The Dakota Marker game between South Dakota State and North Dakota State is an amazing matchup every single year and this year didn't disappoint.

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NDSU played host to the annual matchup and the Fargo Dome was packed but the home fans went home with a loss after a big-time comeback from the Jackrabbits.

Here is the complete release from the South Dakota State Athletic Department.

FARGO, N.D. —South Dakota State dominated the second half, outscoring North Dakota State, 16-0, to pull out a 23-21 victory Saturday afternoon at the Fargodome in a battle between the top-two ranked teams in the Football Championship Subdivision.

The Jackrabbits, ranked second in the Stats Perform media poll and third by the FCS coaches, extended their winning streak to six games in improving to 6-1 overall and 4-0 in the Missouri Valley Football Conference. NDSU, ranked No. 1 in both polls, fell to 5-2 overall and 3-1 in league play. SDSU also ran its winning streak in the Dakota Marker series to three games.

Early on, it appeared as though the game would be a shootout. Both teams scored on their first possessions of the game, with the Bison taking the opening kickoff and marching 75 yards on seven plays, culminating with a 22-yard touchdown pass from Cam Miller to D.J. Hart.

SDSU answered with an 11-play, 75-yard drive of its own that featured Isaiah Davis breaking a number of tackles on his way to the end zone for a 24-yard touchdown run.

The Bison needed only three plays on their next drive, quickly responding with plays of 25 and 29 yards before Miller found paydirt from 6 yards out.

NDSU made it three touchdowns in its first three possessions early in the second quarter. After converting on fourth-and-1 from midfield, Miller looped a pass over the middle to a wide-open Hunter Luepke for a 30-yard touchdown and a 21-7 lead.

Later in the period, the Bison were again knocking on the door, but a Jackrabbit interception in the end zone changed the complexion of the game for the second week in a row. This time, Colby Huerter leaped in front of a Bison receiver on a pass from backup quarterback Cole Payton to thwart the drive and keep SDSU within striking distance.

SDSU continued its recent third-quarter dominance by outscoring Bison, 10-0, with scores on its two drives out of the locker room. Hunter Dustman connected on a 31-yard field goal on the initial drive of the second half and reserve running back Amar Johnson weaved his way through the NDSU defense for a 16-yard touchdown run on its next trip down the field. The Jackrabbits were a combined 4-for-5 on third-down attempts on the two drives and an efficient 7-for-13 for the game.

Johnson's touchdown came after offensive lineman Mason McCormick ripped a fumble away from an NDSU defender after quarterback Mark Gronowski was sacked at his own 29-yard line.

While the Jackrabbit offense began to click, the SDSU defense also rose to the occasion by holding the Bison to 28 rushing yards in the second half and forcing the Bison to punt three times in pitching a shutout over the final 41 minutes of the contest.

The Jackrabbits pulled to within 21-20 on a 38-yard field goal by Dustman with 10 minutes and 25 second to play, then put together the game-winning drive on their next possession. Taking over a their own 41 midway through the quarter, wide receiver Jadon Janke rolled around left end on a forward pitch for a 39-yard gain to the NDSU 20 on the first play of the drive and Johnson carried four plays in a row for 19 more yards to the Bison 1-yard line. However, Isaiah Davis was stopped short of the goal line on third-and-goal, and SDSU opted to take the lead on a field goal, which Dustman delivered from 18 yards out, for a 23-21 advantage with 3:49 to play.

On the ensuing possession, NDSU picked up a pair of first downs to move the ball into Jackrabbit territory at the 49. A short run and three incomplete passes later, the last of which was broken up by Dalys Beanum, sealed the Jackrabbit victory as they were able to run out the clock following a 14-yard run by Gronowski.

SDSU finished with a narrow 359-354 advantage in total offense as Davis rushed 14 times for 114 yards and Johnson ended the afternoon with 89 yards on 12 carries. Gronowski completed 16-of-21 passes for 152 yards, with Jadon Janke leading the receiving corps with seven catches for 83 yards.

Miller, who started the game by completing his first 13 pass attempts, finished 17-of-22 passing for 227 yards. Zach Mathis caught five passes for 53 yards, while Luepke rushed 15 times for 58 yards.

Adam Bock led the resurgent Jackrabbit defense with seven tackles, followed by six stops by Isaiah Stalbird. Michael Tutsie registered a game-high nine tackles for NDSU.

UP NEXT
The Jackrabbits make a return trip to the Peace Garden State next Saturday, traveling to Grand Forks for a matchup against North Dakota. Kickoff is set for 3 p.m. at the Alerus Center.

NOTES

  • NDSU leads the all-time series, 63-45-5, and the Dakota Marker series by a 10-9 count
  • South Dakota State has won five of the last seven Dakota Marker meetings, including three at the Fargodome
  • The Jackrabbits also posted a three-game winning streak in the Dakota Marker series from 2007-09
  • SDSU has intercepted at least one pass in all seven games this season
  • Davis reached the century mark in rushing for the third game in a row and the fourth time this season
  • Davis topped 100 yards in a game for the 11th time in his career
  • SDSU out-gained the Bison 248-74 in the second half
  • The Jackrabbits finished with a 34:35 advantage in time of possession, including a 19:33-10:26 edge in the second half
  • Attendance was 18,603

For more information on the South Dakota State football team, their current roster and their upcoming schedule, you can visit their team website.


 

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