North Dakota defeats Coyotes 48-7 North Dakota, ranked #5 in NCAA Division II, took advantage of seven South Dakota turnovers and rolled to a 48-7 North Central Conference football win Nov. 10 at the DakotaDome.
The Fighting Sioux clinched the North Central Conference title, winning their 10th game in 11 outings. They were 7-1 in the NCC this season. South Dakota lost their eighth game in 10 outings this season and are 1-7 in the NCC.
After neither team mounted any offense early in the game, North Dakota jumped to a 7-0 lead when Fighting Sioux defensive back Craig Riendau picked off a Ryan Justice pass and took it the distance with 10:23 to play in the first quarter. The Fighting Sioux added a Cameron Peterka 35-yard field goal with :59 seconds to play in the first quarter as UND led 10-0.
There was no scoring again until UND drove the ball 76 yards in 12 plays to grab a 17-0 lead with 6:51 to play in the second quarter on a Kelby Klosterman to Luke Schleusner 10-yard scoring pass play. At the 3:44 mark UND increased the lead to 24-0 when Dan Graf caught a five-yard scoring toss from Klosterman with 3:44 to play.
After a Justice interception, Schleusner caught his second touchdown pass from Klosterman, this time from 23 yards, as UND led 31-0. After the Coyotes mishandled a kickoff and UND recovered at the one-yard line, A. Schwenzfeier scored from one yard as the Fighting Sioux took a 38-0 lead to halftime.
North Dakota scored 28 second quarter points, all in the final seven minutes of the opening half. South Dakota got on the scoreboard when Justice connected with all-NCC tight end Dustin Sagedahl on a 39-yard scoring pass play at the 12:04 mark of the third quarter. The Coyotes' scoring drive � on their opening possession of the second half � covered 81 yards in seven plays.
After that it was all North Dakota as they scored on a 21-yard touchdown run by Blaise Larson with 8:16 to play in the third quarter and added their final tally on a Peterka 42-yard field goal with :42 seconds to play in the game.
South Dakota struggled all night on offense, totaling just 75 yards rushing in 27 attempts. The Coyotes had 157 yards passing for 232 yards total offense on 55 offensive plays.
Meanwhile, North Dakota accumulated 204 yards rushing and 282 yards passing for 486 yards of total offense on 72 plays.
Justice, who completed 13 of 27 passes, had a career-high four interceptions. Freshman wide receiver Chris Mikkelsen led South Dakota with four catches for 95 yards, including a 46-yard pitch and catch with Justice. It was Mikkelson's fourth 40-yard or more reception this season. He also caught a 25-yard pass from Justice. Sagedahl also had four receptions for 53 yards and the 39-yard touchdown.
Senior tailback Eric Tarasewicz led South Dakota rushers with 65 yards rushing on 16 carries while James Augustus had 23 yards on six carries. UND's Klosterman completed 16 of 22 passes for 222 yards and three touchdowns, including seven passes to Luke Schleusner for 123 yards and two touchdowns. Klosterman also rushed for 52 yards.
Larson led UND rushers with 61 yards on 12 carries. Defensively for South Dakota, Josh Gassen had 11 tackles, including one tackle for loss and a pass interception. USD's Scott Lilland had nine tackles and a fumble recovery.
Eric Schmidt led UND with six tackles, including a tackle for loss and quarterback sack. UND had two sacks.
Before the game, South Dakota honored 12 seniors and at halftime recognized the eight Coyote Athletics Hall of Fame inductees.
The 2001 Coyote Athletics Hall of Fame inductees include Sue Chamberlain Klein of Overland Park, KS, Russ Dokken of Omaha, NE, Greg Haydenluck, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, Dave Hultgren of Spencer, IA, Jean Misterek-Miller of Arlington, VA, Mike Schurrer of Yankton, Doug Smith of Sioux City, IA and special contributor Doug Shull of Indianola, IA. In addition to the Hall of Fame honorees, South Dakota recognized longtime contributor Moose Merrigan, inducted into the Coyotes Coyote Athletics Hall of Fame in 1978, for his long-time support of Coyote Athletics.