SDSU Keeps Dakota Marker, Sets Attendance Record
Top-ranked South Dakota State scored 23 consecutive points to grab control of its Dakota Marker matchup against North Dakota State on the way to a 33-16 victory Saturday afternoon before a record crowd of 19,431 at Dana J. Dykhouse Stadium.
The Jackrabbits improved to 9-0 overall and 6-0 in the Missouri Valley Football Conference while extending their overall winning streak to 23 games. NDSU, ranked 10th by the Football Championship Subdivision coaches and 11th in the Stats Perform media poll, dropped to 6-3 overall and 3-3 in league play. SDSU claimed the Dakota Marker for the fourth consecutive season and ran its overall winning streak against the Bison to five games, including the FCS national championship game this past January.
The two squads traded scores for the first quarter and a half, with NDSU putting the first points on the board with a 12-play, 75-yard drive on the opening possession. The Bison converted on fourth-and-1 with a 23-yard pass from Cam Miller to Joe Stoffel that placed the ball at the SDSU 2. Two plays later, Miller hit Zach Mathis for a 1-yard touchdown pass. The extra point was blocked by Ryan Van Marel.
SDSU responded with a methodical scoring drive of its own, marching 75 yards on 13 plays. Isaiah Davis recorded carries of 10 and 27 yards before scoring from a yard out.
Both teams connected on field goals on their next drives — NDSU's Griffin Crosa was good from 27 yards and Hunter Dustman followed with a 31-yard field goal to give the Jackrabbits the lead for good at 10-9 with 7 minutes and 12 seconds remaining in the second quarter.
The remainder of the first half belonged to the Jackrabbits, starting with Tucker Large's 28-yard punt return to the NDSU 46 following the first punt by either squad in the contest. Three plays later, Mark Gronowski found Jadon Janke in the right flat, after which Janke slipped a tackle on his way to the end zone for a 46-yard touchdown.
On the first play of the ensuing drive, Colby Huerter forced the first of three NDSU turnovers by stripping the ball from the Bison ball carrier and Isaiah Stalbird recovered at the NDSU 31. The Jackrabbits picked up one first down but had to settle for another Dustman field goal from 21 yards to push the lead to 20-9.
NDSU moved into scoring position late in the first half, but Crosa's 50-yard field goal attempt at the horn was wide to the right.
The Jackrabbits put the game out of reach with another 75-yard scoring drive to open the second half. Davis ran for 27 yards on the first play from scrimmage and Jadon Janke capped the drive with his second touchdown of the day, taking a forward pitch from Gronowski around the left end for a 7-yard score.
SDSU continued to make big plays both on special teams and defense in the third as Jarod DePriest came up with the second blocked kick of the day on a 37-yard attempt and Graham Spalding ended another Bison scoring chance with an interception off a deflected pass by Dalys Beanum.
Dustman added field goals of 44 and 26 yards in the fourth quarter around a 10-yard touchdown pass from Miller to Mathis that cut the margin to 30-16. Dustman's four field goals were a career-high.
The Jackrabbits finished with a 365-325 advantage in total offense. Gronowski completed 12-of-19 passes for 213 yards, with Jadon Janke leading receivers with five catches for 89 yards and two scores. Davis paced the ground game with 106 yards on 17 carries.
Miller led NDSU in both passing and rushing, completing 18-of-29 attempts for 167 yards and carrying 17 times for 93 yards. Eli Green, Mathis, RaJa Nelson, and T.K. Marshall each caught four passes, with Green posting a team-best 47 receiving yards.
Jason Freeman, who intercepted a pass in the fourth quarter, led the Jackrabbit defensive effort with 12 tackles, including 1.5 tackles for loss. Tucker Large registered eight stops.
Cole Wisniewski notched 11 tackles to lead North Dakota State, with Sam Jung and Jayden Price each tallying eight stops.
South Dakota State makes its final road trip of the regular season with a November 11 matchup at Youngstown State. Kickoff is set for 11:00 AM at Stambaugh Stadium in Youngstown, Ohio.