Bison improve to 6-0 with win over Western Illinois

MACOMB, Ill.(NDSU Athletics) -- No. 1-ranked North Dakota State forced five turnovers including a fumble recovery for touchdown in the second quarter to spark a 34-7 victory over Western Illinois on Saturday, Oct. 13.

NDSU linebacker Dan Marlette scored from 38 yards after a strip sack by cornerback Marquise Bridges and the Bison scored 31 straight points to improve to 6-0 overall and 3-0 in the Missouri Valley Football Conference.

The Bison scored 17 points off turnovers and intercepted four passes – two by safety James Hendricks, one by linebacker Jabril Cox and one by safety Michael Tutsie.

Linebacker Levi Jordheim led the Bison with seven tackles including a sack, and the Bison had seven tackles for loss in holding Western Illinois to nine yards on 18 rushing attempts.

NDSU led 3-0 after the first quarter behind a 47-yard Cam Pedersen field goal, but Western Illinois took a 7-3 lead early in the second quarter.

The Bison answered with an eight-play, 75-yard scoring drive highlighted by long runs by Lance Dunn (17), Bruce Anderson (16) and Easton Stick (20) before Dunn's 1-yard TD put NDSU ahead 10-7.

Stick connected with Darrius Shepherd on a 22-yard touchdown pass in the third quarter to make it 24-7, and the Bison tacked on a 24-yard field goal and a 15-yard Ty Brooks TD run for the final margin.

North Dakota State is scheduled to host Illinois State at 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 20. The Redbirds are 5-1 overall and 2-1 in the conference after a 51-3 home win over Southern Illinois.