Those who can beat the Beavers, do beat the Beavers. That is just what happened Saturday after the fog lifted from Malosky Stadium and the Bulldogs took the field.
They walked all over conference rival Bemidji State and gave the full house of Bulldog Nation something to talk about in a 30-0 victory.
The offense had a minor setback early, losing possession on its first series after a botched handoff from Chase Vogler. However, the defense came up big, making a statement through generating a turnover that essentially set the tone for the duration of the afternoon.
Vogler and his offense immediately turned it around on their next possession and connected with freshman wide receiver Justin Fowlkes, who elusively made his way 64 yards to the end zone, the first of a number of scores that would come in the first half.
Senior tight end Ben Helmer, sophomore running back Brian Lucas and sophomore wide receiver Zach Zweifel all recorded touchdowns early to give the Bulldogs a commanding 28-0 lead at halftime.
The defense sealed the deal by shutting the Beavers down. The visiting team managed only 182 total offensive yards and was picked off three times by the Bulldogs, who have quickly become ball hawks.
Chris Blake, Kenny Chowa and Buma Foncham each had a pick that was crucial to the defense's ability to halt everything Bemidji was doing on offense.
This game was a huge win for the Bulldogs as they continue their pursuit of another NSIC title. Kicker Andrew Brees can attest to that.
"Our ultimate goal for the season is to be a championship football team, starting with winning the NSIC, getting a bid into the playoffs, winning each playoff game one-by-one, and then winning the national championship,” Brees said. “This game was a step towards our goal of winning the NSIC.”
You could feel the pulse out there in Bulldog territory and many diehard fans arrived to duke it out well before the game began, tailgate and get psyched up for the contest.
Senior Nick Hansen was one of the many who staked out to grille and toss back a few with friends.
"A beautiful day, good company, and football -- what more can a man ask for?" Hansen said. "I guarantee a win today." While his prediction may have been bold, his spirit and faith in the Bulldogs genuinely captured the essence of the day.
Next up is a trip again westward to Crookston to take on the Golden Eagles this weekend.
BY BILL ZIEGLER firstname.lastname@example.org