Eagles struggled on the day offensively as they were able to rack up just 104 yards on the day. Jeremy Neuman (R-Fr., QB, Andover, Minn.) got the nod at quarterback due to an injury suffered to Joseph Nava (R-Fr., QB, San Antonio, Texas) last week against University of Sioux Falls. Neuman would go 8-of-17 for 24 yards with three interceptions on the day. The Minnesota Crookston offense was led by Rod Stewart (Jr., WR, Fort Worth, Texas), who notched six catches for 58 yards. Tommy Singer (R-Jr., QB, Apple Valley, Minn.) came on in relief at quarterback and went 5-of-6 with 65 yards.
In the run game, the Golden Eagles looked to Shavez Hawkins, Jr. (Fr., RB, Gilbert, Ariz.) for 20 carries for 35 yards. Nathan Coy (Fr., WR, Sun Prairie, Wis.) tallied one reception for 22 yards.
Defensively, the Golden Eagles looked to Ali Alkhatib (R-Jr., LB, Rosemount, Minn.) with 10 tackles. Donovan Baker (Fr., DB, Tampa, Fla.) added six tackles and one sack, while Will Cole (Jr., DB, Compton, Calif.) notched six tackles and one tackle for loss.
The Beavers had 26 points generated off of turnovers including an interception for a touchdown from E.J. Olszewski, who had three picks on the day, and a fumble return for a touchdown by Cole Schmitz.
Minnesota Crookston also gave the Beavers strong field position as the wind impacted the punting on the day. Stephen Day (R-Jr., K/P, Eveleth, Minn.) would break the school record for punts in a career on the day, but would only average 29.9 yards on 10 punts.
The Beavers started out the scoring on the first drive when Jordan Hein connected for a 29-yard strike to Blake Holder. Bemidji State drove 78 yards on eight plays on the first drive. They also had a 23-yard pass from Hein to Christian Lunde on the opening drive.
Leading 14-0, Bemidji State quickly added on as they turned an E.J. Olszewski interception into six points as Hein connected with Brad Birchfield on the 14-yard strike. A failed rush attempt by Jared Henning kept the score at 20-0.
Minnesota Crookston moved it into Bemidji State territory on the next drive, but were unable to take advantage as they were forced to punt.
The Beavers made it 30-0 later in the second quarter when Hein dropped in a 33-yard pass to a wide open Holder, for their second touchdown connection for the day.
Minnesota Crookston got a 45-yard kickoff return from Hawkins to open up the second half, but they were unable to move the football in Beaver territory. Quickly, giving the ball back to Bemidji State.
The Golden Eagle defense would hold tight as they stopped Bemidji State on two-straight drives. Their first points of the third quarter came at the eight minute mark as Aanerud hit his third field goal of the day, this time from 42-yards out, to make it 36-0.
The Beavers quickly added to the lead as Olszewski returned an interception 26 yards to pay dirt soon after, pushing the lead to to 42-0.
It would only be a few more plays until Bemidji State’s defense struck again. This time Alex Hoffman sacked Neuman and forced the ball out. Cole Schmitz picked the ball up and ran 13 yards to the end zone to make it 49-0.
Minnesota Crookston turned the ball over again on the next drive as E.J. Olszewski intercepted the Neuman pass, giving the ball to Bemidji State at the Minnesota Crookston 41. This time, back-up quarterback Henning hooked up with Trevor Wettlaufer on a juggling catch from four yards out to make it 56-0.
The Beavers came through with the 56-0 win and took home the “Hubcap” trophy with the victory.
Minnesota Crookston hits the road Sat., Oct. 7 as they take on St. Cloud State University in St. Cloud, Minn. at 1 p.m.