FARGO, N.D. (NDSU Athletics) -- Top-ranked North Dakota State extended its record streak of Missouri Valley Football Conference championships to nine with a 49-14 victory over South Dakota on Saturday, Nov. 16, at Gate City Bank Field at the Fargodome.
The Bison (11-0, 7-0 MVFC) clinched the title outright for the fifth time and third straight year with second-place Northern Iowa taking its second loss of the conference season 38-7 at South Dakota State. NDSU will carry a 32-game winning streak to Southern Illinois for the regular-season finale next Saturday, Nov. 23.
North Dakota State scored touchdowns on its first four possessions for a 28-0 lead midway through the second quarter. The Bison ran 70 offensive plays and rolled up 700 total yards - third most in school history and the most in the program's Division I history, topping the 690 yards of offense in last week's win over Western Illinois.
Senior running back Ty Brooks had his third 100-yard rushing game of the season carrying 10 times for 104 yards with two touchdowns. The Bison got 419 rushing yards from eight different ball carriers including 75 yards and one touchdown by Adam Cofield.
Freshman fullback Hunter Luepke scored his first two career touchdowns on a 7-yard run in the third quarter and a 3-yard pass from Zeb Noland in the fourth quarter.
NDSU starting quarterback Trey Lance went 12 of 15 passing for 249 yards and two touchdowns - a 32-yard pass to tight end Ben Ellefson and a 43-yard strike to wide receiver Christian Watson, who finished with three catches for 94 yards. Phoenix Sproles made a game-high four receptions and nine different Bison receivers caught at least one pass.
Linebackers Jackson Hankey and James Kaczor each made nine tackles for the Bison defense, which held South Dakota to a season-low 245 yards of total offense playing without starting defensive tackle Cole Karcz and linebackers Jabril Cox and Aaron Mercadel. NDSU registered 10 tackles for loss including sacks by defensive ends Logan McCormick, Tony Pierce and Will Mostaert.
South Dakota quarterback Austin Simmons went 11 of 19 passing for 73 yards and also rushed 20 times for 51 yards to lead the Coyote attack. Kai Henry rushed eight times for 58 yards and a touchdown, and Canaan Brooks had 10 carries for 33 yards and a TD.
The victory clinched NDSU's 36th conference title since 1925.