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Bemidji State Edges Dragon Football Team in Axe Battle, 22-19

Bemidji State Edges Dragon Football Team in Axe Battle, 22-19
Bemidji State Edges Dragon Football Team in Axe Battle, 22-19(Bemidji State Athletics)
Published: Oct. 17, 2021 at 9:22 AM CDT
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BEMIDJI, Minn. – The Minnesota State University Moorhead football team built a 19-0 halftime lead but Bemidji State scored 22 unanswered points in the second half, including the winning touchdown in the final minute, in a 22-19 win over the Dragons Saturday in Bemidji, Minn.

MSUM fell to 3-4 overall and 1-2 in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference North Division while Bemidji State improved to 5-2 overall and 3-0 in the north.

“I’m proud of how our guys competed,” MSUM head coach Steve Laqua said. “We handled a tough loss with class. I’m proud of the type of people they are.”

Freshman linebacker Josiah Behm had a career-high 15 tackles and an interception in the loss. Freshman linebacker Marcus Gulley had 11 tackles and an interception. Senior safety Shad Vedaa had a sack while sophomore defensive back Jake Bettcher had a forced fumble and recovery.

Freshman quarterback Tommy Falk was 19-of-43 passing for 219 yards and a touchdown for the Dragon offense. Senior receiver Grady Bresnahan had 93 yards receiving on seven catches. Junior receiver Trent Marquart hauled in a touchdown.

Freshman running back Luke Imdieke led the ground game with 49 yards. Freshman Garret Meehl connected on two field goals.

MSUM led 3-0 after a field goal by Meehl, and later in the quarter Falk hit Marquart for a 20-yard touchdown. The extra point failed and MSUM led 9-0.

Meehl added his second field goal from 26 yards out early in the second quarter to make it 12-0.

Moments later, freshman defensive lineman Caleb Doeden blocked a Bemidji punt and Thomas Myers returned the block for a touchdown to push the lead to 19-0. The Dragons missed a field goal in the final minute of the half which would have pushed the score further.

“We had some opportunities but didn’t capitalize on them,” Laqua said. “We have to finish games better.”

The Beavers scored all 22 points in the second half, including the winning touchdown with 36 seconds left. The Dragons moved into Bemidji territory late but ran out of time.

The Dragons will host UMary at noon on Oct. 23 which is the beginning of back-to-back home games.

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