NDSU Wins Football Season Opener 28-6 Over Albany
FARGO, N.D. (NDSU Athletics) - Dominic Gonnella rushed for 135 yards and two touchdowns to lead No. 3-ranked North Dakota State to a 28-6 victory over Albany in the football season opener for both teams Saturday, Sept. 4, before a crowd of 15,156 at Gate City Bank Field at the Fargodome.
NDSU scored 21 points off turnovers with interceptions by Dawson Weber and Destin Talbert as well as a fumble force and recovery by Jackson Hankey highlighting an impressive defensive performance. Eli Mostaert and Brayden Thomas combined for three sacks and the Bison had six tackles for loss.
North Dakota State held Albany running back Karl Mofor, the leading rusher in the Colonial Athletic Association last spring, to just 21 yards on 11 carries. Albany quarterback Jeff Undercuffler, runner-up to former Bison Trey Lance for the 2019 Jerry Rice Award, went 16-for-28 passing for 183 yards and one score.
NDSU quarterback Quincy Patterson was 12 of 16 passing for 115 yards in his first game with the Bison. Patterson threw one touchdown pass, an 18-yard strike in traffic to tight end Josh Babicz late in the second quarter that gave NDSU a 14-0 lead.
Albany’s only points came on the next play from scrimmage on a 67-yard catch and run by Roy Alexander, who was stripped at the goal line on a heroic effort by NDSU cornerback Courtney Eubanks. The original call of a touchdown stood after an official review, and Eubanks finished with a team-high five tackles in his first collegiate start.
Gonnella, who had a 3-yard TD run in the first quarter, went 75 yards for a touchdown on the first play of the second half to give NDSU a 21-6 lead. Bison fullback Hunter Luepke added a 7-yard rushing TD in the fourth quarter.
Gonnella averaged 10.4 yards per carry and NDSU went for 6.0 yards per carry in building a 259-22 advantage in rushing yards. Kobe Johnson was NDSU’s second leading rusher with 11 carries for 77 yards.
North Dakota State is home again next Saturday, Sept. 11, to face Valparaiso at 2:30 p.m. at Gate City Bank Field at the Fargodome.
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