No. 1-ranked North Dakota State clinched its third straight Missouri Valley Football Conference championship with a 35-17 win at No. 15-ranked Youngstown State on Saturday, Nov. 16, before a crowd of 13,164 at Stambaugh Stadium.
Quarterback Brock Jensen was 17 of 22 passing for 200 yards and a career-high four touchdowns to tie the Football Championship Subdivision record of 43 career wins set by Appalachian State's Armanti Edwards from 2006 to 2009.
Sam Ojuri ran for 146 yards on 17 carries and John Crockett finished with 120 yards on 15 touches to give the Bison two 100-yard rushers for the second time this season. The Bison (10-0, 7-0 MVFC) averaged 6.7 yards per rush.
Jensen, now with 62 career touchdown passes, broke the NDSU career record of 60 set by Steve Walker. Jensen also rushed for a 1-yard touchdown to cap a nine-play, 72-yard drive late in the fourth quarter.
Tight end Kevin Vaadeland had his first two-touchdown game on catches of 3 and 12 yards, fullback Andrew Bonnet had a 3-yard TD catch and Ryan Smith scored on a 10-yard passing play. Zach Vraa led all receivers with seven catches for 101 yards.
Jordan Champion, who started at cornerback in place of the injured but dressed Marcus Williams, had a team-high eight tackles including six solo stops. Bryan Shepherd and Carlton Littlejohn made seven tackles each.
Freshman Martin Ruiz rushed 17 times for 74 yards for Youngstown State (8-3, 5-2 MVFC). The Penguins used three quarterbacks in the game with second-stringer Dante Nania completing five passes for 67 yards.
It was North Dakota State's 19th straight victory overall and 17th straight away from Fargo.
North Dakota State closes out the regular season hosting South Dakota at 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 23, at Gate City Bank Field at the Fargodome. USD is 4-7 overall and 3-4 in the MVFC after a 27-12 home loss to South Dakota State.
Tune in to Valley News Live at 10pm for highlights and reaction on the big win.