Bison Take Dakota Marker With Win Over SDSU

Bison Outlast Jackrabbits 23-16 in 29th Straight Win

BROOKINGS, S.D. – Adam Cofield’s 71-yard touchdown run with 2:32 left in the game lifted No. 1-ranked North Dakota State to a 23-16 victory over third-ranked South Dakota State on Saturday, Oct. 26, in the Dakota Marker game.

South Dakota native Derrek Tuszka recorded back-to-back sacks on SDSU’s last drive to help seal the victory. The Bison improved to 8-0 overall and 4-0 in the Missouri Valley Football Conference with their 29th straight win.

A record crowd of 19,371 was on hand at Dana J. Dykhouse Stadium following ESPN’s College GameDay broadcast from the SDSU campus earlier in the day. It was NDSU’s 10th win in 16 matchups for the Dakota Marker trophy.

NDSU faced fourth-and-inches from its own 29-yard line with 2:42 to play. The Bison called timeout, then SDSU called timeout before Cofield sprinted up the Bison sideline for the longest run of his career. Griffin Crosa’s PAT kick made it 23-16.

The Jackrabbits (6-2, 3-1 MVFC) went backwards 13 yards on their final drive with Pierre Strong tackled for a loss of 1 before Tuszka’s two sacks. Safety Michael Tutsie made the fourth down stop for NDSU after the Jacks got 18 yards on a completed pass and lateral.

NDSU had a 332-220 advantage in rushing yards led by Ty Brooks with nine carries for 97 yards and Cofield’s seven for 86. Quarterback Trey Lance ran a career-high 18 times for 76 yards while going 7 of 14 passing for 62 yards.

Tutsie and linebacker Jabril Cox each had seven tackles to lead the Bison defense, which totaled four sacks and eight tackles for loss. Linebacker Christian Rozeboom made 13 stops for SDSU.

Strong finished with 120 yards on 19 carries for the Jackrabbits, and wide receiver Cade Johnson made four catches for 76 yards. SDSU starting quarterback J’Bore Gibbs left the game with an injury late in the first quarter, and the Jacks were just 4 of 12 passing for 40 yards after that.

South Dakota State tied the game 16-16 with 7:22 left when Keaton Heide, the third SDSU quarterback to play in the game, capped a nine-play, 80-yard scoring drive with a 3-yard touchdown run.

NDSU’s attempted halfback pass on the next drive was intercepted at the Bison 32, but the NDSU defense held. A false start by the Jacks made it third-and-9 before Josh Hayes intercepted Heide in the red zone to keep it tied at 16.

North Dakota State took its first lead of the game 10-6 midway through the third quarter on a career-long 59-yard touchdown run by Brooks. That was one play after Dimitri Williams made a third-and-four reception for four yards to extend the drive.

NDSU got the ball back on the first play of the ensuing drive. Matt Biegler recovered a fumble on Spencer Waege’s strip sack at the SDSU 14. Ben Ellefson caught his 15th career touchdown pass – a school record for tight ends – from six yards out to put the Bison up 16-6.

SDSU led 6-3 at halftime. Chase Vinatieri kicked field goals of 29 and 25 yards in the first half for SDSU, and Crosa connected from 22 yards for the Bison.

North Dakota State plays Youngstown State at 6 p.m. ET next Saturday, Nov. 2, at Stambaugh Stadium in Youngstown, Ohio. The Penguins are 5-3 overall and 1-3 in the MVFC after beating winless Western Illinois 59-14

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