The University of South Dakota and South Dakota State University have had different seasons in regard to success on the football field this year, but both had the same result on Saturday.

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Both SDSU and USD football picked up much-needed wins for different reasons over the weekend.

SDSU continued their dominance this season with a win on the road for a second straight week in the state of North Dakota.

SDSU defeated the University of North Dakota 49-35 after trailing 21-14 at halftime, but it was a huge third quarter that propelled them to the win.

USD also picked up a much-needed win getting to 2-5 on the season with a win at home over Southern Illinois.

USD trailed as well at halftime 21-10, but they outscored Souther Illinois 17-3 in the second half to secure the win.

USD benched their starting quarterback Carson Camp and Aidan Bouman came in to help the Coyotes get the victory tossing one touchdown and giving the Yotes the spark they needed.

Here are the complete releases from the SDSU Athletic Department and the USD Athletic Department on the wins.

GRAND FORKS, N.D. — For the second week in a row the top-ranked South Dakota State football team was on the ropes early on the road, but once again the Jackrabbits owned the second half to down 20th-ranked North Dakota, 49-35, Saturday afternoon at the Alerus Center.

SDSU scored 35 consecutive points in the middle portion of the game, including a 21-0 outburst in the third quarter to run its winning streak to seven and improve to 7-1 overall. Coupled with Southern Illinois' loss Saturday at South Dakota, the Jackrabbits took over sole possession of first place in the Missouri Valley Football Conference with a 5-0 mark.

UND dropped to 4-3 overall and 2-2 in the MVFC.

The Fighting Hawks built a 14-0 lead in the first seven minutes of the game. UND took the opening kickoff and finished a six-play, 75-yard drive with a 10-yard touchdown pass from Tommy Schuster to Bo Belquist.

Belquist set up the next Fighting Hawk touchdown with a 61-yard punt return to the SDSU 11. Five plays later, backup quarterback Quincy Vaughn plunged in from a yard out.

With UND looking to go up three scores on its next possession, the Jackrabbits were able to stem the tide as DyShawn Gales picked off a pass and rolled 31 yards to the end zone to cut the deficit to 14-7 with 4:20 to play in the first half.

The two squads traded touchdowns in the second quarter, although UND went back up by 14 on a 2-yard touchdown run by Tyler Hoosman that came after a 34-yard flea flicker pass from Schuster to Jack Wright.

What followed was a Jackrabbit avalanche.

SDSU put together its best offensive drive of the first half in the closing minutes, covering 75 yards on eight plays, with the final 32 yards coming on a touchdown pass from Mark Gronowski to Tucker Kraft, the latter of whom returned to the lineup Saturday after missing the last six games due to injury.

SDSU put together a six-play, 66-yard touchdown drive to open the second half and knot the game at 21-all. Jaxon Janke, who had an 18-yard reception earlier in the drive, capped the march with a 10-yard catch and run.

A flurry of more big plays followed, starting with a 58-yard punt return by Jadon Janke to the UND 8-yard line that led to a 2-yard touchdown pass from Gronowski to Zach Heins for the Jackrabbits' first lead of the game at 28-21.

On the Fighting Hawks' first play from scrimmage on the ensuing drive, Quinton Hicks forced a fumble and Isaiah Stalbird's recovery and 8-yard return to the UND 17 produced another short field for the Jackrabbits. First, Gronowski caught a throw-back pass from Jadon Janke for 16 yards, then the sophomore quarterback scored from a yard out on the next play.

Gronowski would score again on a 10-yard run early in the fourth quarter and Amar Johnson added a 1-yard touchdown run midway through the final stanza to close out the Jackrabbits' scoring.

The Fighting Hawks scored a pair of touchdowns in the fourth quarter on a 9-yard Schuster run and their second blocked punt of the game resulted in an 11-yard touchdown.

Gronowski accounted for a career-high five touchdowns — three passing and two rushing — and finished the game 15-of-20 passing for 197 yards. He also gained 20 yards on six carries while Johnson, playing in place of an injured Isaiah Davis, led SDSU with 71 yards on 14 carries.

Jadon Janke tallied five catches for 86 yards, with Kraft adding three receptions for 53 yards. Kraft also returned an onside kick 30 yards to set up SDSU's final score of the contest.

UND finished with a 365-308 advantage in total offense as Schuster completed 27-of-39 passes for 291 yards, but was sacked five times. Hoosman carried 15 times for 44 yards.

Stalbird and Jason Freeman each were credited with eight tackles to lead the Jackrabbits.

VERMILLION, S.D.—South Dakota made a change at quarterback in the middle of the second quarter and it sparked a 27-24, come-from-behind victory against No. 14/17 Southern Illinois Saturday in the annual Dakota Days game inside the DakotaDome.

South Dakota (2-5, 1-3 MVFC) snapped a three-game skid and improved to 6-0 on homecoming under coach Bob Nielson. Southern Illinois (5-3, 4-1) dropped its first game inside the Valley and had a five-game win streak come to a halt. That streak began with a road win at the Big Ten's Northwestern.

Aidan Bouman, a redshirt freshman quarterback and a transfer from Iowa State, entered the game with 2:43 left in the second quarter trailing 21-7. At that point, the visiting Salukis had run 47 plays for 254 yards and possessed the ball for 21 minutes. South Dakota had run 13 plays for 60 yards spanning six minutes. Then things changed.

Making his collegiate debut, Bouman marched the offense 43 yards on 10 plays and Eddie Ogamba made a 46-yard field goal to make the halftime score 21-10. A 78-yard touchdown drive to start the third quarter made it 21-17. Bouman dropped a dime to Wesley Eliodor in the corner of the end zone on 3rd-and-5 for the score. Bouman was 5-for-5 on the drive for 61 yards.

Southern Illinois answered the back-to-back scores with a 21-yard field goal from Jake Baumgarte. The Salukis had 2nd-and-goal from the 3, but threw incomplete on second and third down.

That was it for the SIU offense. The Salukis totaled 47 yards the rest of the way.

"Coming out of the half, that score really brought a lot of energy to us," said USD linebacker and team captain Brock Mogensen. "Coming out of the defense meeting at halftime, we just said 'do your job' because that first half was a little shaky for us and we came out and battled in that second half."

South Dakota turned to running backs Shomari Lawrence and Travis Theis and they delivered against the nation's ninth-ranked run defense. Teams were averaging 80 yards on the ground against the Salukis. Lawrence ran 11 times for a career-high 122 yards. Theis carried 21 times for 108. Both reached the end zone. It was the first time USD boasted two 100-yard rushers since Dakota Days 2019 against Indiana State.

Lawrence scored from 29 yards out on the second play of the fourth quarter to tie the game at 24-24. Both teams missed 4th-and-1 opportunities later in the quarter. Cameron Tisdale's interception of Saluki quarterback Nic Baker with 5:00 to go preceded the final points of the game.

Starting from his own 32, Theis ran for 14 yards and 20 yards to reach the SIU 34. He ran two more times and caught a 3-yard swing pass before Ogamba drilled a 44-yard field goal with 2:31 to go.

Coyote defensive lineman Brendan Webb sacked Baker on 4th-and-10 to stop Southern Illinois' final drive and Theis converted a 4th-and-1 in the final minute to seal the win.

South Dakota outgained Southern Illinois 285-126 after Bouman took the field. Bouman finished 11-of-17 for 120 yards. Eliodor caught four passes for 58 yards.

"You go into every single game ready to compete and take my opportunity, make the best of it and play my role like I needed to," said Bouman. "Everybody around me did a great job today and it was a great team win.

"I feel like I've made a great connection with everybody on this team. It feels like home here right now. I love it and it was an awesome day."

Tisdale forced two turnovers and both led to touchdowns. He forced a fumble near midfield and Mogensen scooped it up and rumbled down to the SIU 6 10 minutes into the game. Theis scored from there on a two-play drive that tied the game at 7-7.

Mogensen, Stephen Hillis and Da'Raun McKinney each had nine tackles for South Dakota. Branson Combs had seven tackles to lead the Salukis. Baker was 28-of-43 for 190 yards, two scores and the pick. Ro Elliott ran 16 times for 100 yards for SIU.

"Our guys got behind and didn't give up and that's what I'm most proud of," said Nielson. "The way this year has been going, it would have been pretty easy for our guys to say, 'hey, this isn't going to be out day either.' They showed a lot of character, showed a lot of poise down the stretch and ended up with a really good win."

South Dakota keeps its playoff hopes alive with the win and avenges last season's playoff loss at home to Southern Illinois. The Coyotes travel to Youngstown, Ohio, to face the Penguins next Saturday in a 1 p.m. (CT) kick.


 

SEE: Sioux Falls New Jefferson High School

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