FARGO, N.D. – The Dakota Marker Trophy is coming back to Brookings after six straight seasons of being in Fargo.
South Dakota State snapped an 8-game losing streak (two of those in the FCS playoffs) to five-time defending national champion North Dakota State with a 19-17 win Saturday before a sellout crowd of 18,828 at Gate City Bank Field at the Fargodome.
The Jackrabbits scored the game-winning touchdown with one second left to play on a 4th down two yard pass from quarterback Taryn Christion to wide receiver Jake Wieneke.
It was NDSU’s first defeat in nearly a year—ironically is was to the other MVFC South Dakota school in the University of South Dakota also at home 24-21 on Oct. 17, 2015.
It was just the second win by SDSU over NDSU in Fargo since 1962.
It took SDSU until the final play, however for the Jack to take its first lead in this game.
The Jackrabbits yet were the better team on this Saturday afternoon. SDSU totaled 522 yards of offense, and a previously less than stellar defense shut down the Bison throughout most of the second half.
But until the final drive, the Jacks appeared as if they would suffer yet another a frustrating loss to NDSU.
SDSU had three drives reach inside the NDSU 5-yard line and came up with no points.
“I was frustrated with myself but I knew there were better things to come,” Christion said. “We never got down. We were confident in what we were doing. You can’t dwell on the past. You just have to think about your job and the next play.”
NDSU started the scoring at the 13:49 mark of the second quarter with a one-yard touchdown run by quarterback Easton Stick on a 99 yard drive after the Bison stopped SDSU on a 4th down play to start the game.
SDSU narrowed the margin to 7-3 on a Chase Vinatieri 38 yard field goal at the 2:13 mark of the second quarter.
NDSU drove 43 yards in eight plays to get into Cam Pederson field goal range in the last two minutes. Pederson hit the 49-yarder as the first half ended to give the Bison a 10-3 halftime lead.
The Bison took a two-possession lead after taking the second half kickoff 76 yards in nine plays to go up 17-3. Stick ended the drive with a 26-yard touchdown run.
NDSU appeared to be on the verge of putting the game out of reach after stopping SDSU on fourth down near midfield. Bison running back King Frazier, however, fumbled two plays later, and the Jacks took advantage of what would be the only Bison turnover.
Christion hit tight end Dallas Goedert from 13 yards for the touchdown to narrow the Bison lead 17-10 with 5:26 left in the third quarter.
Later SDSU kicker Chase Vinatieri hit a 42-yard field goal with 11:04 left in the game to make it 17-13.
SDSU got the ball back at its own 30 with a chance to take the lead. But a fourth-and-15 Christion pass went incomplete and the Bison took over at its own 30 with 4:00 remaining.
The Jackrabbit defense than forced an NDSU three play and out giving SDSU the final shot.
“I thought they did some really good things in the second half adjusting to us offensively,” said NDSU head coach Chris Klieman. “It’s a good football team. I thought those were two really good football teams that went at it. It came down to our opportunities to make plays and I think we missed a couple opportunities that we’d like to have back.”
Christion accounted for 444 yards of total offense, completing 24-of-42 passes for 303 yards and rushing 20 times for 141 yards.
Goedert caught 11 passes for 150 yards and the score and Wieneke had six catches for 108 yards.
SDSU finished with a 523-304 advantage in total offense, including a season-high 220 rushing yards.
Stick completed 14-of-20 passes for 143 yards and added 12 rushes for 86 yards and two touchdowns on the ground to pace the Bison offense.
SDSU (4-2, 3-0) will host Youngstown State next week, while NDSU (5-1, 2-1) will travel to Western Illinois.
Originally from LaMoure, North Dakota, Kent is a 1996 graduate of North Dakota State University. His prior writing experience is over 15 years having previously worked with D2football.com, I-AA.org, and College Sporting News before coming to College Sports Journal in 2016. His main focus is college football is the Missouri Valley Football Conference within the Division I FCS. And in 2017, he began also to look at the FBS Group of Five conferences of the American Athletic, Conference USA, Mid-American, Mountain West, and Sun Belt.
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