Vinatieri’s kick lifts Jackrabbits over Redbirds in OT

BROOKINGS – Chase Vinatieri continues to diversify his resume.

The sophomore kicker from Sioux Falls – nephew of former Jackrabbit All-American and future NFL Hall of Famer Adam Vinatieri – booted the game-winning field goal during No. 6/5 South Dakota State’s 27-24 overtime victory over No. 17/20 Illinois State.

Vinatieri has seen a little bit of everything this season.

He scored a clutch touchdown on a fake field goal during a road win over Montana State and has not shied away from taking down a kick returner. But he has also missed a few PATs along the way.

Now he has a walkoff.

Against the Redbirds, Vinatieri booted a 43-yarder through the uprights to put SDSU (8-2, 5-2) within a win of very likely earning a bye in the first round of the FCS Playoffs.

“That’s my job, that’s what I came here to do,” Vinatieri said. “So I just wanted to execute it. I have to give a lot of credit to (long snapper) Bradey Sorenson and (holder) Brady Hale. They were a part of that as much as I was so their good snap, their good hold is what helped me.”

The gorgeous Saturday in November at Dana. J. Dykhouse Stadium featured what was actually a typical game in the Missouri Valley Football Conference.

A grind.

Two big momentum plays highlighted the game, the latter coming when Jackrabbit quarterback Taryn Christion sprinted downfield on a designed keeper on third-and-2. Instead of just picking up first-down yardage, the junior went 84 yards for a touchdown.

That made it 24-17 with 8:13 remaining in the game.

The Redbirds countered with an 11-play, 83-yard drive as James Robinson’s second TD of the game – a 5-yard run – knotted things up at 24-all with 2:14 showing on the clock.

In overtime, ISU’s Sean Slattery pulled a 39-yard field-goal attempt wide left.

And, despite his offense losing a yard on its possession, Vinatieri came through in the bottom portion of OT to seal the deal.

“I’m excited to get a win; I’m excited to get a Missouri Valley Football Conference win,” said SDSU coach John Stiegelmeier, who praised his defense. “I’m really excited about the win against Illinois State – that’s a really good football team. It was a battle, and our guys took the field with confidence every play and we were able to win it in the end so I’m excited about our football team.”

Christion had a hand in all three of SDSU’s touchdowns.

He was 17-of-36 for 172 yards with two TDs and two INTs through the air while running for 110 yards and the long score.

Dallas Goedert’s lone reception was a 33-yard touchdown catch 6 minutes into the game. Robinson evened things up with a 3-yard plunge to paydirt later in the first.

The Jackrabbits appeared to seize momentum after that as Vinatieri connected on a 34-yard field goal and Jacob Brown caught a 6-yard pass in the back of the end zone on third down to make it 17-7 at the 3:58 mark of the second quarter.

ISU redshirt-freshman Christian Uphoff had the answer, fielding the ensuing kickoff 6 yards deep in the end zone and housing it.

“I probably should’ve ‘kneed’ it but I needed to pick up my team, so I took it out,” he said of the 100-yard return. “I saw a hole, I hit it; there was a guy, I made him miss; and then Ty DeForest had a great block and I kept running.”

Slattery’s 30-yard field goal as time expired knotted things up at 17-all at halftime.

Jake Wieneke had five catches for 52 yards for SDSU. Christian Rozeboom totaled 10 tackles, including a sack. Kellen Soulek had a sack and recovered a fumble.

Illinois State (6-4, 4-3) went with its backup quarterback as Malachi Broadnax went 10-of-18 for 102 yards and ran for 63 yards. Robinson picked up 83 yards on 15 carries.

South Dakota State heads to Vermillion to face South Dakota (7-3, 4-3) in the DakotaDome on Saturday at 2 p.m. in the regular-season finale for both teams.

Notes (from SDSU Sports Information): The all-time series between SDSU and Illinois State is tied 4-4. ... Saturday’s game marked the first overtime game played at Dana J. Dykhouse Stadium. ... All-America center Jacob Ohnesorge made his 50th career start, setting a new SDSU mark for consecutive starts by an offensive lineman, which was previously held by Bryan Witzmann (2010-13).


ISU (6-4, 4-3)    7  10  0  7  0  –  24

SDSU (8-2, 5-2) 7  10  0  7  3  –  27

First Quarter

SDSU – Dallas Goedert 33 pass from Taryn Christion (Chase Vinatieri kick), 8:55

ISU – James Robinson 3 run (Sean Slattery kick), 3:36

Second Quarter

SDSU – Vinatieri 34 FG, 11:37

SDSU – Jacob Brown 6 pass from Christion (Vinatieri kick), 3:58

ISU – Christian Uphoff 100 kick return (Slattery kick), 3:43

ISU – Slattery 30 FG, :00

Fourth Quarter

SDSU – Christion 84 run (Vinatieri kick), 8:13

ISU – Robinson 5 run (Slattery kick), 2:14


SDSU – Vinatieri 43 FG


First Downs 19 17

Plays-Yards 65-317 66-361

Rushes-Yards 47-215 30-189

C-A-Int.-Yards 10-18-0-102 17-36-2-172

Fumbles-Lost 2-1 1-0

Penalties-Yards 4-15 6-45

Punts-Avg.-I20-TB 6-34.7-2-0 4-41.2-1-0

Kickoffs-Avg.-TB 4-57.0-1 5-62.4-2

Punt Returns-Yards-TD 0-0-0 3-46-0

Kickoff Returns-Yards-TD 3-124-1 3-61-0

Interception Returns-Yards-TD 2-3-0 0-0-0

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

Miscellaneous Yards 0 0

Possession Time 32:03 27:57

Third-down Conversions 2-of-11 7-of-11

Fourth-down Conversions 1-of-1 0-of-1

Red Zone Chances-TD-FG 3-2-1 2-1-1

Sacks By-Yards 2-14 4-21

Field Goals 1-for-2 2-for-2

RUSHING: ISU – James Robinson 15-83, Markel Smith 10-63, Malachi Broadnax 19-63, Artiss Henderson 1-7, Spencer Schnell 1-3, Christian Gibbs 1-(-4). SDSU – Taryn Christion 9-110, Brady Mengarelli 11-36, Mikey Daniel 6-31, Cade Johnson 2-8, Dallas Goedert 1-3, Isaac Wallace 1-1.

PASSING: ISU – Malachi Broadnax 10-18-0-102. SDSU – Taryn Christion 17-36-2-172.

RECEIVING: ISU – Christian Gibbs 6-55, Anthony Fowler 2-32, Matt Biegalski 1-12, Spencer Schnell 1-3. SDSU – Jake Wieneke 5-52, Brady Mengarelli 4-21, Cade Johnson 2-35, Dallas Goedert 1-33, Alex Wilde 1-8, Skyler Cavanaugh 1-8, Jacob Brown 1-6, Marquise Lewis 1-5 Isaac Wallace 1-4.

DEFENSE: ISU – Brannon Barry 8 tackles; Adam Conley 5 tackles, INT; Tyree Horton 5 tackles; Bryce Holm 5 tackles; Ty DeForest 5 tackles; Devin Taylor INT; James Graham 2 sacks; DraShane Glass FF; Davontae Harris 4 PBU. SDSU – Christian Rozeboom 10 tackles, sack; Chris Balster 8 tackles; Nick Farina 7 tackles; Dalton Cox 6 tackles; Kellen Soulek 5 tackles, sack, FR; Ryan Earith 5 tackles, 2 sacks, s FF; Logan Backhaus 5 tackles; Jordan Brown 4 tackles.

   A – 9,458.

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