Sight

GAMEDAY College Football

FCS Championship: South Dakota State 45, North Dakota State 21

(AP Photo/LM Otero)

By STEPHEN HAWKINS
AP Sports Writer

FRISCO, Texas - Mark Gronowski threw three touchdowns passes and ran 51 yards for another one as South Dakota State won its first national championship with a 45-21 win over North Dakota State, which lost for the first time in its 10 FCS title game appearances.

As a true freshman two seasons ago, Gronowski tore the ACL in his left knee on the opening series of the Football Championship Subdivision title game. Now nearly 20 months after a loss in that unprecedented spring finale, and after the quarterback missed the entire 2021 season, the Jackrabbits (14-1) beat their border-state rival for the biggest prize in coach John Stiegelmeier's 26th season at his alma mater.

Amar Johnson rushed for 126 yards and Isaiah Davis had 119 for his ninth 100-yard game this season, and both scored touchdowns for South Dakota State. Gronowski, who completed 14 of 21 passes for 223 yards, had his scoring run on the third play of the second half to stretch the lead to 38-14.

Cam Miller was 17-of-26 passing for 256 yards with two TDs and two interceptions for the Bison (12-3), who went from Fargo to Frisco for the 10th time in 12 seasons.

The Jackrabbits have won the last four meetings between the Missouri Valley Football Conference rivals, all in less than two years. The previous three had been in regular-season games for the Dakota Marker trophy that wasn't up for grabs in the MLS soccer stadium nearly 1,000 miles from the border of their states. It was their 114th meeting since 1903, but only the fifth in the FCS playoffs and first in the championship game.

South Dakota State's only previous FCS title game appearance was a last-minute loss to Sam Houston State in May 2021 after the lower-division season was pushed back to the spring because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Jackrabbits beat NDSU in that abbreviated regular season, then again later that fall before a 23-21 win last October after overcoming a 21-7 halftime deficit in the Fargodome.

Johnson's 32-yard TD run broke a 7-all tie early in the second quarter. The Jackrabbits got the ball right back when Steven Arrell stripped the ball from running back Kobe Johnson and Dalys Beanum at the Bison 34. Gronowski hit wide-open Jaxon Janke for an 18-yard TD four plays later - Janke also had a 30-yard TD catch in the fourth quarter.

There was an exchange of 44-yard touchdowns passes right before halftime. On a third-and-1 play, Gronowski went forward like he was going to try to run for the first down when he instead stopped for the line and threw to Mike Morgan all alone behind the entire defense. Miller then hit Eli Green for a 44-yard TD.

THE TAKEAWAY

North Dakota State: The Bison have a 44-4 record in the FCS playoffs, and missed a chance to match the record of 45 wins by Georgia Southern, which is now playing at the FBS level. They have only 14 losses overall since 2011, when they won the first of their record nine FCS titles, and six of those losses are to South Dakota State - no other team has multiple wins over NDSU in that span.

South Dakota State: The Jackrabbits have won a school-record 14 games in a row since opening this season with a 7-3 loss at Big Ten team Iowa.

January 8, 2023


Scoring Summary
First Quarter NDakStSDakSt
SDakSt TD 9:12 Isaiah Davis 16 yd run (Hunter Dustman kick) 0 7
NDakSt TD 6:31 Joe Stoffel 27 yd pass from Cam Miller (Griffin Crosa kick) 7 7
Second Quarter NDakStSDakSt
SDakSt TD 12:50 Amar Johnson 32 yd run (Hunter Dustman kick) 7 14
SDakSt TD 11:03 Jaxon Janke 18 yd pass from Mark Gronowski (Hunter Dustman kick) 7 21
SDakSt TD 3:30 Michael Morgan 44 yd pass from Mark Gronowski (Hunter Dustman kick) 7 28
NDakSt TD 2:03 Eli Green 44 yd pass from Cam Miller (Griffin Crosa kick) 14 28
SDakSt FG 0:00 Hunter Dustman 30 yd FG 14 31
Third Quarter NDakStSDakSt
SDakSt TD 13:13 Mark Gronowski 51 yd run (Hunter Dustman kick) 14 38
Fourth Quarter NDakStSDakSt
NDakSt TD 13:44 Kobe Johnson 9 yd run (Griffin Crosa kick) 21 38
SDakSt TD 8:05 Jaxon Janke 30 yd pass from Mark Gronowski (Hunter Dustman kick) 21 45
Team Stats
  North Dakota State South Dakota State
First downs 21 22
  Rushing 11 10
  Passing 10 12
  Penalty 0 0
3rd Down Efficiency 5-12, 42% 9-14, 64%
4th down efficiency 1-3, 33% 0-0, -%
Rushes-Yards 37-160 38-283
Passing Yards 260 223
Return Yards 52 44
Completions-Attempts-Int 18-29-2 14-21-0
Sacks-Yards Lost 1--4 1--1
Punts 4 4
Punts-Average 45 53.3
Fumbles Lost 1-1 0-0
Penalties - Yards 2-25 3-20
Time of Possession 28:00 32:00
North Dakota State Passing
Player Cmp Att Yds TDs Int
C. Miller 18 29 260 2 2
South Dakota State Passing
Player Cmp Att Yds TDs Int
M. Gronowski 14 21 223 3 0
North Dakota State Rushing
Player Carries Yds Avg TDs
C. Miller 13 64 4.9 0
K. Johnson 11 63 5.7 1
T. Williams 7 23 3.3 0
T. Marshall 4 13 3.3 0
C. Payton 1 6 6.0 0
E. Green 1 -9 -9.0 0
South Dakota State Rushing
Player Carries Yds Avg TDs
A. Johnson 9 126 14.0 1
I. Davis 22 103 4.7 1
M. Gronowski 5 57 11.4 1
A. Johnson 1 -2 -2.0 0
North Dakota State Receiving
Player Rec Yds Avg TDs
Z. Mathis 7 123 17.6 0
E. Green 1 44 44.0 1
J. Stoffel 3 41 13.7 1
J. Lippe 2 26 13.0 0
T. Marshall 2 11 5.5 0
T. Williams 2 11 5.5 0
K. Johnson 1 4 4.0 0
South Dakota State Receiving
Player Rec Yds Avg TDs
J. Janke 5 61 12.2 0
J. Janke 3 60 20.0 2
M. Morgan 1 44 44.0 1
T. Kraft 2 30 15.0 0
I. Davis 2 28 14.0 0
A. Johnson 1 0 0.0
0
North Dakota State Interceptions
Player Int Yards
South Dakota State Interceptions
Player Int Yards
J. Freeman 1 15
D. Gales 1 3
North Dakota State Punting
Player Punts Yards Avg
K. Steindorf 4 180 45.0
South Dakota State Punting
Player Punts Yards Avg
H. Dustman 4 213 53.3
North Dakota State Punt Returns
Player Ret Yards Average
J. Price 1 -3 -3.0
South Dakota State Punt Returns
Player Ret Yards Average
J. Janke 1 0 0
North Dakota State Kick Returns
Player Ret Yards Average
R. Nelson 1 29 29.0
J. Bussey 1 26 26.0
South Dakota State Kick Returns
Player Ret Yards Average
J. Janke 2 26 13.0
North Dakota State Missed FG
Player Length
South Dakota State Missed FG
Player Length




LovelyWholesale
D1SportsNet