North Dakota State Routs Valparaiso, 64-0

Published: Sep. 12, 2021 at 8:18 AM CDT|Updated: Sep. 12, 2021 at 8:19 AM CDT
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FARGO, N.D. (NDSU Athletics) - The No. 4-ranked North Dakota State football team returned a punt for a touchdown and scored on eight of nine offensive possessions in a 64-0 rout of Valparaiso on Saturday, Sept. 11, at Gate City Bank Field at the Fargodome.

NDSU (2-0) set the tone early on defense with a tackle for loss, sack and incomplete pass setting up Jayden Price’s 45-yard punt return TD on the fifth play of the game. The Bison scored eight touchdowns on plays of 20-plus yards and averaged 11.9 yards per play on offense.

The quick-strike ability of the Bison allowed Valparaiso (0-2) to hold the ball for more than 35 minutes of the game, but the Beacons only advanced the football past the NDSU 40-yard line three times with two of those trips ending in turnovers. Jackson Hankey forced a fumble recovered by Courtney Eubanks in the second quarter, and Sam Jung snared his first career interception at the goal line on the final play of the game.

The 64-point win was the second-largest margin of victory in NDSU’s Division I era and was the most points scored by North Dakota State since the 2018 regular-season finale when NDSU beat Southern Illinois 65-17. The Bison averaged 10.7 yards per carry and rushed for 458 yards, the most since the 2018 season-opening win over Cal Poly.

TaMerik Williams and TK Marshall led the Bison with eight carries apiece as 11 different players had at least one carry. Quarterback Quincy Patterson led the Bison with 94 rushing yards including a 52-yard TD late in the second quarter as the Bison opened up a 43-0 halftime lead.

Patterson was 4-for-5 passing for 102 yards including a 65-yard toss to Christian Watson on a jet sweep down the right sideline. Backup QB Cam Miller completed his only passing attempt in the third quarter, and freshman Cole Payton scored on a 37-yard run to cap a 10-play, 80-yard drive on NDSU’s only possession of the fourth quarter.

NDSU safety Michael Tutsie and linebackers Nick Kubitz and Luke Weerts made six tackles apiece, and nine different Bison players had tackles for loss.

North Dakota State is scheduled to close out non-conference play on the road against Towson at 6 p.m. ET next Saturday, Sept. 18. It will be the home-opener for the Tigers, who fell to 1-1 on the season with a 26-14 loss at New Hampshire in their Colonial Athletic Association opener.

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