Coyotes lose heartbreaker to SDSU

Coyotes lose heartbreaker to SDSU The University of South Dakota football team, (3-6, 2-4) dropped a 27-20 North Central Conference decision to South Dakota State University Saturday in Brookings.

It was a back and forth battle between the Coyotes and the Jackrabbits in the 104th meeting between the schools. With the win, the Jacks narrowed the Coyotes' overall series advantage to 50-47-7.

Early on, SDSU grabbed a 7-0 lead on a one-yard run by Dan Fjeldheim at the 3:23 mark of the first quarter. The scoring drive covered 51 yards in seven plays.

The Coyotes answered, on Jason Anderson's one-yard run which capped off a six-play 52-yard drive. South Dakota tied the game at 7-7 with :47 seconds to play in the quarter.

SDSU retook the lead, 14-7, when Ryan Lowry caught a 23-yard pass from Fjeldheim at the 11:44 mark of the second quarter.

Once again, the Coyotes answered when junior running back Anthony Tharrington, Lubbock, TX, who had 72 yards rushing on the day, scored on an 11-yard run at the 7:31 mark of the second quarter. Tharrington's run, in which he broke several tackles enroute to the end zone, capped off an 11-play, 72-yard drive.

After the offenses moved up and down the field in the first half, the defenses settled in. SDSU broke the deadlock on a

27-yard field goal by Keith Witt with 1:08 to play in the third quarter.

Again, South Dakota answered with a nine-play 42-yard drive, culminated by a 42-yard field goal by Cody Butler, Hastings, NE. It was Butler's fifth consecutive field goal from 40-49 yards.

With 6:57 to play, SDSU regained the lead when Witt converted on a 42-yard field goal. Back came the Coyotes as Butler connected on a 37-yard field goal with 4:54 to play.

Then, SDSU took the lead for good on a 40-yard run by Scott Nedved with 2:51 to play. The Coyotes moved the ball deep into SDSU territory but could not convert the potential scoring opportunity.

For the day, South Dakota had 308 yards in total offense on 69 plays. USD rushed for 150 yards on 28 carries and had 169 yards through the air. SDSU had 338 yards in total offense on 71 plays. They had 252 yards passing and just 86 yards on the ground. SDSU held the time of possession advantage, 33:32 to 26:28.

Aside from Tharrington, Davon Hudspeth, Rancho Cucumonga, CA, had 35 yards rushing on six carries and Jason Anderson, Palmdale, CA, had 27 yards on seven carries. Quarterback Ryan Justice, Ankeny, IA, completed 17 of 41

passes for 169 yards.

Leading the Coyotes' receiving corps was Matt Taylor, Oakland, CA, who had seven catches for 66 yards. Sophomore receiver Chris Mikkelsen, Gregory, had four catches for 49 yards and extended his streak of consecutive games with at least one catch to 19.

Fjeldheim completed 27 of 42 passes for 252 yards with one touchdown for SDSU. Leading the Jacks in receiving was Solomon Johnson who had seven catches for 60 yards and Jeff Hesse, who had seven catches for 55 yards.

Defensively, South Dakota was led by Dwight Anderson, Queens, NY, who had eight tackles, including one forced fumble. Josh Gassen, Rapid City, the D2football.com player of the week, had seven tackles including a tackle for loss and one sack.

Derrick Jelks, St. Petersburg, FL, and Korey Ebel, Hartley, IA, also had seven tackles. Ebel and freshman Andrew Schable, Ida Grove, IA, both recorded a quarterback sack.

Next up for South Dakota is a home date with Minnesota State-Mankato on Saturday at 7 p.m. It will be Senior Day at the Dome.

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