No. 25 Bulldogs lose by a touchdown to No. 16 Bemidji State 31-38

Published: Oct. 28, 2023 at 4:51 PM CDT
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DULUTH, MN. (Northern News Now) - The University of Minnesota Duluth football team hosted the Bemidji State Beavers in a top-25 Division II matchup at James S. Malosky Stadium but were unable to protect home-field advantage in a 38-31 loss.

16th-ranked Bemidji opened up the scoring five minutes into the game with a nine-play 77-yard opening drive that ended in a 16-yard touchdown catch.

The 25th-ranked Bulldogs would be forced to punt after a quick three-and-out that would allow the Beavers to make it 14-0 after a 30-yard rushing touchdown with 5:51 remaining in the first period.

UMD would get on the board with 1 second remaining in the first quarter as sophomore Kyle Walljasper completed an 8-yard pass to senior Sam Pitz to make it 14-7.

Early in the second quarter, BSU would drive down to the UMD 17-yard line and chose to go for it on fourth and six. An incomplete pass would cause a turnover on downs that gave UMD the ball with over 12 minutes left in the second.

The Bulldogs then took eight plays to set up a 27-yard field goal for senior Curtis Cox.

Bemidji scored two more touchdowns in the remaining six minutes of the first half to make it 28-10 at halftime.

UMD would receive the second-half kickoff but their first drive ended in a punt. After they recovered their own fumble on third down, the Beavers would put three more points on the board with a 21-yard field goal.

The longest play of the day would come two plays later as Walljasper found fellow sophomore Deshaun Ames for a 78-yard touchdown reception to make it 31-17.

After forcing a three-and-out UMD would have the ball back with eight minutes remaining in the third but after a third-down fumble, the Bulldogs were forced to punt.

With four minutes to go, BSU broke free on a 74-yard touchdown run that extended their lead to 21 points.

UMD’s next drive would begin in the third but the 75-yard drive would be finished early in the fourth quarter with a 1-yard touchdown run by Walljasper.

Another punt by BSU gave the Bulldogs the ball only 32 yards away from their endzone which ended with another 1-yard punch by Walljasper that gave him four touchdowns on the day.

UMD would get one more possession but were forced to punt before BSU ran out the clock to leave Duluth with a 38-31 victory.

The Bulldogs are back at home next week for Senior Day when they face Concordia St. Paul at 12 p.m. on Saturday.

The game will be broadcast on the MY9 Sports Network.

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