Second half woes doom Fighting Hawks in homecoming loss

GRAND FORKS, N.D. (UND Athletics) -- North Dakota, after converting on all five of its third-down attempts in the first half, was just 1-for-10 on second-half third-down tries and visiting Idaho State sneaked away with a 25-21 victory in front of 11,157 fans at the Alerus Center Saturday evening in the annual Potato Bowl and homecoming game.

The 22nd-ranked Fighting Hawks were fresh off a big road win at then-No. 5 Sam Houston State last week. The momentum from that game seemed to overflow into a first half full of fireworks in a contest that saw two different games during each 30-minute segment.

"It was kind of a tale of two halves," UND head coach Bubba Schweigert said following the loss. "I liked our team this week in practice, I thought we were focused and practiced hard. But, this will be a tough one to overcome.”

The teams piled up over 1,000 yards of total offense, including 664 of those coming in the first half. ISU’s Tanner Gueller hooked up with brother, Mitch, for a 64-yard scoring strike with 7:42 to play to put the Bengals up for good, 25-21.

John Santiago finished with 111 yards rushing and a score for North Dakota while Nate Ketteringham was 19-for-38 with two scores and two interceptions. Noah Wanzek caught five balls for 109 yards and a touchdown.

North Dakota (2-2) heads to Northern Colorado next week to battle the Bears. Kick time is set for 1:00 p.m. Central.