Coyotes rally for 29-26 win over Minnesota State Univ. South Dakota remained undefeated at 3-0 with a come-from-behind 29-26 win over Minnesota State University last Saturday in the North Central Conference opener.
The Coyotes conclude their four-game September home stand this Saturday against Nebraska-Omaha at 6 p.m. on Dakota Day.
The last five minutes of the game provided plenty of fireworks. With the Coyotes facing a 26-21 deficit, Minnesota State appeared to be in good shape after recovering a USD fumble at the Coyote 10-yard line. The USD defense held, though, and the Mavericks missed a 24-yard field goal with three minutes remaining.
The Coyotes took over and were forced to punt which put Minnesota State in good field position once again at the USD 46 with 2:26 showing. But, the Coyote defense stopped the Mavericks and they attempted to punt. However, the snap sailed high and USD's Brad Worth picked up the ball at the 20-yard line and raced into the end zone for a touchdown with 37 seconds left in the game.
Mark Weister added a two-point conversion run for a 29-26 lead. The Mavericks came right back with a big play of their own when quarterback Zach Witt completed a 58-yard pass to Tywan Mitchell but time expired.
The Coyotes took a 7-0 first quarter lead on Peter Martin's 16-yard touchdown pass to Darren Smith. The drive was set up when USD cornerback Devin Harvey recovered a fumble at the Minnesota State 39-yard line. The Mavericks quickly answered with a 70-yard interception return for a touchdown at the 14:46 mark of the second quarter.
Three minutes later, the Coyotes moved on top, 14-7, on Brian Litecky's 38-yard touchdown strike to Jamel White to complete a 70-yard drive in seven plays. Minnesota State knotted the game at 14-14 on its next series with a 72-yard drive in 11 plays. After forcing the Coyotes to punt, Minnesota State used a 55-yard touchdown pass for a 20-14 lead as the first half ended.
South Dakota opened the third quarter and moved 64 yards in nine plays capped by Martin's 11-yard touchdown pass to Eric Porisch for a 21-20 margin. USD was in good field position before the series on Phillip Meehan's 20-yard kickoff return.
Minnesota State then used 8:02 on the clock with an 80-yard drive in 16 plays for a 26-21 lead on a one-yard touchdown run — setting the stage for USD's dramatic win late in the fourth quarter.
The Coyotes finished the game with 285 yards in total offense, including 204 yards passing. Litecky completed five of nine passes for 110 yards, and Martin hit nine of 18 for 94 yards.
White led USD in rushing with 24 yards. Minnesota State notched 289 total yards and the Mavericks were held to only 47 yards rushing.
Devin Harvey led the Coyotes with 13 tackles. Nathan Lake had 12 tackles and he had a 17-yard tackle for a loss. Jared Pospisil and Matt Chatham had 10 tackles apiece. Scott Larson had six tackles and one and one-half quarterback sacks.