USD rolls to 45-13 win over Upper Iowa Oct. 13 Three TD runs by sophomore running back Tyler Evans keyed the 13th-ranked South Dakota Coyotes football team (8-1) to a 45-12 nonconference win over Upper Iowa (2-7) at Eischeid Stadium in Fayette, IA, on Saturday, Oct. 23. The win gave Coyotes a 5-0 record in nonconference play this season.
South Dakota, which played Upper Iowa for the first time ever, is off to its best start since the 1972 USD team opened 8-1 en route to a 9-1 season. USD will host Minnesota-Duluth (4-5, 1-3 NCC) next Saturday in North Central Conference action at 2 p.m. at the DakotaDome. USD is 3-1 in the league.
The Coyotes rolled up 508 yards in total offense including 256 yards on the ground and had 252 yards passing, which is the second-best offensive performance on the year. In game one, USD had 548 yards in total offense in a 49-22 win over Truman State.
Several individuals had outstanding performances, including Evans, who had 76 yards rushing on 13 carries and his three TDs, which gives him eight this season. Quarterback Wesley Beschorner (Lohrville, IA) completed 14-of-21 passes for a career-best 229 yards with no interceptions and one TD. He also rushed eight times for 35 yards.
Sophomore running back Stefan Logan (Miami, FL) had his fourth straight 100-yard rushing game by totaling 105 yards on 17 carries. But, perhaps the biggest accomplishment of the day was Chris Mikkelsen (Gregory), who had six receptions for 64 yards. The reception total allowed him to set a new USD receiving record. He now has 144 receptions for his career, surpassing the previous mark of 140 receptions by Coyote Hall of Fame member Rod Tweet, who had 140 receptions from 1982-85.
Mikkelsen was one of five receivers with at least 40-yards receiving. Those other USD receivers included: Brooks Little (Castlewood), three passes for 50 yards; Paul Tschetter (Sioux Falls), three catches, 41 yards; Derek Gearman (Lennox), two catches, 44 yards; and Logan, one catch, 42 yards.
While the offense had its way with Upper Iowa, the defense also stepped up after a shaky first half. On the day, the Coyote defense forced six turnovers, including four interceptions and two fumble recoveries. After allowing two TDs to the Peacocks in the first half, the Coyotes did not allow Upper Iowa to score the rest of the game.
USD jumped on Upper Iowa early by scoring 21 unanswered points in the first quarter. South Dakota opened the scoring on a two-yard run by Evans (Stewart, MN) at the 12:19 mark, capping a four-play, 51-yard drive in 1:05. The score was set up by an interception by USD's Alex York (Guthrie Center, IA). The PAT by Cody Butler (Hastings, NE) provided USD a 7-0 lead.
Moments later, the Coyotes again struck when sophomore defensive back Chris Reid (Hills, MN) picked off a pass and returned it 32 yards for a TD at the 11:19 mark. With Butler's kick, USD took a 14-0 lead. The defensive score by Reid was USD's first this season.
With 1:35 to play in the first quarter, Evans added his second TD of the game on an eight-yard scoring run. USD moved the ball 12 plays and 79 yards, using 6:38 of the clock. With Butler's kick, USD led, 21-0.
Upper Iowa responded with an 8-play, 80-yard scoring drive, capped by a 15-yard TD pass from Jay Lehman to Jesse Montalto. Josh Slater's extra point kick was missed and USD led, 21-6.
The Coyotes answered quickly with a long scoring drive, when senior fullback Rob Cupich (Omaha, NE) scored on a one-yard run. With Butler's kick, USD moved ahead, 28-6, with nine minutes to play in the first half. The USD scoring
drive covered 48 yards in seven plays, using just 2:15 of the clock.
With 2:04 to play in the half, Beschorner connected with sophomore wide receiver Gearman on a seven-yard scoring pass play and with Butler's PAT, USD took a 35-6 lead. It was Gearman's fourth TD reception and Beschorner's 14th TD pass of the season.
Then just before halftime, the Peacocks showed its explosive ability to score. Lehman again connected with Montalto on a 14-yard pass play with two seconds left in the half. The two-point conversion failed and USD led, 35-12 at the halftime break.
USD added a 27-yard field goal by Butler with 5:37 left in the third quarter, capping a 12-play, 54-yard scoring drive in 4:57. USD led, 38-12. Then, Evans scored his third TD of the game on a one-yard run with 11:36 to play to cap a nine-play, 85-yard scoring drive in 3:24. With Butler's kick, USD took a 45-12 lead.
USD Defensive tackle A.J. Schable (Ida Grove, IA) had 6.5 tackles and three quarterback sacks to lead the USD defense. He also totaled four tackles for loss. Reid had an interception return for a TD and six tackles. Aside from York, USD also received interceptions from J.D. Kappeler (Aurora, CO) and Kellen Burch (St. Paul, MN). In all, USD had four sacks and nine tackles for loss as well as two forced fumbles. York also had a fumble recovery.
Upper Iowa had 361 yards in total offense on 76 plays, including 47 yards rushing and 314 yards passing. Lehman completed 25-of-44 passes for 276 yards with two TDs and three interceptions. Gary Glasby led the Peacock rushing attack with 10 carries for 36 yards. Montalto had nine receptions for 152 yards and two TDs. Frank Parker added seven receptions for 76 yards.