Stick, Bison march on in FCS Playoffs

FARGO, N.D. (NDSU Athletics) -- Quarterback Easton Stick passed for three touchdowns and ran for another score to lead No. 2 seed North Dakota State to a 38-3 victory over San Diego in the second round of the NCAA Division I FCS playoffs Saturday, Dec. 2, before a crowd of 18,067 at Gate City Bank Field at the Fargodome.

North Dakota State advanced to the NCAA quarterfinals for the eighth consecutive year, where the Bison (11-1) will face seventh-seeded Wofford College at 11 a.m. on ESPN 2. The Terriers (10-2) defeated Furman University 28-10 in the second round.

"We came in and talked at halftime that we had to have another fast start and a sense of urgency. I was really pleased with the way we responded coming out in the third quarter," said NDSU head coach Chris Klieman. "The defense was phenomenal all day long."

NDSU outgained San Diego by a 472 to 174 margin in total offense including 301 yards rushing. Bruce Anderson carried 14 times for 112 yards, Ty Brooks carried 11 times for 88 yards and a TD, and Seth Wilson rushed 13 times for 47 yards.

"I’ve been really impressed these last couple games with Bruce. He ran really well at Illinois State then he ran really hard and well today," Klieman said. "Obviously Ty and Seth give us that home-run hit. They’re getting more and more reps each week at practice."

Wilson scored on a 19-yard TD catch to cap a seven-play, 82-yard opening drive, and Stick scored on a 51-yard run on the next series to give NDSU a quick 14-0 lead. Cam Pedersen connected on a season-long 47-yard field goal to make it 17-0 by halftime.

NDSU scored touchdowns on its first three drives out of the locker room. Brooks had a 23-yard run, Anderson hauled in a career-long 48-yard reception for another TD, and RJ Urzendowski made a one-handed snare in the end zone to put the Bison ahead 38-0 late in the third quarter.

North Dakota State's defense, which has allowed just one touchdown in the last 10 quarters, limited San Diego to a 48-yard Patrick Murray field goal early in the fourth quarter. The Toreros (10-3) were just 1 of 14 on third down.

Middle linebacker Nick DeLuca, who missed the playoffs and most of the 2016 season with an injury, had an interception and two sacks to highlight the Bison defensive effort. NDSU totaled seven tackles for loss including two by defensive lineman Nate Tanguay, who also missed last year's final five games.

"That’s pretty great to have those guys. That was a big difference from last year to this year in the playoffs," Klieman said. "I thought we were able to control the football up front. We were able to get off the field an awful lot."

For San Diego, defensive end Jonathan Petersen had three of the team's four sacks. He finished his career with 44.0 sacks, passing the previous Football Championship Subdivision record of 42.5 sacks by Southern Utah's James Cowser (2012-2015).