Top-seeded North Dakota State rolled into the quarterfinals of the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision playoffs with a 38-7 victory over Furman of the Southern Conference on Saturday, Dec. 7, before a crowd of 18,455 at Gate City Bank Field at the Fargodome.
Quarterback Brock Jensen went 15 of 25 passing for 249 yards and two touchdowns, and had a game-high 86 yards rushing including a 53-yard score in the fourth quarter as North Dakota State improved to 12-0 overall with its 21st straight victory. Furman ended its season 8-6 overall.
NDSU led 10-7 at the half before scoring three third quarter touchdowns. Ryan Smith's 28-yard run down the left sideline keyed by tight end Kevin Vaadeland's block set up a 3-yard TD by running back Sam Ojuri that made it 17-7. Ojuri ran 15 times for 75 yards.
Andrew Bonnet scored on a 7-yard passing play and cornerback Marcus Williams took his 21st career interception 61 yards for a touchdown to give NDSU a 31-7 lead. Williams is the FCS record holder with seven interception returns for touchdown.
NDSU's defense had two goal-line stops on fourth down. Anthony LaVoy and linemates stuffed Reese Hannon on fourth-and-goal from the 1 to stall a 94-yard Furman drive and keep the game scoreless in the second quarter. The Bison answered with a 99-yard march in 10 plays capped by Jensen's 52-yard pass to Zach Vraa down the right sideline.
NDSU stuffed Furman again in the fourth quarter when Esley Thorton got in on two tackles on goal-to-go from the 2 and 1 before Furman quarterback Reese Hannon fumbled a fourth-down snap for a three-yard loss. NDSU ran the ball all nine plays on the ensuing 95-yard drive capped by Jensen's 53-yard TD.
Thorton and Bryan Shepherd had nine tackles apiece to lead the Bison defense while Christian Dudzik and Travis Beck made eight stops each.
North Dakota State advanced to face Big South Conference member Coastal Carolina (11-2) in the quarterfinals either Dec. 13 or 14. The Chanticleers held on for a 42-35 victory at Montana in the second round earlier Saturday.
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