Bison advance in FCS Playoffs with win over San Diego

FARGO, N.D. (NDSU Athletics) -- Easton Stick passed for 208 yards and three touchdowns to lead No. 1 seed North Dakota State to a 45-7 victory over San Diego in the second round of the NCAA Division I FCS playoffs Saturday, Dec. 3, before a crowd of 18,305 at Gate City Bank Field at the Fargodome.

Chase Morlock caught touchdowns of 16 and 49 yards, RJ Urzendowski caught an 11-yard TD, and running backs Lance Dunn and Bruce Anderson scored on fourth-quarter runs of 56 and 61 yards, respectively, to put an exclamation point on NDSU's 21st straight postseason victory.

North Dakota State (11-1) advanced to the FCS quarterfinals for the seventh straight season, where the Bison will face No. 8 seed South Dakota State (9-3), which held on for a 10-7 home win over Villanova in the second round. SDSU dealt NDSU its only loss this season, 19-17.

Stick tied an NDSU postseason record with his three passing touchdowns. He also rushed for a game-high 99 yards on four carries as the Bison rolled up 299 rushing yards and averaged 9.6 yards per carry against the nation's No. 1-ranked FCS scoring defense and total defense. Dunn had nine carries for 93 yards.

NDSU linebacker MJ Stumpf made a game-high nine tackles including eight solo stops. Stumpf had a 40-yard interception return for touchdown on San Diego's second drive of the game to give the Bison a 7-0 lead.

North Dakota State went up 21-0 by halftime and kept San Diego off the scoreboard until midway through the third quarter when Ross Dwelley's 1-yard touchdown catch capped an 11-play, 61-yard USD scoring drive.

Jonah Hodges, the Pioneer Football League Player of the Year and a transfer from California of the Pac-12, rushed 19 times for 93 yards and caught seven passes for 68 yards to lead the Toreros' attack. Quarterback Anthony Lawrence was 24 of 39 passing for 201 yards.