North Dakota Holds Off Indiana State in Overtime Thriller, 36-33

Published: Oct. 29, 2023 at 7:41 AM CDT
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GRAND FORKS, N.D. (UND Athletics) - No. 15/17 North Dakota defeated Indiana State, 36-33, in an overtime thriller inside the Alerus Center on Saturday. The two teams combined to put up 36 points in the fourth quarter.

The Sycamores (0-8, 0-5 MVFC) led 30-27 with just 47 seconds left in regulation after scoring a touchdown and two-point conversion. UND (5-3, 3-2 MVFC) faced third-and-10 from its own 39-yardline with only 26 seconds left when Tommy Schuster scrambled for a 21-yard rush to get the ball down to the ISU 40. A 25-yard strike from Schuster to Elijah Klein on the next play put the ball at the ISU 15 with just six seconds left in regulation.

The Fighting Hawks spiked the ball and then trotted out kicker C.J. Elrichs for just his second field goal attempt of the season. Elrichs would drill a 32-yard field goal moments later to send the game into overtime, knotted up at 30-30. Indiana State started with possession first in overtime and North Dakota’s defense stood tall, only allowing the Sycamores to gain four yards before settling for a 39-yard field goal to reclaim their lead at 33-30.

On UND’s possession, it picked up a first down on a Quincy Vaughn sneak on third-and-one from the ISU 16. Vaughn scored the game-winner on the next play, hauling in a 15-yard touchdown pass from Schuster to allow the Fighting Hawks to be victorious in overtime, 36-33. 10/29/23, 7:18 AM No. 15/17 North Dakota Holds Off Indiana State in Overtime Thriller, 36-33

In the game, NoDak registered 450 yards of total offense with 273 yards passing and 177 yards rushing. Indiana State amassed 388 yards of offense with 245 yards through the air and 143 yards on the ground.

Schuster paced the Fighting Hawk offense, going 25-for-34 for 273 yards and four touchdowns. Bo Belquist led the UND receivers with seven receptions for 89 yards and two touchdowns, followed by Isaiah Smith hauling in five grabs for 48 yards and a score. Vaughn pulled in the game-winner and finished with two catches for 16 yards.

Smith also shined in the backfield, recording 11 touches for 109 yards and a score. He also had a 71-yard rush late in the fourth quarter, which was a game-best. Wyatt Pedigo spearheaded the UND defense with seven solo tackles, two sacks and a pair of quarterback hurries. Devin Hembry and Malachi Buckner each finished with an interception.

Prior to the late-game fireworks, the game was deadlocked at 7-7 at the halfway point. In the first quarter, North Dakota opted to fake what would’ve been a 21-yard field goal and made it all the way down to the ISU 2 before fumbling, which ended the possession. Then with 7:43 left in the half, Cade Chambers found Tyce Ferrell for a fiveyard touchdown pass to put ISU up 7-0. UND would not score until 42 seconds left in the first half, when Schuster scrambled and found Smith for a three-yard touchdown pass to knot the game up at 7-7.

Indiana State reclaimed its lead at 10-7 late in the third quarter, before Belquist would haul in a 20-yard touchdown reception to bring the tally to 14-10 going into the fourth quarter, giving North Dakota its first lead of the day.

In the early moments of the fourth quarter, Belquist would score again, this time on a 12-yard touchdown pass to bring the score to 21-10. Indiana State would not go away quietly, scoring seven seconds after Belquist’s touchdown on a 39-yard pass to trim its deficit to 21-16. NoDak pushed its lead to 27-16 with 4:37 left in regulation with a three-yard rushing touchdown from Smith. That score was set-up by a 71-yard rush from Smith earlier in the drive.

ISU then found its rhythm, scoring 23 seconds after Smith’s touchdown to bring the tally to 27-22. The Sycamores got the ball back with less than two minutes remaining, but would score on a one-yard rush with 47 seconds left and then converted the two-point conversion to set up the late-game theatrics. North Dakota will visit Murray State next Saturday for the first time in program history.

Kickoff between UND and MSU is scheduled for 1 p.m. (CT). The game will be televised on Midco Sports Two and carried on the Home of Economy Radio Network.