SDSU Too Much for NDSU in Battle for Dakota Marker

Jacks hand Bison first loss of the season.

BROOKINGS, S.D. (NDSU Athletics) – No. 8-ranked South Dakota State forced five turnovers and claimed the Dakota Marker trophy for the second straight year with a 33-21 win over No. 2-ranked North Dakota State on Saturday, Nov. 4, before a crowd of 18,130 at Dana J. Dykhouse Stadium.

North Dakota State (8-1, 5-1) remains alone in first place atop the Missouri Valley Football Conference after Illinois State and South Dakota each took their second league losses Saturday and slipped into a four-way tie for second place with South Dakota State (7-2, 4-2) and Northern Iowa.

Taryn Christion went 23 of 33 passing for 329 yards and two touchdowns for South Dakota State, which never trailed after opening the game with a 7-play, 75-yard touchdown drive.  Tight end Dallas Goedert caught seven passes for 116 yards and one score, while Jacob Brown made five catches for 59 yards and a TD.

Easton Stick was 16 of 28 passing for 229 yards and two scores for NDSU, but threw three interceptions and had one of NDSU’s two fumbles which led to 17 points off turnovers.  Darrius Shepherd made a career-high seven receptions for 95 yards.

NDSU trailed 17-7 at halftime but came out of the locker room with a six-play scoring drive.  Dimitri Williams returned the second half kickoff 39 yards to the NDSU 41, Stick connected with Shepherd for 21 yards on third-and-18 after a pair of losses, the Bison got 19 yards on a run and holding penalty, and Ty Brooks made his first career TD catch from 24 yards to pull NDSU within 17-14.

The Bison turned it over on their next two possessions leading to a Mikey Daniel touchdown run and Chase Vinatieri’s 41-yard field goal, which gave the Jackrabbits their biggest lead of the day, 27-14.

NDSU took advantage of a muffed punt four plays later, recovering the loose ball at SDSU’s 14 and scoring two plays later on Stick’s 11-yard keeper to make it a 27-21 game with 13:56 left to play.

SDSU took to the ground on its next possession, running nearly seven minutes off the clock with an 11-play scoring drive that included seven carries for 47 yards before converting a fourth-and-4 to Jake Wieneke for 14 yards and getting a one-handed catch by Goedert on the next play for a 19-yard score that made it 33-21.

The Bison got to the SDSU 18 on their next drive but fumbled it away with 3:56 left in the game, and another interception with 1:58 left in the game allowed the Jackrabbits to kneel out the clock.

North Dakota State is scheduled to host South Dakota at 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 11, in the annual Harvest Bowl game at Gate City Bank Field at the Fargodome.  USD is 7-2 overall and 4-2 in the conference after a 34-29 loss at Northern Iowa.

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