Bulldogs keep Marauders at bay

Minnesota Duluth running back Beau Bofferding only rushed the ball seven times in the Bulldogs' NSIC clash with Mary on Saturday, but four of those went for touchdowns.

Minnesota Duluth wide receiver Justin Fowlkes (17) runs with the ball during a 57-yard touchdown pass play in the first quarter of Saturday’s game against Mary at Malosky Stadium in Duluth. Clint Austin /

Minnesota Duluth running back Beau Bofferding only rushed the ball seven times in the Bulldogs’ NSIC clash with Mary on Saturday, but four of those went for touchdowns.
That’s a ratio UMD will take any day.
“Absolutely,” Bofferding said.
Bofferding only rushed for 44 yards, but his four TDs helped the second-ranked Bulldogs hold off Mary 53-35 on Senior Day before 2,129 at Malosky Stadium. It was UMD’s 18th straight regular-season victory and clinched at least their a share of thier seventh consecutive North Division title.
While the speedy Bofferding got to cap off drives, rugged junior running back Logan Lauters did more of the grunt work, rushing 21 times for 147 yards and two touchdowns.
“That performance was Logan Lauters to a ‘T,’” Bofferding said. “Logan is an incredible athlete. The way he runs and bounces off tacklers, he is just awesome to watch. Logan is a tough, physical runner, and when we needed a big drive in the second half, he delivered. That was the definition of UMD football right there.”
UMD finished with 575 yards of offense.
Quarterback Drew Bauer threw for 250 yards and two TDs, with 201 coming in the first half as UMD, despite a 20 mph wind, exploited a Mary secondary with three freshmen cornerbacks.
The Bulldogs (10-0 overall, 6-0 North) built a 34-7 halftime lead and then watched as the Marauders (5-5) tried to make it interesting in the second half with a passing attack led by quarterback Zach Roberson.
Roberson finished 31-for-56 passing for 408 yards and four touchdowns, with only 94 yards and no touchdowns coming in the first half.
“We had a game plan coming in and we weren’t going to go away from it,” Roberson said. “We had to keep chipping away with the passing game. The big thing is we had to understand and believe that we could keep up with these guys. We had to have confidence in ourselves.”
Roberson, a junior, is averaging nearly 400 passing yards per game for a Mary team with a nonexistent running game, but the problem is he has only played four games this season due to a wrist injury.
“Mary has a good football team,” UMD coach Curt Wiese said. “We knew that going in. They’ve competed all year long, and if they had Zach Roberson the entire season, they’d have been even better than 5-4.”
Lauters had 88 of his rushing yards in the second half as the Bulldogs worked the clock.
Mary cut the lead to 47-35 with 7:03 remaining after receiver Elby Pope snuck behind the Bulldogs defense for a 65-yard touchdown reception on fourth-and-6. Pope finished with 10 receptions for 183 yards and two TDs.
UMD answered with a seven play, 75-yard drive capped by Bofferding’s 3-yard scamper.
“Mary has a tough, physical team,” Bofferding said. “We had them down right away but the momentum really swung. Every week, both offensively and defensively, you can never let off the gas. This game proved it. It’s four quarters, no matter what.”
Roberson now has 14 TD passes this season, but his first interception of the season - a one-handed grab by UMD senior linebacker Gavin Grady - sealed it for the Bulldogs.
“Our seniors had a phenomenal day,” Wiese said. “They’ve been a special group, so hopefully we can have them for five or six more games.”
UMD closes out the regular season with an NSIC contest at Minot (N.D.) State on Saturday.
Bofferding is normally a receiver, but the sophomore is seeing extended time in the backfield after the Bulldogs lost senior Austin Sikorski to a knee injury. On Saturday, Bofferding definitely showed he is more than capable, providing a nice change of pace to Lauters’ straight-forward style.
“The offensive line really came through for us again, and when they do their part, it makes it really easy for the backs to do their jobs,” Bofferding said. “Whenever Logan needs a breather, I’ll go in there and give him one. Whatever we need, I’m willing to do. That’s what I’m here for.”

Mary 7-0-14-14-35
Minnesota Duluth 21-13-7-12-53
First Quarter
UMD - Beau Bofferding 3 run (Andrew Brees run), 10:33
Mary - Zach Podoll 13 pass from Ben Jolliffe (Brody Riggs kick), 8:14
UMD - Justin Fowlkes 57 pass from Drew Bauer (Brees kick), 6:12
UMD - Bofferding 3 run (kick failed), 1:45
Second Quarter
UMD - Zach Zweifel 16 pass from Bauer (run failed), 12:06
UMD - Logan Lauters 1 run (Brees kick), 6:13
Third Quarter
Mary - Podoll 19 pass from Zach Roberson (Riggs kick), 11:37
UMD - Bofferding 16 run (Brees kick), 8:52
Mary - Elby Pope 20 pass from Roberson (Riggs kick), 3:06
Fourth Quarter
Mary - Jake East 20 pass from Roberson (Riggs kick), 13:05
UMD - Lauters 4 pass from Bauer (kick failed), 7:56
Mary - Pope 65 pass from Roberson (Riggs kick), 7:03
UMD - Bofferding 3 run (run failed), 4:49
A - 2,129

Mary UMD
First downs 21 31
Rushes-yards 9-15 51-325
Passing 421 250
Comp-Att-Int 32-57-1 23-34-1
Kick returns-yards 5-73 1-14
Punts-yards 4-128 2-88
Fumbles-lost 1-0 1-0
Penalties-yards 6-56 8-55
Time of possession 19:58 40:02

RUSHING - Mary, Vince Ferrante 3-21, Roberson 6-(-6); UMD, Lauters 21-149, Bauer 12-52, Bofferding 7-44, Aaron Roth 2-37, Brees 1-22, Caleb Belknap 5-17, Fowlkes 1-8, Team 2-(-2).
PASSING - Mary, Roberson 31-56-1-408, Jolliffe 1-1-0-13; UMD, Bauer 23-34-1-250.
RECEIVING - Mary, E. Pope 10-183, Podoll 6-62, Myron Baldoz-McArn 5-60, VaShawn Pope 4-43, Ferrante 2-40, East 2-24, Peter Luton 2-4, Adam Woroniecki 1-5; UMD, Roth 8-51, Nate Ricci 5-53, Zweifel 4-45, Fowlkes 3-77, Bofferding 2-16, Lauters 1-8.

Jon Nowacki is a former reporter for the Duluth News Tribune
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