Jackrabbits outscore Salukis 57-38

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CARBONDALE, Ill. – Taryn Christion broke another Missouri Valley Football Conference record, Mikey Daniel reached a pair of career milestones, Cade Johnson excelled yet again and MVFC Newcomer of the Week Pierre Strong Jr. had a big game as sixth-ranked South Dakota State outscored Southern Illinois 57-38 Saturday afternoon at Saluki Stadium to likely clinch an FCS Playoffs bid.

On top of that, Donald Gardner blocked a punt and Jadon Janke, a true freshman from Madison making his collegiate debut, recovered the ball in the end zone for a touchdown.

The Jackrabbits (656) and Salukis (541) combined for 1,197 yards of offense as SDSU improved to 7-2 overall and 5-2 in league play and is now alone in second in the conference standings.

Christion was 13-of-23 for 341 yards with a pair of touchdowns and added 30 rushing yards.

The senior picked up his 30th win in 40 career starts.

Christion pushed his career passing yardage total to 10,892, breaking the MVFC record.

Daniel nearly hit the century mark for the first time, finishing with 97 yards on 20 attempts.

The junior from Brookings scored a pair of touchdowns to move his career total to 21 (20 rushing). Daniel now has 1,040 rushing yards in his two-plus years.

Johnson caught seven passes for 198 yards – the seventh-highest single-game total in SDSU history – and scored two TDs.

The sophomore leads the league in receiving yards per game (112.7) and touchdown receptions (13). He has 49 catches covering 1,014 yards.

Strong, a freshman picked up 188 yards on just 14 carries and found paydirt a trio of times.

SIU’s Matt DeSomer finished 16-of-32 for 184 yards with a TD and ran for 66 yards and four scores. D.J. Davis logged 201 yards on 13 rushes.

Daniel opened the scoring with a 1-yard TD plunge 3:42 into the contest.

SIU’s Griffin Cerra (50 yards) and SDSU’s Chase Vinatieri (21 yards) exchanged field goals later in the first quarter.

DeSomer pulled the home squad even with a 1-yard touchdown run less than a minute into the second.

SDSU retook the lead with the aforementioned special teams play, before the Salukis pulled even for the final time on another 1-yard paydirt trip by DeSomer.

Strong and Johnson put SDSU ahead – but not yet in control – with big plays to close the first half.

The running back broke free for a 72-yard dash to the end zone and the receiver caught a 56-yard TD toss from Christion to make it 30-17 at the break.

The third quarter saw the teams combine for 41 points.

DeSomer sandwiched 10-yard touchdown rushes around Johnson’s 42-yard TD reception.

Strong got loose again, this time for a 43-yard score. And after Johnson’s 26-yard catch moved the ball to the 1, Daniel dashed into the end zone again to make it 50-31.

SIU stayed in it as DeSomer hooked up with Raphael Leonord for a 53-yard score with 7 seconds to go in the period, cutting the deficit to 50-38.

Play slowed down and the clock sped up in the final stanza.

Strong’s third touchdown – a 24-yard run – provided for the final margin with 12:01 to play. Brandon Snyder picked off a pass with 4:44 left to help seal the deal.

Christian Rozeboom paced the SDSU defense with 12 tackles. SIU’s Qua Brown made 11 stops and Anthony Knighton notched a pair of sacks.

Southern Illinois dropped to 2-8 (1-6).

South Dakota State is host to South Dakota to close the regular season on Saturday at 2 p.m.


Christion now has a school record 1,271 pass attempts in his career, as he surpassed the previous mark of 1,267 set by Austin Sumner from 2011-14. … In the FCS ranks, Christion moved from 23rd to 17th in career total yards of offense (12,263) and tied for 21st to 19th in career touchdown passes (97). … Illinois State’s Matt Brown (2009-12) previously held the MVFC career passing yards record of 10,591. … SDSU improved to 60-27 in MVFC games since joining the league in 2008. … Preston Tetzlaff finished with a pair of tackles. Offensive lineman Eddie Miller did not play. … Vinatieri missed field goals of 48 yards (5:53) and 28 yards (:46) in the fourth quarter. He was 6-of-7 on PAT kicks.


SDSU (7-2, 5-2) 10  20  20  7    57

SIU (2-8, 1-6)   3  14  21  0    38

First Quarter

SDSU – Mikey Daniel 1 run (Chase Vinatieri kick), 11:18

SIU – Griffin Cerra 50 FG, 6:22

SDSU – Vinatieri 21 FG, 4:27

Second Quarter

SIU – Matt DeSomer 1 run (Cerra kick), 14:11

SDSU – Jadon Janke 0 blocked punt return (Vinatieri kick), 10:56

SIU – DeSomer 1 run (Cerra kick), 5:24

SDSU – Pierre Strong Jr. 72 run (Vinatieri kick), 5:04

SDSU – Cade Johnson 56 pass from Taryn Christion (kick failed), :28

Third Quarter

SIU – DeSomer 10 run (Cerra kick), 12:44

SDSU – Johnson 42 pass from Christion (pass failed), 11:22

SIU – DeSomer 10 run (Cerra kick), 9:40

SDSU – Strong 43 run (Vinatieri kick), 7:30

SDSU – Daniel 1 run (Vinatieri kick), 1:55

SIU – Raphael Leonard 53 pass from DeSomer (Cerra kick), :07

Fourth Quarter

SDSU – Strong 24 run (Vinatieri kick), 12:01


First Downs 22 23

Plays-Yards 62-656 82-541

Rushes-Yards 39-315 46-353

C-A-Int.-Yards 13-23-0-341 17-36-1-188

Fumbles-Lost 1-0 0-0

Penalties-Yards 4-36 4-50

Punts-Avg.-I20-TB 3-43.3-2-0 5-35-1-0

Kickoffs-Avg.-TB 10-49.7-0 7-52.4-1

Punt Returns-Yards-TD 4-37-1 1-5-0

Kickoff Returns-Yards-TD 6-120-0 5-78-0

Interception Returns-Yards-TD 1-0-0 0-0-0

Fumble Returns-Yards-TD 0-0-0 0-0-0

Miscellaneous Yards 0 0

Possession Time 30:10 29:50

Third-down Conversions 5-of-11 3-of-13

Fourth-down Conversions 0-of-0 2-of-3

Red Zone Chances-TD-FG 4-2-1 5-4-0

Sacks By-Yards 2-14 2-10

Field Goals 1-for-3 1-for-1

RUSHING: SDSU – Pierre Strong Jr. 14-188, Mikey Daniel 20-97, Taryn Christion 5-30. SIU – D.J. Davis 13-201, Matt DeSomer 14-66, Jonathan Mixon 13-36, Landon Lenoir 1-29, JeQuan Burton 2-13, Nic Baker 1-5, Sam Bonansinga 1-2, Sam Straub 1-1.

PASSING: SDSU – Taryn Christion 13-23-0-341. SIU – Matt DeSomer 16-32-0-184, Sam Straub 1-3-1-4, Nic Baker 0-1-0-0.

RECEIVING: SDSU – Cade Johnson 7-198, Adam Anderson 3-36, Blake Kunz 1-64, Jacob Brown 1-27, Kallan Hart 1-16. SIU – Landon Lenoir 7-48, Raphael Leonard 3-76, Sam Bonansinga 2-33, D.J. Davis 1-12, Nigel Kilby 1-16, Jonathan Mixon 1-5, JeQuan Burton 1-(-2).

DEFENSE: SDSU – Christian Rozeboom 12 tackles; Marshon Harris 7 tackles; Logan Backhaus 6 tackles; Brandon Snyder 5 tackles, INT, sack; Josh Manchigiah 5 tackles; Makiah Slade 5 tackles; Donald Gardner blocked punt; Dalton Cox sack; Jordan Brown 3 PBU. SIU – Qua Brown 11 tackles; Makel Calhoun 7 tackles; Anthony Knighton 6 tackles, 3 TFL, 2 sacks; Madre Harper 6 tackles, 3 PBU.

   A – 4,433.

Playoff picture

At 7-2, SDSU likely earned a spot in the FCS Playoffs via Saturday’s win – its third consecutively.

The Jackrabbits are still in the driver’s seat to earn a top-eight seed and a first-round bye.

SDSU was seventh in the FCS Committee Top 10 released on Oct. 31.

Three teams ahead of SDSU – No. 2 James Madison, No. 3 UC Davis and No. 5 Elon – lost a game in the past two weeks.

No. 1 North Dakota State, No. 4 Weber State and No. 6 Kennesaw State each posted a pair of victories.

No. 9 Eastern Washington went 2-0 the past two weeks, including a 59-20 defeat of No. 3 UC Davis.

No. 8 Wofford and No. 10 Delaware both dropped a game.

The 24-team FCS Playoffs bracket will be announced Sunday. The first round is Saturday, Nov. 24, and the second round is Saturday, Dec. 1.


(released Oct. 31)

Results are from the last two weeks

1. North Dakota State 10-0

Def. Youngstown State 17-7; Def. @Missouri State 48-7

2. James Madison 7-3

Lost 35-24 at New Hampshire; Def. Rhode Island 48-31

3. UC Davis 8-2

Def. Northern Arizona 42-20; lost 59-20 at Eastern Washington

4. Weber State 8-2

Def. Sacramento State 26-14; Def. @Southern Utah 31-18

5. Elon 6-3

Def. Rhode Island 24-21; Lost 41-10 to Towson

6. Kennesaw State 9-1

Def. Campbell 49-0; Def. @Monmouth 51-14

7. South Dakota State 7-2

Def. Missouri State 59-7; Def. @Southern Illinois 57-38

8. Wofford 7-3

Lost 35-20 at Samford; Def. @Western Carolina 38-23

9. Eastern Washington 8-2

Def. @Northern Colorado 48-13; Def. UC Davis 59-20

10. Delaware 7-3

Def. @Albany 21-16; lost 17-3 at Stony Brook

Missouri Valley Football Conference

MVFC Overall

STATS/Coaches W-L PF/PA W-L PF/PA Strk

A-1/1 North Dakota State 7-0 263/97 10-0 388/117 W16

6/6 South Dakota State 5-2 270/176 7-2 405/196 W3

Indiana State 4-3 223/225 6-4 334/297 W4

22/24 Northern Iowa 4-3 183/177 5-5 264/241 L1

Western Illinois 4-3 182/184 5-5 250/271 L1

Youngstown State 3-4 146/182 4-6 226/264 W1

South Dakota 3-4 190/245 4-6 267/327 W1

23/22 Illinois State 2-5 186/163 5-5 315/192 L4

Missouri State 2-5 144/269 4-6 253/359 L4

Southern Illinois 1-6 180/249 2-8 314/383 L2

   A-FCS Playoffs automatic qualifier

   Notes: The following matchups will not take place in 2018: SDSU-WIU, NDSU-InSU, UNI-SIU, YSU-MSU and IlSU-USD. … WIU (30th/29th) is receiving votes in both polls. InSU (30th) is receiving votes in the Coaches poll. … The MVFC went 17-12 in nonconference games, including a 13-5 mark versus FCS schools and a 1-7 record against FBS teams. … The Valley won the Big Sky-MVFC Challenge Series 5-3 for the second year in a row.   *MVFC game

WEEK 11 – Saturday, Nov. 10

*South Dakota State 57, Southern Illinois 38

*North Dakota State 48, Missouri State 7

*Indiana State 28, Illinois State 23

*Youngstown State 31, Northern Iowa 10

*South Dakota 17, Western Illinois 12

Notable games

Montana State 35, Northern Colorado 7

Southern 56, Arkansas-Pine Bluff 24

North Dakota 17, Portland State 10

Iowa State 28, Baylor 14

WEEK 12 – Saturday, Nov. 17

*Youngstown State at Illinois State, Normal, Ill., noon

*Indiana State at Western Illinois, Macomb, Ill., 1 p.m.

*South Dakota at South Dakota State, Brookings, 2 p.m. [Showdown Series]

*Southern Illinois at North Dakota State, Fargo., N.D., 2:30 p.m.

*Missouri State at Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls, Iowa, 4 p.m.

Notable games

Montana State (6-4, 4-3 Big Sky; RV) at Montana (6-4, 4-3 Big Sky; RV), Missoula, Mont., 1 p.m.

Arkansas-Pine Bluff (1-9, 0-6 SWAC West) at Texas Southern (2-7, 1-5 SWAC West), Houston, 2 p.m.

North Dakota (6-4, FCS Independent; RV) at Northern Arizona (3-6, 2-4 Big Sky), Flagstaff, Ariz., 3:30 p.m.

Iowa State (6-3, 5-2 Big 12; FBS No. 22) at Texas (7-3, 5-2 Big 12; FBS No. 19), Austin, Texas, 7 p.m.

WEEK 13 – Saturday, Nov. 24

Notable games

Kansas State at Iowa State, Ames, Iowa


 No. 1 North Dakota State 48, Missouri State 7

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – MVFC Offensive Player of the Week Easton Stick tied a school record with five touchdown tosses – all in the first half – as the Bison clinched the MVFC title outright with their 16th consecutive win overall.

Stick was 15-of-24 for 238 yards with one interception. He now has 9,978 career yards of total offense, breaking Brock Jensen’s school record set in 2013.

Seth Wilson ran for 95 yards and Adam Cofield picked up 85 yards while scoring twice.

Stick was 10-of-10 for 173 yards with scoring strikes of 29 yards to Dallas Freeman, 29 yards to Ben Ellefson and 43 yards to Nate Jenson in the first quarter.

Stick’s first pass attempt of the second quarter was a 5-yard TD toss to Ben Ellefson, as the senior quarterback completed his first 11 pass attempts.

Stick hooked up with Lance Dunn for a 27-yard touchdown late in the period to make it 34-0 at halftime.

All of Stick’s yards came in the first half, as he was 0-of-3 after the break.

The Bears’ Jeremiah Wilson found the end zone on a 6-yard run at the 9:05 mark of the third.

Cofield closed out the scoring with TD rushes of 14 and 5 yards later in the third.

NDSU’s Jabril Cox had nine tackles, including a sack, and James Hendricks picked off a pass.

MSU managed just 213 yards of offense.

Wilson picked up 87 yards on the ground. Peyton Huslig was 6-of-23 for 87 yards with an INT and was sacked four times.

Claudio Martin, who recorded 1 1/2 sacks, and Jared Beshore both made eight stops. Kevin Ellis intercepted a pass.

Note: NDSU also took the MVFC title outright in 2012, 2013 and 2017, and shared the title in 2011, 2014, 2015 and 2016. … The Bison’s 16-game winning streak is tied for the 18th-longest in FCS history. They hold the record at 33.

Total offense: NDSU 67-483 (42-245 rushing/15-25-238 passing), MSU 59-213 (36-126 rushing/6-23-87 passing). Turnovers: NDSU 1 (1 INT), MSU 1 (1 INT). Possession time: NDSU 33:50, 26:10. A: 5,224.

• Indiana State 28, No. 23/22 Illinois State 23

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. – Titus McCoy ran for 132 yards and a pair of scores as the Sycamores won their fourth game in a row and kept their playoff hopes alive.

Ryan Boyle was 12-of-22 for 86 yards with two TDs and an INT.

The Redbirds’ Brady Davis was 25-of-41 for 294 yards with two TDs and a pair of INTs. Spencer Schnell scored twice while picking up 155 yards on 11 receptions. Markel Smith rushed for 83 yards and James Robinson 73.

Illinois State led 10-0 after a quarter – JT Bohlken kicked a 27-yard field goal and Smith dashed to the end zone from 26 yards out.

Indiana State had a big second quarter to take the lead.

McCoy sandwiched scoring scampers of 4 and 2 yards around Boyle’s 5-yard TD toss to Dante Jones II to make it 21-10 at halftime in favor of the home squad.

Davis hit Schnell for a 2-yard score at the 5:55 mark of the third to cut the deficit to 21-17.

Boyle threw a 25-yard touchdown pass to Dakota Caton with 12:18 to go in the fourth.

Davis and Schnell connected again in the fourth, hooking up for a 15-yard score with 27 seconds to go.

Indiana State’s Katrell Moss had 13 tackles, including a sack. The senior topped the 300-tackle mark for his career and earned MVFC Defensive Player of the Week honors in the process. Jonas Griffith added 10 stops. Jamal Jones and Denzel Bonner both picked of a pass and Matt Thompson recovered a fumble.

Illinois State’s Luther Kirk, who picked off a pass, and Romeo McKnight both tallied nine tackles.

Total offense: InSU 60-283 (38-197 rushing/12-22-86 passing), IlSU 82-488 (40-194 rushing/25-42-294 passing). Turnovers: InSU 1 (1 INT), IlSU 3 (2 INT/1 fumble). Possession time: InSU 27:35, IlSU 32:25. A: 4,016.

• Youngstown State 31, No. 22/24 Northern Iowa 10

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Tevin McCaster ran for 136 yards and three touchdowns as the Penguins handled the Panthers.

YSU held a 401-192 advantage in total yards of offense and possessed the ball for nearly 35 minutes.

Montgomery VanGorder was 13-of-22 for 209 yards. He had a 62-yard TD toss to Darius Shackleford to cap an eight-play, 91-yard drive at the 5:44 mark of the opening quarter.

Early in the first, Ma’Lik Richmond forced UNI running back Marcus Weymiller to fumble and Shereif Bynum recovered the ball at the Panthers’ 5-yard-line. McCaster found the end zone on the next play.

UNI’s Eli Dunne capped a short drive with a 4-yard scoring pass to Briley Moore 55 seconds before halftime to pull the visitors within 14-7.

McCaster got free for a 29-yard touchdown rush less than a minute into the third period. Miles Joiner had a 52-yard reception on the previous play.

UNI’s Austin Errthum kicked a 34-yard field goal later in the quarter.

McCaster plunged to paydirt from a yard out with 1:59 left in the third and Zak Kennedy connected on a 28-yard kick with 9:57 remaining in the game to close out the scoring.

The Penguins’ Armand Dellovade had nine tackles. Ray Anderson recovered a fumble and returned it 45 yards to set up McCaster’s final TD.

For the Panthers, Weymiller picked up 89 yards and Tyler Hoosman 71 on the ground. Dunne ended up 8-of-22 for 73 yards with the TD. Christian Jegen, Duncan Ferch and Korby Sander each tallied eight stops. Xavior Williams picked off a pass and returned it 61 yards, before UNI lost its second fumble.

Total offense: YSU 67-401 (45-192 rushing/13-22-209 passing), UNI 57-192 (35-119 rushing/8-22-73 passing). Turnovers: YSU 1 (1 INT), UNI 2 (2 fumbles). Possession time: YSU 34:50, UNI 25:10. A: 8,407.

• South Dakota 17, Western Illinois 12

VERMILLION – Kai Henry ran for 70 yards and a touchdown while Austin Simmons finished 25-of-36 for 220 yards with a TD and an INT to help the Coyotes beat the Leathernecks.

WIU’s Sean McGuire finished 26-of-43 for 251 yards with an INT. The Leatherneck offense did not score a touchdown.

WIU’s Nathan Erickson kicked a 52-yard field goal in the first quarter. USD’s Caleb Vander Esch caught a 2-yard TD toss from Simmons later in the period.

The Coyotes moved ahead 10-3 in the third on Mason Lorber’s 32-yard field goal.

WIU’s Sam Crosa connected on a 44-yard kick with 12:33 remaining the game.

Henry’s 4-yard TD rush put the Coyotes up 17-6 with 9:14 to go.

WIU’s Daymon Murry blocked a punt and recovered the ball in the end zone for a touchdown with 5:12 showing on the clock. The Leathernecks failed to convert the two-point conversion.

USD’s seven-play, 18-yard drive took 5:04 off the clock after that. WIU got the ball back on its own 15 with 8 seconds left and never threatened to find the end zone.

USD’s Alex Coker had 10 tackles and Michael Fredrick picked off a pass.

Coyote Brady Schutt was MVFC Special Teams Player of the Week, averaging 48.8 yards on six punts.

WIU’s Quentin Moon logged 10 stops. Xavier Rowe intercepted a pass and Darron Wheeler recovered a fumble.

Total offense: USD 77-367 (41-147 rushing/25-36-220 passing), WIU 65-272 (22-21 rushing/26-43-251 passing). Turnovers: USD 2 (1 INT/1 fumble), WIU 1 (1 fumble). Possession time: USD 30:03, WIU 27:57. A: 8,761.

Notable games

• Montana State 35, Northern Colorado 7

BOZEMAN, Mont. – Troy Andersen ran for 104 yards and three touchdowns and went 7-of-12 for 34 yards with a score through the air to lead the Bobcats (6-4, 4-3) past the Bears (2-9, 2-6) in a Big Sky Conference game.

Montana State takes on rival Montana in its regular-season finale in Missoula, with the winner likely earning a postseason bid.

• Southern 56, Arkansas-Pine Bluff 24

BATON ROUGE, La. – Ladarius Selton went 12-of-14 for 283 yards with four touchdowns to lead the Jaguars (6-3, 5-1) past the Golden Lions (1-9, 0-6) in a Southwest Conference game.

UAPB’s Skyler Perry was 18-of-26 for 119 yards with a TD and an INT. Jaimon Peterson ran for 82 yards and a score.

• North Dakota 17, Portland State 10

GRAND FORKS, N.D. – The Fighting Hawks (6-4) outscored the Vikings (4-6) 10-0 in the fourth quarter – highlighted by Lenny Nelson IV’s 58-yard go-ahead pick-six with 14:49 remaining – to stay alive for postseason consideration. Brady Leach added a 19-yard field goal with 54 seconds left.

UND’s Nate Ketteringham was 8-of-16 for 100 yards with an INT. Brady Oliviera ran for 78 yards.

• Iowa State 28, Baylor 14

AMES, Iowa – Brock Purdy went 18-of-23 for 230 yards with a TD and ran for 56 yards and a score to lead the Cyclones (6-3, 5-2) past the Bears (5-5, 3-4) in a Big 12 Conference game. ISU led 20-0 late in the third quarter.

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