MOORHEAD, Minn. -- MSU Moorhead jumped in front by three scores in the first half and would not look back as the Dragons defeated Minot State for the 10th consecutive time, winning 56-14.
MSUM would open up the game with a doozy of a drive, going 50 yards in four plays which resulted in the first score of the game. Jack Strand found Carter Birrenkott for a 31-yard score to gain an early advantage. The Dragon defense would hold tough throughout the first quarter against the Minot State triple option offense. MSUM would jump in front by 14 points early in the second quarter with another pitch and catch between Strand and Birrenkott. The score capped off a 10-play, 52-yard drive for the Dragons.
It would not take long before MSUM would strike again as Strand tossed his third touchdown pass of the half to Ryan Bieberdorf for a 26-yard score. Minot State would find the scoreboard to make the score 21-7. However, MSUM would score before the half as Steve Laqua utilized the team's three timeouts to get possession back in favor of the Dragons with just under two minutes remaining. Strand would connect with Luke Imdieke for his fourth passing touchdown of the first 30 minutes. The Dragons would enter the locker room with a cozy 28-7 lead.
The Dragons would not waste any time in the second half as Strand would throw for his fifth touchdown to Brady Perryman to put MSUM up 35-7. The two schools would go scoreless throughout the third quarter before the Dragons earned a stop, forcing a Beaver punt with just over four minutes left in the frame. That punt would eventually get blocked by MSUM's Tate Gustafson, which was recovered by Jack Bungarden in the end zone to give MSUM a special teams touchdown. The score pushed MSUM's lead to 42-7.
Strand would rest the remainder of the game, finishing with five touchdowns, one shy of MSUM's single-game record (Jon Frykman - 2003). Quarterback Tommy Falk would join in on the fun to open the fourth quarter with a touchdown pass to Perryman. Minot State would score again on the ground on the ensuing possession to cut the lead to 49-14 in favor of the Dragons.
MSUM would cobble together a 12-play, 57-yard drive to put the game on ice as freshman Owen Wiersma would lead the charge. Wiersma dashed for 43 rush yards on the drive, culminating in a seven-yard score. The Dragons would run away with a 56-14 win. MSUM would out gain Minot State 446 to 261 in the win.
Jack Strand: 30-44, 299 yards, five touchdowns
Carter Birrenkott: Seven receptions, 122 yards, two touchdowns
Brady Perryman: Seven receptions, 54 yards, two touchdowns
Owen Wiersma: 43 rushing yards, one touchdown
Jack Bungarden: Eight total tackles, three tackles for loss, punt block touchdown
Denver Sheets: Seven total tackles, two tackles for loss
Tate Gustafson: Seven total tackles, two tackles for loss, punt block
MSUM (1-1) is back home for their lone non-conference game of the season against McKendree University. Game coverage will be available on The Flag (AM 1100/FM 92.3) with pregame beginning at 11 a.m. and kickoff set for noon.
This article was written by Nolan Schmidt (MSUM Assistant Athletic Director for Media and Public Relations)