Coyotes drop fourth straight game in NCC action

Coyotes drop fourth straight game in NCC action South Dakota (4-6, 2-5) dropped its fourth straight game, falling to No. 8 North Dakota, 37-3, in North Central Conference football action on Senior Day, Saturday, Nov. 8 at the DakotaDome in Vermillion. With the win, North Dakota clinched the NCC title, improving to 7-0 in the league, 9-1 overall. This is UND's second NCC title in three years. Two years ago, they won the NCC championship en route to a national title.

South Dakota ended their NCC season with a 2-5 mark, which is sixth in the league. USD lost to UND for the eighth straight time.

Despite the loss, South Dakota continued to run the ball effectively, especially their freshman running back Stefan Logan, who has established himself as one of the best in the league.

Logan had 19 rushes for 118 yards, including a 56-yard jaunt in the first quarter that set up the game's first score. With his run, USD moved inside the 10-yard line where they were forced to settle for a 29-yard field goal by junior Cody Butler. With 12:59 to play in the opening quarter, USD led 3-0.

After that, UND took control. John Bowenkamp, who completed 23-34 passes for 281 yards and three touchdowns, connected with Travis Lueck on a five-yard passing play at 8:48 of the first quarter to give UND the lead. With the conversion by kicker Jeff Glas, UND had a 7-3 lead.

The visitors from Grand Forks pushed the lead to 10-3 on a 22-yard field goal by Glas with 3:10 to play in the quarter. Then the defenses took over.

There was no scoring until Lueck caught his second touchdown pass of the day, an 11-yard scoring strike from Bowenkamp at the 4:30 mark of the second quarter. A conversion by Glas made the score, UND 17 USD 3.

Just before the half, UND received another field goal from Glas, this one from 46-yards and took a 20-3 lead into halftime.

UND built a 27-3 lead when Willis Stattleman hauled in a 27-yard touchdown reception from Bowenkamp which was followed by a successful conversion by Glas with 9:20 left in the third quarter. Then, Glas hit his third field goal, this time from 35-yard with 23 seconds to play in the third quarter as UND led 30-3.

The final score of the day was a three-yard run by UND's Adam Roland with 11:28 to play in the game. A conversion by Glas made the score 37-3.

Overall, the Coyotes had 299 yards in total offense on 60 plays, including 33 rushes for 158 yards. USD quarterback Wesley Beschorner completed 14-of-27 passes for 141 yards and had 11 rushes for 34 yards. Senior wide out Matt Taylor hauled in four catches for 35 yards while freshman Derek Gearman had a season and career best four receptions for 33 yards.

USD's Jarrod Edelen had a solid day punting the ball. He had four punts for 198 yards, or 49.5 per kick, and placed two kicks inside the 20-yard line. His long was 52 yards.

UND totaled 542 yards in total offense on 77 plays. Led by Roland's 98 yards, North Dakota totaled 213 yards on 42 rushing plays. They also had 329 yards passing. Jesse Ahlers had eight receptions for 143 yards. Lueck, who also blocked a USD field goal, had four receptions for 26 yards and two touchdowns. Stattleman had six catches for 86 yards and a touchdown.

Defensively, USD was led by senior Josh Gassen, who had a season-best 16 tackles, including a forced fumble and tackle for loss. Senior linebacker Drew Barns had 10 tackles and a tackle for loss. Danny Gagner led UND with six tackles and a tackle for loss.

The Coyotes will close the regular season next Saturday with a game against Lincoln University, beginning at noon at the DakotaDome.

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