Bison Hang on for Rivalry Win against UNI

Courtesy: NDSU Athletics:

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – Linebacker Matt Plank and safety Tre Dempsey intercepted passes on the final two drives as fourth-ranked North Dakota State held on for a 24-20 win at Northern Iowa in the Missouri Valley Football Conference on Saturday, Oct. 29.

The Bison improved to 7-1 overall and moved back into a tie for first place at 4-1 in the league with Youngstown State and South Dakota State, which suffered its first conference lost at Illinois State.

Waterloo native Lance Dunn had a career-high 23 carries for 118 yards. NDSU outgained UNI 335-284 including a 217-68 rushing advantage.

Dempsey had two of NDSU’s four interceptions in the game. Robbie Grimsley’s first quarter pick led to a 24-yard scoring drive capped by King Frazier’s 1-yard TD run. Jeff Illies caught a 31-yard TD and Chase Morlock ran for another score as the Bison built a 21-6 lead midway through the third quarter.

UNI quarterback Eli Dunne threw a 17-yard touchdown pass to Jaylin James to cut NDSU’s lead to 21-13, and the Bison made it a two-possession game again with a 25-yard Cam Pedersen field goal.

The Panthers (3-5, 2-3 MVFC) answered with a 48-yard kickoff return from Jalen Rima to set up a 45-yard scoring drive.  Dunne connected with Briley Moore on a 4-yard TD pass seven plays later to make it 24-20.

NDSU picked up only one first down on its final four possessions, but Plank snared a deflected pass to stall a UNI drive at the NDSU 22, and Dempsey picked off a desperation heave with 6 seconds left that allowed the Bison to kneel out the clock.

MJ Stumpf, Greg Menard and Brad Ambrosiuseach had sacks for the Bison.  Plank led the defense with nine tackles and Pierre Gee-Tucker made seven stops.  Grimsley, Jalen Allison, Jaylaan Wimbush and Nate Tanguay had pass breakups.

UNI’s Dunne finished 20 of 39 passing for 216 yards and two TDs in his second career start.  Tyvis Smith rushed 12 times for 57 yards for the Panthers.

North Dakota State hosts Youngstown State in the annual Harvest Bowl game at 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 5.  The Penguins are 6-2 overall and 4-1 in the conference after a 13-10 win over Indiana State.

Categories: College, KVRR Sports Extra, Top Sports Headlines