South Dakota football defeats Lincoln 56-7

South Dakota football defeats Lincoln 56-7 USD quarterback Wes Beschorner (17), outruns several Lincoln University defenders during the Coyotes' season finale Saturday in the DakotaDome. He carried the ball six times for 32 yards and scored a touchdown. Freshman running back Stefan Logan had his best game as a Coyote, rushing for 199 yards and two touchdowns. Freshman running back Stefan Logan rushed for 199 yards and two touchdowns to lead South Dakota (5-6) to a 56-7 win over Lincoln (MO) University (4-7) in nonconference football at the DakotaDome before on Saturday afternoon.

In the season finale, Logan, of Miami, FL, had his best game as a Coyote. Logan carried the ball 22 times for 199 yards and scored on runs of 30 and 28 yards. He finished the season with 1,155 yards and recorded his sixth straight 100-yard rushing game, seven overall.

Logan, who set the school's freshman rushing record, also registered the third best single season rushing total in school history. He broke the freshman rushing record of Dusty Stamer (1,034 yards, 2000) and passed Chul Schwanke, who had 1,132 yards in 1985, for third place on the single season list at USD.

For South Dakota, the five wins in a season is the most since the 2000 season, when the Coyotes finished 8-3.

South Dakota dominated the game throughout, rolling up 419 yards in total offense on 55 plays. USD had 305 yards rushing on 43 carries and had 114 yards passing.

Aside from Logan, sophomore quarterback Wes Beschorner, Lohrville, IA, had six carries for 32 yards and scored the first touchdown for USD. He also completed five of eight passes for 76 yards and a touchdown.

Sophomore quarterback Sean McLaughlin, Omaha, NE, had two rushes for 30 yards and also completed three of four passes for 38 yards with a touchdown. Leading the receiving corps was junior Chris Mikkelsen, Gregory, who had 62 yards on three receptions and a 39-yard touchdown catch. Mikkelsen also started for USD on defense (cornerback), recording one tackle.

The Coyotes opened the scoring on Beschorner's one-yard run at 8:21 of the first quarter. With David Manke's kick, USD led 7-0. The scoring run capped off a six-play, 58-yard drive in 1:59.

After a change of possessions, USD got the ball back when senior linebacker Josh Gassen, Rapid City, picked off a pass and returned it to the Lincoln 26-yard line. Seven plays later, Rob Cupich, Omaha, NE, scored on a one-yard run. With Manke's kick, USD increased their lead to 14-0 at the 2:44 mark of the first quarter.

Another Coyote interception, this time by redshirt freshman safety Tim Dacy, Gregory, set up the final score of the half. Five plays later, Beschorner connected with Mikkelsen on a 39-yard scoring play with 40 seconds to play before halftime. With Manke's kick, the Coyote lead was 21-0 at the break.

Lincoln was unable to move the ball to start the third quarter and a 17-yard punt set up the Coyotes at the Blue Tigers' 35-yard line. On his second of two runs, Logan went 28-yards for a touchdown at the 10:58 mark of the third quarter. Manke's kick increased the Coyote lead to 28-0.

On the next USD possession, Sean McLaughlin had runs of 19 and 11 yards and then connected with redshirt freshman Tim Triplett on a 24-yard scoring play with 7:51 to play in the third quarter. It was Triplett's first touchdown of his career. After Manke hit his fifth straight conversion, USD led, 35-0.

Once again, the Coyotes stopped Lincoln and a 24-yard run by Logan set up the next Coyote score. Rob Cupich scored on his second one-yard touchdown of the game at the 4:30 mark of the third quarter. Manke's conversion gave USD a 42-0 lead.

Lincoln answered with their only score of the game. Brian Young, the third quarterback to see action for the Blue Tigers in the game, connected with Ali Thompson on a 20-yard scoring play. The score capped off an eight-play, 80-yard drive. With James Spies kick, USD led 42-7.

South Dakota came right back on the legs of Logan. The freshman running back capped a four-play, 48-yard drive with a 30-yard touchdown run with 13:07 to play. Manke's kick increased USD's lead to 49-7.

The final USD score was set up by a career-best 53-yard punt return by senior Chris Meehan. Four plays later, sophomore Ryan Molencamp scored on an 11-yard touchdown run with 9:33 to play. Manke's kick provided South Dakota with a 56-7 lead.

The South Dakota defense had a big day, limiting the visitors to 219 yards in total offense on 71 plays. Lincoln rushed for just 71 yards on 45 carries. South Dakota had three interceptions, including pickoffs by Gassen, Dacy and Jared Adamson. USD had 12 tackles for loss and five quarterback sacks. Garrett Hartwig led USD with seven tackles.

Earnest Tucker led Lincoln with 54 yards rushing on 16 carries. Kevin Cork completed 5-of-11 passes for 67 yards and an interception. Brian Young was also five-of-11 for 81 yards with an interception and a touchdown. Thompson led the receiving corps with five receptions for 79 yards.

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