FRISCO — The Bearkats have finally reached the pinnacle of the FCS.
Sam Houston Quarterback Eric Schmid found wide receiver Ife Adeyi in the end zone from 10 yards out with 16 seconds left in the game to lift No. 2 Sam Houston to a 23-21 victory over No. 1 South Dakota State in the national championship game at Toyota Stadium Sunday.
South Dakota State’s first-ever appearance in a national championship football game came up one play and 16 seconds short as Sam Houston put together a game-winning drive in the closing minutes to defeat the Jackrabbits.
SDSU overcame an injury to starting quarterback Mark Gronowski on the first offensive series and the rainy weather to battle back from a 17-7 deficit to regain the lead in the fourth quarter. The Jackrabbits rode the legs of freshman running back Isaiah Davis, who scored on a 28-yard run two minutes into the final stanza, then gave SDSU its first lead since 7-0 with an 85-yard burst with 5 minutes and 41 seconds remaining.
Sam Houston followed with the game-winning drive, a methodical 16-play, 65-yard march. The Bearkats converted twice on short-yardage fourth-down plays – the second of which was a 5-yard pass to Jequez Ezzard on fourth-and-3 that set up Sam Houston with first and goal at the Jackrabbit 10. After two incompletions, quarterback Eric Schmid found Ife Adeyi in the middle of the end zone for a 10-yard touchdown with 16 ticks left on the clock.
The extra point was missed, giving SDSU an opportunity to win the game with a field goal. The Jackrabbits moved the ball to the Sam Houston 47 after a 27-yard kickoff return by Jordan Meachum and 9-yard pass from backup quarterback Keaton Heide to Zach Heins, but SDSU’s last-ditch effort in the final seconds with a series of laterals came up short.
- Stadium: Toyota Stadium
- Location: Frisco, Texas
- Attendance: 7840
- Duration: 4:06
SHSU: Schmid, Eric (209 PASS); Jefferson, Ramon (96 RUSH); Ezzard, Jequez (108 REC);
SDSU: Keaton Heide (107 PASS); Isaiah Davis (178 RUSH); Zach Heins (44 REC);