Three takeaways, a blocked punt and 24 points. That wasn’t the game for the UMD Bulldogs — that was the first quarter. The No. 9 Bulldogs turned a quick start into a 52-0 drubbing of Minot State Saturday afternoon at Malosky Stadium to improve to 6-1 and push their winning streak to four games.
Coming off a season-worst 45 points allowed against Minnesota State-Moorhead last weekend, the UMD defense smothered the Beaver offense to the tune of seven sacks, five takeaways and minus-35 yards on 23 rushing attempts.
On the second play from scrimmage, Kenny Chowa found an unimpeded path to the quarterback on a corner blitz and jarred the ball loose.
Defensive lineman Chris Vandervest recovered and carried the ball to the Minot State 1-yard line. UMD punched the ball in on its first offensive play on a run by Austin Sikorski.
The next Beaver series ended in a punt, but Bulldog David Boegel blocked the kick and grabbed the ball before also getting taken down at the Minot State 1-yard line. Another Sikorski plunge made it 14-0 two minutes in.
Quarterback Drew Bauer was economical with his 15 pass attempts, connecting on ten throws for 138 yards and two touchdowns. The freshman signal caller also ran for 31 yards on 11 carries. Both of his touchdowns went to junior tight end Taylor Grant.
After building a 24-point lead in the first quarter, the Bulldogs added a touchdown in the second and third quarters, and two more in the fourth.
Minot State didn’t cross midfield until the final minute of the first half and was held to 138 yards of total offense — the least UMD’s defense has allowed this year. The Bulldogs’ last shutout came Oct. 20 last year in a 30-0 homecoming win over Bemidji State.
UMD plays those Bemidji State Beavers on the road next Saturday.
By KYLE FARRIS