NDSU Football Downs Western Illinois in Harvest Bowl
The Bison took down the Leathernecks 57-21
FARGO, N.D. – North Dakota State rolled up 688 yards of total offense and cruised to its 31st straight victory 57-21 over Western Illinois in the annual Harvest Bowl game Saturday, Nov. 9, at Gate City Bank Field at the Fargodome.
It was the most yards of offense for the Bison in a Division I game and the fourth most in school single-game history. Six different players scored touchdowns as NDSU improved to 10-0 overall and 6-0 in the Missouri Valley Football Conference. Western Illinois fell to 1-9 overall and 1-5 in the conference.
North Dakota State had 13 rushes for at least 10 yards and another six passing plays that went 15 yards or longer, including the second-longest passing play in school history from Trey Lance to tight end Josh Babicz on an 88-yard touchdown that gave NDSU a 27-0 lead before halftime.
Wide receiver Christian Watson made four receptions for a career-high 121 yards including a 51-yard touchdown to cap the opening drive of the second half before true freshman running back Jalen Bussey made his first career appearance and stole the show in the fourth quarter.
Bussey’s first rush went for a 65-yard touchdown. Two series later, he returned the kickoff 50 yards and then scored on a 45-yard run on the next play. He finished with six carries for 123 yards and two touchdowns with 173 all-purpose yards in his collegiate debut.
NDSU starting quarterback Trey Lance went 17-for-22 passing with two touchdowns and 313 yards – tied for eighth most in school single-game history. Lance sat the final 20 minutes of the game after leading two touchdown drives in the third quarter.
Defensive end Derrek Tuszka made six tackles with 2.5 tackles for loss and 1.0 sacks, and linebacker Jackson Hankey made six tackles along with his first career interception to lead the Bison defensive effort. Cole Karcz and Dom Davis each had five tackles for NDSU.
Bison cornerback Josh Hayes made his second interception of the season, Jayden Price recovered a fumble forced by Saybein Clark on kickoff coverage, and brothers Will Mostaert and Eli Mostaert created a turnover with Eli recovering Will’s sack fumble late in the third quarter.
North Dakota State is scheduled to host South Dakota in the final home game of the regular season at 2:30 p.m. next Saturday, Nov. 16. The Coyotes are 4-6 overall and 3-3 in the conference after a 56-21 home win over Youngstown State.