USD drops 28-24 decision to Wisconsin-LaCrosse; Coyotes will host conference opener on Sept. 27 Wisconsin-LaCrosse, ranked 12th in NCAA Division III, recorded a 28-24 win over No. 23 ranked South Dakota (2-1) in nonconference football action at LaCrosse, WI, on Saturday, Sept. 20.
This is the Coyotes' third straight game decided by 6 points or less. South Dakota had defeated Concordia St. Paul, 34-28, and Minnesota-Duluth, 10-7, but fell at LaCrosse on Saturday.
The Eagles (3-0) took a 28-24 lead with a seven-yard touchdown run by Andrew MoCadlo in the fourth quarter. Then, UWL held the Coyotes, who had a last gasp scoring drive end in an interception by quarterback Wesley Beschor-ner with under a minute to play.
Two touchdown passes by Steve Tennies helped the Wisconsin-LaCrosse Eagles grab a 14-10 lead at halftime.
Both The South Dakota Coyotes and Wisconsin-La-Crosse Eagles scored on their first two possessions of the game. However, defense was the name of the rest of the half as neither team was able to add to their point totals.
Led by the play of sophomore quarterback Wesley Beschorner, Lohrville, IA, the Coyotes took a 7-0 lead in the first quarter. Beschorner had a 63-yard run to set up a first and goal at the Wisconsin-LaCrosse four yard line. Beschorner, who rushed for a team-high 103 yards, scored on a two-yard run at the 11:39 mark of the first quarter to cap the six-play, 80-yard drive.
However Wisconsin-LaCrosse answered on a 52-yard touchdown pass from Steve Tennies to Scott Burnoski on the ensuing drive in the first quarter to tie the game at 7-7 with 8:06 to play in the opening quarter. The play culminated a seven-play, 75-yard drive.
South Dakota regained the lead on a 29-yard field goal by Cody Butler, who made his fourth straight field goal of the season. The score gave USD a 10-7 lead with 4:46 to play in the first quarter. But UWL responded with a scoring drive culminated by a four-yard touchdown pass by Tennies to J. Kettenhofen at the 2:45 mark of the first quarter.
In the first-half, USD had 156 yards rushing and 64 yards passing for 220 yards total offense.
A 46-yard run by freshman Stefan Logan, Miami, FL, provided South Dakota with a 17-14 lead over Wisconsin- LaCrosse early in the third quarter. It was a season long run by Logan, who scored his second touchdown of the season. After Wisconsin-LaCrosse intercepted a pass and later scored for a 21-17 lead, the South Dakota defense responded with a big play. Freshman Jordan Davis, San Antonio, TX, picked off a Tennies' pass and returned it 29 yards for a touchdown to give USD a 24-21 lead late in the third quarter. It was the Coyotes' second defensive touchdown in three weeks. However, the Eagles answered with a 80-yard scoring drive early in the fourth quarter and MoCadlo's touchdown run provided the winning margin.
Two South Dakota players reached 100 yards rushing, led by Beschorner with 103 yards on 15 carries. Logan had 102 yards on eight carries plus the career-long and team-high 46-yard touchdown gallop. Beschorner completed 10-of-20 passes for 88 yards and two interceptions. Chris Mikkel-sen, Gregory, had four receptions for 32 yards and Matt Taylor had three receptions for 32 yards to lead South Dakota.
Overall, USD totaled 370 yards on 67 plays, accumulating 282 yards on the ground and 88 yards through the air. Defensively, the Coyotes were led by junior linebacker Mike Meekins, Superior, NE, who had 11 tackles and 1.5 tackles for loss. Josh Gassen, Rapid City, had 10 tackles while Davis had nine tackles and the interception.
UWL totaled 449 yards in total offense on 77 plays. The Eagles rushed for 161 yards and passed for 288. They were led on the ground by Andrew MoCadlo, who had 89 yards on 21 carries and two touchdowns. Tennies completed 20-of-37 passes for 288 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions. Scott Burnoski had nine catches for 178 yards and a touchdown.
South Dakota returns home to host Nebraska-Omaha in their North Central Conference season opener. Game time is set for 1 p.m