Bulldogs bull through Beavers
MSU football drops season opener 49-3 to Duluth
Minot State true freshman Logan Krueger, out of Minot High School, opened his college career by taking down Minnesota Duluth starting quarterback John Larson for a sack on the first play from the line of scrimmage.
It was all downhill for the Beavers after that in their season opener Thursday evening at Herb Parker Stadium.
Duluth (1-0) piled on the points for a 49-3 Week 1 road victory over Minot State (0-1). The Bulldogs controlled nearly every aspect of the game and outgained the Beavers, 583-137, in total yardage.
“We didn’t compete very well in the first half,” MSU head coach Mike Aldrich said. “Second half, I thought we showed a little more grit. But, we were down by so much anyways. We didn’t quit, so that was encouraging. And when you compare us to Duluth, they are way above us.”
MSU scored more points (3) in the first quarter than they had first downs (1) or total yards (-2).
Duluth punched in its first two drives on a 10-yard quarterback run by Larson and a fullback dive in the hands of 295-pound senior defensive lineman Dre Greer.
The Bulldogs’ third drive ended in the hands of MSU senior defensive back Kiante Goudeau. He was stopped a yard short of a pick-six.
That proved to be costly, as the Beavers ended up settling for a 19-yard field goal from junior kicker JoseLuis Moreno.
“Between Moreno’s kicking and Kiante doing things purely by himself with two interceptions and a forced fumble, that was good to see,” Aldrich said. “Unfortunately, we didn’t capitalize on it and we weren’t able to change the momentum.”
MSU won the turnover battle, 4-2.
“A couple glimmers of hope in there,” Aldrich said. “But, it was a long day against a good football team.”
A 71-yard touchdown run by Duluth redshirt freshman Wade Sullivan, trucking over a couple of Beavers in the process, gave Duluth a 20-3 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Duluth scored 15 unanswered points in the second quarter off a Bryce Heim three-yard run and a 19-yard connection from backup quarterback Mike Rybarczyk to Tyler Lattery.
The Bulldogs took a 35-3 lead into halftime and didn’t let up despite bringing in their reserves in the second half.
Duluth senior Alex Lasinski scored a pair of third-quarter rushing touchdowns from 64 yards and a yard out to increase the Bulldogs’ advantage to what would be the final score, 49-3.
UMD rushed for 384 yards, led by Sullivan with 96 yards on five carries. Four players rushed for 50 or more yards.
MSU sophomore backup quarterback Ben Bolinske broke off two lengthy runs to eventually get the Beavers down to Duluth’s 11-yard line in the fourth quarter, but they turned the ball over on downs.
Bolinske finished with a team-high 70 rushing yards. Through the air, Bolinske and senior starter Andy Jones combined to go 9-for-18 for just 49 yards and Jones had a pass picked off in the end zone by Tareq Abuebbeh.
For Duluth, Larson went 9-for-15 passing for 133 yards and he rushed for 50 yards with a touchdown. Johnny McCormick caught four passes for 67 yards.
MSU hasn’t won a season opener since 2002. Duluth now holds a 7-0 all-time series lead over the Beavers, outscoring them 312-26.
“We got a short week, playing Thursday night,” Aldrich said. “And we got 10 games left, so all is not lost. We played the best team right out of the gates, so now it’s a matter of can we figure out what we did wrong and be able to flip it around.”
The Beavers have another 7 p.m. Thursday night game next week against Northern State (0-1). Duluth hosts Minnesota State-Moorhead (1-0) next Saturday (Sept. 8).
Alex Eisen covers Minot State athletics, the Minot Minotauros and high school sports. Follow him on Twitter @AEisen13.