The Winona State University (WSU) Warriors football team’s season ended in the first round of the NCAA Division II playoffs last weekend after the team fell 31-7 to Bemidji State University on the road.

Though the 9-2 Beavers entered the game with a slightly better record than WSU (8-3), the Warriors beat Bemidji in Winona earlier this season. The playoff game up north didn’t go as well for the Warriors, however.

WSU’s strong defense held the Beavers scoreless through halftime and picked off two interceptions. However, the Warriors were unable to get on the board themselves, missing a field goal attempt and giving up an interception of their own. 

Bemidji’s offense broke open the game in the third quarter. BSU quarterback Brandon Alt hit Brendan Beaulieu on a 38-yard pass for the first touchdown of the game. A WSU fumble gave the Beavers the ball back, and the home team scored a field goal to go up 10-0. While the Warrior offense faltered, surrendering its second fumble of the quarter, Alt and Bealieu connected on two more long balls to put Bemidji up 24-0 entering the fourth quarter.

In fourth, Bemidji scored again on another Alt-Bealieu passing play. WSU quarterback Trevor Paulsen ran the ball for a 46-yard touchdown to get Winona State on the board in the final five minutes, but it was too late for the Warriors to complete a comeback.

As a team, Winona State went 19-for-43 on pass attempts, while BSU was 16-for-24. Alt had 260 yards for the Beavers, while Paulsen threw for 129 and picked up 69 yards rushing. WSU’s Clay Schueffner led the Warriors with 19 tackles and an interception. Aarion Lacy and Brian Corbins Jr. also had interceptions for Winona.