The Minot State University football team struggled to 57 yards of total offense and turned the ball over four times in a 49-0 season-ending loss at Bemidji State on Saturday.
Bemidji State (7-4 overall, 6-1 NSIC North) intercepted MSU quarterback Zac Cunha three times in the first half and Bemidji led 28-0 at the break.
"We threw the ball to them and gave them great field position," MSU head coach Paul Rudolph said in a press release. "It was an ugly football game and they beat us up a little bit."
Minot State University freshman quarterback Zac Cunha is taken down by Bemidji State’s Jason Bromm in the first quarter of a game Saturday in Bemidji, Minn. Photo courtesy of Jack Hittinger/Bemidji Pioneer.
Bemidji State quarterback Lance Rongstad led his squad to 426 yards of total offense. The senior completed 16-of-24 passes for 225 yards, three touchdowns and one interception. He also ran for 60 yards on nine carries.
MSU freshman cornerback Cooper Helm intercepted Rongstad early in the first quarter, but that was one of the lone bright spots for Minot State (3-8, 3-4).
Bemidji ran 78 offensive plays to Minot's 40 and possessed the ball for nearly two-thirds of the game (39 minutes, 26 seconds).
"When our defense is out on the field constantly and our offense is three-and-out or whatever it might be, it wears on them," Rudolph said. "It was just an ugly game."
MSU junior linebacker Chad Marshall posted a team-high 12 tackles and sophomore safety Levi Freidt had 11.
Cunha completed 9-of-20 passes for 28 yards and tossed four interceptions.
The loss marked the final game for a Minot State senior class that helped the program transition from NAIA to NCAA Division II.
"They're a good bunch of people and they are going to all be successful," Rudolph said. "I really enjoy hanging out with them and having them around. I just wish we could have become a little better of a football team."