BROOKINGS – No. 8/9 South Dakota State scored a touchdown on each of its five first-half possessions en route to a 49-14 defeat of Southern Illinois in a Missouri Valley Football Conference matchup Saturday night at Dana J. Dykhouse Stadium.
“I’m really proud of the way we came out in the first half,” said SDSU coach John Stiegelmeier, whose team led 35-0 at intermission while improving to 50-24 in MVFC games since joining the league in 2008. “We were embarrassed last week (in a 19-7 loss at Youngstown State) and you wondered how that was going to affect our team.
“And our guys came out and played as near to perfect as I’ve ever seen us play, so I’m really proud of that. I thought we fell off a little bit (in the second half), but they’re human beings.
“I’m really happy with the win. I think we beat a really good football team in SIU; I think they’re going to win a bunch of games and we’re glad to get this one out of the way.”
The Jackrabbits dominated time of possession (41:30); outgained the Salukis 584-263 in total offense, including a 368-84 advantage on the ground; and went 11-of-15 on third-down conversions.
Brady Mengarelli ran the ball 20 times for a career-high 220 yards. He had scoring runs of 28 and 32 yards in the fourth quarter.
Taryn Christion was 16-of-30 for 216 yards. All four of his TD tosses came in the first half.
The SDSU defense forced a three-and-out on the game’s opening possession and Alex Romenesko partially blocked the ensuing punt, setting the offense up at its own 45-yard-line.
Christion hit Marquise Lewis for a 10-yard score soon thereafter to get things going.
Another SIU three-and-out led to another SDSU score.
Christion capped a five-play, 67-yard drive with a 16-yard pass to Skyler Cavanaugh midway through the first period.
The Salukis put together their longest drive of the half after that; however, Jordan Brown’s leaping interception at the SDSU 11 ended the threat.
Brookings native Mikey Daniel, who ran for 77 yards in the contest, finished off a 13-play, 89-yard drive by bulling his way into the end zone from 4 yards out early in the second.
Lewis caught his second TD pass of the game, a 23-yarder, with 9:02 to go to polish off a six-play, 80-yard drive and push the margin to 28-0.
The Jackrabbits later put together a 14-play, 89-yard march to paydirt that lasted nearly 5 1/2 minutes.
Jake Wieneke caught a 1-yard pass in the back-right corner of the end zone with 7 seconds showing on the clock.
It marked Wieneke’s 50th touchdown catch in 44 career games, including his 28th in 26 MVFC games.
The senior wide receiver moved from seventh into a tie for fourth with Jerry Rice (Mississippi Valley State, 1981-84), John Matthews (San Diego, 2005-08) and Ramses Barden (Cal Poly, 2005-08) on the FCS career TD receptions list.
Wieneke had three receptions for 27 yards. He’s now fourth in MVFC history and tied for 30th in the FCS annals with 245 career catches.
Hobo Day is Saturday as South Dakota State (4-1, 1-1) takes on Northern Iowa at 2 p.m.
Notes (from SDSU Sports Information): SDSU’s 35 first downs were the most in a game in the Division I era and two shy of the overall record. … On SDSU’s career list, Christion moved from fourth to second in passing yards (6,065), from fourth to third in total offense (6,745) and from fourth to third in TD passes (49).
Missouri Valley Football Conference
• North Dakota State 52, Indiana State 0
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. – Easton Stick went 18-of-23 for 191 yards with four touchdowns and the Bison defense forced six turnovers in the shut out of the Sycamores.
Lance Dunn ran for 74 yards and a pair of scores.
Stick had touchdown tosses to Connor Wentz of 5 yards in the first quarter and 4 yards in the second.
Dunn found the end zone from a yard out and Cam Pedersen booted a 36-yard field goal to make it 24-0 at halftime.
Stick sandwich TD passes of 14 yards to Dallas Freeman and 11 yards to Ben Ellefson around Dunn’s 2-yard scoring plunge to push the margin to 45-0 through three.
Adam Cofield’s 11-yard touchdown rush with 12:11 remaining provided for the final margin.
NDSU’s Darrius Shepherd recorded six receptions for 94 yards.
Tre Dempsey, Jalen Allison and James Hendricks each picked off a pass. Jaylaan Wimbush, who tallied a sack, and Darren Kelley both forced a recovered a fumble. Stanley Jones had the other fumble recovery. Aaron Mercadel made a team-high six tackles and forced a fumble.
ISU’s LeMonte Booker ran 10 times for 104 yards, which included a 46-yard pickup.
Cade Sparks was 5-of-14 for 57 yards with three INTs, while Isaac Harker finished 3-of-5 for 61 yards. Bob Pugh totaled 69 yards on two catches.
KeAaris Ardley made nine tackles and Brento Lockett eight.
Total offense: NDSU 71 plays-448 yards (44-246 rushing/21-27-202 passing), InSU 50 plays-242 yards (31-124 rushing/8-19-118 passing). Turnovers: NDSU 1 (1 fumble), InSU 6 (3 INT/3 fumbles). Time of possession: NDSU 36:50, InSU 23:10.
• South Dakota 31, Youngstown State 28
VERMILLION – Ryan Weese kicked a 29-yard field goal with 7 seconds remaining as the Coyotes – 5-0 for the first time since 2005 (pre-Division I era) – edged the Penguins during the 101st Dakota Days game in front of a sellout crowd of 10,056.
USD quarterback Chris Streveler, who has not committed a turnover this season, went 21-of-35 for 360 yards with 360 yards while adding 48 rushing yards.
Shamar Jackson racked up a school-record 229 receiving yards on a school-record-tying 11 receptions.
YSU’s Tevin McCaster ran for 90 yards on 22 attempts and scored four TDs.
Nathan Mays was 12-of-25 for 153 yards.
Every touchdown drive in the game covered at least 69 yards.
McCaster capped an eight-play, 86-yard march with a 9-yard TD run 5:22 into the game.
USD countered with an eight-play, 88-yard drive as Streveler found Randy Baker for a 15-yard score.
The Coyotes’ Kai Henry plunged into the end zone from 1 yard out midway through the second to close out a 13-play, 75-yard drive.
YSU pulled even after McCaster found paydirt from 3 yards out to cap a seven-play, 75-yard drive.
USD’s Brandt Van Roekel caught a 22-yard touchdown toss from Streveler with 2 minutes to go in the half to finish off a 10-play, 75-yard possession and make it 21-14 at halftime.
The Coyote defense forced the Penguins to punt on their first possession of the third quarter. Streveler hooked up with Shamar for a 71-yard score on the next play from scrimmage to push the margin to 28-14.
McCaster had scoring runs of 11 yards with 3:56 left in the third and 3 yards with 3:49 to go in the fourth to pull YSU even. The first drive went 69 yards on 11 plays and the second 80 yards on 15 plays.
The teams exchanged punts after that, as USD took over on its own 47 with 1:24 showing on the clock. Streveler then moved the Coyotes downfield to set up Weese’s game-winning field goal.
USD’s Andrew Gray and YSU’s Jalyn Powell both had 10 tackles. Darin Greenfield and Taylor Lambert both tallied two of the Coyotes’ six sacks.
USD beat YSU for the first time in six tries.
Total offense: USD 73 plays-486 yards (37-126 rushing/21-36-360 passing), YSU 75 plays-344 yards (49-188 rushing/13-26-156 passing). Turnovers: USD 0, YSU 0. Time of possession: USD 26:32, YSU 33:28.
• Western Illinois 38, Northern Iowa 29
CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – Sean McGuire hit Jaelon Acklin for a 20-yard touchdown pass with 6 seconds left to make it 32-29 as the Leathernecks outscored the Panthers 33-15 in the second half to pull out the win.
Michael Bishoff returned a fumble 20 yards for a score on the ensuing kickoff to provide for the final margin.
McGuire went 19-of-34 for 334 yards with three TDs. Acklin had seven receptions for 158 yards and two scores.
UNI’s Eli Dunne was 25-of-41 for 342 yards with four scores and two picks. Elias Nissen totaled 60 yards on three catches, two of which went for scores. Daurice Fountain had 103 yards on nine receptions.
WIU built a 5-0 lead after Sam Crossa connected on a 26-yard field goal early in the game and Pete Swenson sacked Dunne in the end zone for a 2-yard loss and a safety midway through the second.
Dunne hit Nissen for a 30-yard score at the 4:53 mark of the second. Late in the period, Fountain had a 16-yard pickup before fumbling at the 1-yard-line; however, Nissen recovered the ball in the end zone for a touchdown to put the Panthers up 14-5 at halftime.
WIU’s Steve McShane, who ran for 56 yards, had a 1-yard TD run with 9:47 left in the third. McGuire found Isaiah LeSure for a 46-yard score later in the frame to put the visitors up 18-14.
WIU moved ahead 25-14 as McGuire connected with Acklin for a 38-yard score with 11:01 remaining in the game.
Dunne helped UNI retake the lead, throwing TD passes of 18 yards to Nissen with 7:27 to go and 16 yards to Aaron Graham with 1:12 to play to make it 29-25.
The Leathernecks forced four turnovers and did not have a giveaway.
David Griffith had an interception and a fumble recovery. Tyrin Holloway picked off a pass. Brett Taylor made 13 tackles.
UNI’s Jared Farley made 14 stops and Rickey Neal tallied two sacks.
Total offense: WIU 66 plays-468 yards (31-134 rushing/19-35-334 passing), UNI 72 plays-377 yards (30-35 rushing/25-42-342 passing). Turnovers: WIU 0, UNI 4 (2 INT/2 fumbles). Time of possession: WIU 31:38, UNI 28:22.
• Northern Arizona 37, Illinois State 16
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – Case Cookus threw for 380 yards and three touchdowns, and also had a 23-yard TD reception from Chance Brewington as the Lumberjacks (3-2, 2-0 Big Sky) beat the Redbirds in a Big Sky-MVFC Challenge Series game.
NAU led 13-6 at halftime following a scoreless first period and 27-9 through three.
Elijah Marks had eight catches for 130 yards and a score.
Illinois State’s Jake Kolbe was 25-of-45 for 223 yards with a TD and three INTs. Spencer Schnell had seven catches for 88 yards and a touchdown.
Total offense: NAU 73 plays-431 yards (27-28 rushing/27-46-403 passing), IlSU 74 plays-286 yards (29-63 rushing/25-45-223 passing). Turnovers: NAU 0, IlSU 3 (3 INT). Time of possession: NAU 28:03, IlSU 31:57.
• Duquesne 38, Wagner 0
PITTSBURGH, Pa. – Tommy Stuart threw for 238 yards and four touchdowns as the Dukes (4-1, 1-0) celebrated Homecoming with the Northeast Conference blanking of the Seahawks (2-4, 0-2), their first shutout since 2014.
Nehari Crawford totaled six receptions for 156 yards and two TDs.
A.J. Hines ran for 77 yards and a score. Kellon Taylor and Stew Allen both added a touchdown catch.
Wagner managed just 237 yards of offense and turned the ball over four times.
• Montana State 30, Portland State 22
BOZEMAN, Mont. – The Bobcats (2-4, 2-1) rushed for 403 yards – the sixth-highest total in school history – to beat the Vikings (0-5, 0-2) in the Big Sky Conference matchup.
Quarterback Chris Murray led a balanced charge with 126 yards and two TDs. Troy Andersen added 85 yards, Nick LaSane 63 and Edward Vander 58; while Justin Paige found the end zone.
MSU led 7-0 after a quarter and 10-7 at halftime. Murray’s 5-yard run and Chad Kanow’s fumble recovery in the end zone made it 23-7 midway through the third.
Portland State’s Josh Kraght was 28-of-52 for 317 yards with a pair of TD tosses to Charlie Taumoepeau.
• Dayton 20, Drake 10
DES MOINES, Iowa. – Alex Jeske scored on a 7-yard run and had a 29-yard TD toss to Ryan Skibinski in the third quarter to help the Flyers (2-4, 1-2) grab 17-3 lead in the Pioneer League win over the Bulldogs (3-3, 2-1).
Tucker Yinger ran for 101 yards.
Drake’s Brock Reichardt picked up 96 yards on the ground. Grant Kraemer was 12-of-40 for 188 yards with four INTs as the Bulldogs committed five turnovers and didn’t have a takeaway. Kraemer had a 1-yard TD run to cut the deficit to 17-10 with 8:43 remaining in the game.
• North Dakota 48, Northern Colorado 38
GRAND FORKS, N.D. – Keaton Studsrud threw for 248 yards and a TD and added 97 rushing yards with a score as the Fighting Hawks (2-4, 1-2) beat the Bears (2-3, 1-2) in a Big Sky Conference game.
Reid Taubenheim kicked a 19-yard field goal with 13:40 remaining to make it 41-38. T Travis Toivonen’s 5-yard TD rush – his second score of the game – sealed the deal with 2 minutes to go.
Brady Oliveira ran for 109 yards.
UND was up 14-7 after a quarter and 28-24 at halftime, while the score was tied at 38-all through three.
Photo by Kevin Maiers/portraitmemories.net.