Jackrabbits Keep Dakota Marker With 27-19 Win Over Bison

Published: Nov. 7, 2021 at 10:27 AM CST
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BROOKINGS, S.D. - Ninth-ranked South Dakota State kept the Dakota Marker trophy for the second straight year with a 27-19 win over No. 2-ranked North Dakota State on Saturday, Nov. 6, before a crowd of 18,122 at Dana J. Dykhouse Stadium.

Pierre Strong’s 75-yard rushing touchdown on the second play of the game set the tone for South Dakota State, which improved to 7-2 overall and 4-2 in the Missouri Valley Football Conference. NDSU slipped to 8-1 overall and 5-1 in the conference.

Strong rushed for 156 yards and two touchdowns for the Jackrabbits, who controlled the ball for a majority of the first half thanks to a 16-play, 80-yard scoring drive in the second quarter capped by Strong’s 11-yard touchdown pass to tight end Tucker Kraft.

SDSU’s Cole Frahm kicked a 32-yard field goal to put the Jacks ahead 24-7 at halftime, and Frahm booted a 45-yarder midway through the third quarter for a 27-7 lead after the Bison fumbled away the opening possession of the second half.

North Dakota State quarterback Cam Miller racked up a career-high 277 yards of total offense in the loss. Miller had a team-high 13 carries and career-high 59 yards rushing while going 15-for-23 passing for 218 yards, also career highs.

Miller connected with tight end Josh Babicz for a 22-yard touchdown in the first quarter as NDSU tied the game 7-7, and wide receiver RaJa Nelson scored his first collegiate touchdown on a 14-yard pass from Miller late in the third quarter as NDSU made it a 27-14 game.

The Bison forced an SDSU punt early in the fourth quarter, but NDSU couldn’t capitalize on a 12-play, 88-yard drive that reached first-and-goal from the SDSU 2. A fumbled exchange moved the Bison back to the 5 and the Bison got two yards back before a fourth-and-goal incompletion.

Linebacker Jackson Hankey made a team-high 10 tackles for NDSU, safety Michael Tutsie had seven stops, and defensive tackle Eli Mostaert made six stops including 1.5 tackles for loss.

Mostaert’s sack with 4:27 left in the game pinned SDSU inside its own 1-yard line, and the Jacks decided to take a safety with Dawson Weber chasing the punter out of the back of the end zone to make it a 27-16 game.

NDSU settled for a 33-yard field goal by Jake Reinholz with 1:09 left to play, and SDSU recovered the onside kick before kneeling out the clock for the victory.

North Dakota State is scheduled to play Youngstown State at 12 p.m. ET next Saturday, Nov. 13, at Stambaugh Stadium in Youngstown, Ohio. The Penguins are 2-6 overall and 1-5 in the MVFC after a 24-21 loss at North Dakota.

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