Coyotes now 2-0 with win South Dakota improved its record to 2-0 with a 21-16 win over Truman State last Saturday in the final tuneup before the Coyotes open North Central Conference action next Saturday in the Dome against Mankato State at 6 p.m.
The Coyotes used a potent running attack to notch their 20th consecutive win over a non-conference opponent. USD generated 302 yards rushing on 47 attempts for a 6.4 average. Even though the yards in total offense were balanced with USD collecting 362 and Truman State 314, the Coyotes wore down the Bulldogs on the ground as the game progressed. After three quarters of play the Coyotes had 253 yards rushing compared to 80 for the Bulldogs. Each team had 17 first downs.
Darren Smith enjoyed his best game as a Coyote with 114 yards rushing on only eight carries for a 14.2 average. He scored two touchdowns on runs of 10 yards and 40 yards, and he caught two passes for 20 yards. Phillip Meehan had 88 yards rushing, followed by Jamel White with 46 and Mike Weister with 30. USD's two quarterbacks combined for 60 yards passing. Peter Martin completed four of eight for 43 yards, while Brian Litecky hit three of five for 17 yards. Litecky also rushed for 25 yards.
Defensively, the Coyotes were led by Nathan Lake's 14 tackles. Lake was named the North Central Conference Defensive Player of the Week for his efforts. He also had a tackle for a loss, a quarterback hurry and he forced a fumble. Matt Chatham had 11 stops. Jared Pospisil had eight tackles and Philip Wilson notched seven, including a 21-yard interception return. Brad Worth had six tackles, while Lee Bunge had five stops and a quarterback sack. Derek Borchers collected four tackles and one sack.
Trailing 3-0 after the first quarter, the Coyotes moved on top 7-3 with 11:01 left in the second quarter on Smith's 10-yard run. Smith's score was set up on two big runs by Meehan covering 38 yards and 16 yards. On Truman State's ensuing series, Wilson's interception gave the Coyotes the ball at the Bulldog 35-yard line. The pass theft eventually resulted in Adam Hicks 41-yard field goal at the 5:27 mark for a 10-3 halftime lead. In the third quarter the Coyotes made it 18-3 on Smith's 40-yard run and Meehan's two-point conversion run. The Bulldogs cut the margin to 18-10 early in the fourth quarter, but USD took a 21-10 lead on Hicks' 39-yard field goal with 3:45 remaining in the game.