NDSU Clinches Share of Conference Title with Victory
North Dakota State won the Harvest Bowl and earned at least a share of the Missouri Valley Football Conference title with a big win over South Dakota, 49-14.
Easton Stick was nearly perfect on the day throwing for a career high 307 yards on 11 of 12 passing with a touchdown, along with another rushing touchdown and Ty Brooks had 152 yards rushing on just 9 carries and 3 touchdowns as the Bison (9-1, 6-1) took care of business and beat the South Dakota Coyotes to win the Harvest Bowl.
The Bison scored on four of their first five possessions of the first half that included several big plays. After the Coyotes went up 7-0 on the first possession of the game, NDSU responded right away. On a 3rd down from their own 36, Stick hit R.J. Urzendowski on a quick pass and Urzendowski scampered for 35 yards to the South Dakota 29-yard line. Three plays later, Brooks ran in from 8-yards out for the first of his three scores and tie the game at 7-7.
On their next possession, after starting on their own 2-yard line, the Bison used another big play to get into scoring position when Stick threw to Dimitri Williams for a 77-yard pass as Williams was tackled just short of the goal line. Bruce Anderson would take it in from there to make it 14-7.
After another South Dakota punt, Stick threw a perfect over-the-shoulder pass on the run to Connor Wentz for a 40-yard gain that would setup Seth Wilson on a 28-yard run just two plays later to make it 21-7.
The Coyotes would respond with a touchdown to make it 21-14, but that is as close as they would get. With just under three minutes left in the first half, Ty Brooks broke loose for a 54-yard touchdown run to make it 28-14, which would be the score at halftime.
On their second possession of the third quarter, NDSU put the game away when Brooks reached the end zone for a third time from 14 yards out to make it 35-14 and the rout was on.
Jeff Illies had 96 yards receiving on just 2 catches and Dimitri Williams added 90 yards receiving on 2 catches as well. The Bison finished with 340 yards rushing on 46 carries as the offense ended up with 647 total yards.
The Bison defense made it an overall frustrating day for the Coyotes making key plays on third down throughout the afternoon. It ended as a gratifying day for Coach Klieman and his pack of seniors on Senior Day.
NDSU will go on the road to take on Illinois St. next Saturday at noon for their final regular season game.