Bison Win 3rd Straight FCS National Championship - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Bison Win 3rd Straight FCS National Championship

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Photo courtesy of gobison.com Photo courtesy of gobison.com

Behind a strong rushing attack, an excellent defensive effort against a dangerous Towson offense and a timely blocked field goal and interception in the second quarter, the Bison continued their domination of the FCS ranks. They held Towson running back Terrance West—who came into the game with 2,468 rushing yards and 41 total touchdowns—to just 91 yards and a score on 22 carries.

North Dakota State struck first, as you might expect. A 33-yard run from John Crockett brought the ball to Towson's 21-yard line, and five plays later, he plunged two yards into the end zone to give the Bison the lead.

The Tigers had an answer, however. Five plays after converting a 4th-and-1 from their own 32, Peter Athens found Brian Dowling on a 37-yard pass and North Dakota State was called for an unsportsmanlike penalty to set up Towson at the 11-yard line. Two plays later, West burst in the end zone for his 42nd touchdown of the year.

But momentum swung the Bison's way in the second quarter. Kyle Emanuel returned a blocked D.J. Soven field-goal attempt to the Towson 5-yard line, and Ryan Smith rushed for a touchdown on the next play. On the next series, Athens was intercepted by CJ Smith, leading to a five-play, 43-yard drive capped by Brock Jensen's 12-yard touchdown pass to Zach Vraa.

North Dakota State went into the half leading 21-7.

And the Bison started the second half just as strongly. After holding Towson to a three-and-out on the first possession of the second half, North Dakota State marched down the field, going 88 yards in just eight plays, with Jensen running it in from eight yards out to extend the lead to 28-7.

North Dakota State nearly made the game 35-7 on its next drive, but it was stuffed on 4th-and-goal from the 1-yard line. Towson couldn't turn that key stop into any type of momentum, however, going three-and-out and punting the ball away. But Connor Frazier shanked the punt, setting up the Bison at the Towson 31-yard-line.

Seven plays later, Sam Ojuri plunged into the end zone from a yard out, and North Dakota State was well on its way to winning a third straight FCS championship.

All in all, it was a pretty clinical performance from North Dakota State, though all wasn't lost for Towson, as West managed to make history in the game.

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