Coyotes fall short in Duluth Oct. 29

Coyotes fall short in Duluth Oct. 29
Despite 284 yards rushing by Stefan Logan, the eighth-ranked South Dakota football team (8-2, 3-2 NCC) dropped a 56-43 decision to Minnesota-Duluth (7-3, 3-2 NCC) in North Central Conference action on Saturday before 2,814 in attendance at Griggs Field in Duluth, MN.

Logan had 26 carries for 284 yards and three TDs and fell just 11 yards short of tying his own USD single-game rushing mark of 295 yards set earlier this year in a win over Truman State. Logan scored on TD runs of 2, 9 and 64 yards as he increased his rushing TD total to 11 and overall scoring total to 13 this season.

Logan, who recorded his fourth career 200-yard rushing game, also increased his school-record 100-yard rushing game total to 23, including nine this season. Logan, who has had 100 yards or more rushing in 14 of his last 15 games at USD, now has 1,650 yards rushing this season on 194 carries and a per carry average of 8.5.

South Dakota had a solid game on offense, totaling 616 yards in total offense on 84 plays. Led by Logan, USD rushed for 295 yards on 41 carries and also totaled 321 passing yards.

USD's Harlon Hill candidate, Wesley Beschorner of Lohrville, IA, completed 24-of-43 passes for 321 yards and a TD. Beschorner's 24 pass completions tied a single-game school record (Ryan Justice, 24 completions, St. Cloud State, 2002). Beschorner also scored on a two-yard rushing score to improve his combined TD total this season to 41, including 34 through the air.

Junior wide receiver Derek Gearman of Lennox caught eight passes for 104 yards while junior wide out Desmond Allison of Tampa, FL, had a career-best 99 yards receiving on six catches and a 19-yard TD catch.

With his receiving yardage Saturday, Gearman became just the second USD receiver in school history to surpass 1,000 yards (Rod Tweet, 1,086 yards, 1984). Gearman now has 40 catches for 1,017 yards.

The 56 points allowed by USD is the most since North Dakota State scored a 59-20 win over USD in 1996. USD and UMD combined for 99 points and 1,191 yards in total offense.

On Saturday, the Coyotes were hurt by Minnesota-Duluth's passing game which generated 458 yards. Overall, the Bulldogs had 575 yards in total offense. Quarterback Ted Schlafke of UMD had a career game by completing 31-of-46 passes for 457 yards with six TDs and an interception. Schlafke threw four of his TD passes in the third quarter as UMD took control of the game by outscoring USD, 28-10, and grabbing a 49-31 lead.

The game was a back and forth affair with USD holding leads at 14-7 and 21-14 in the second quarter; 24-21 and 31-28 in the third quarter.

The Bulldogs opened the scoring when UMD used a little trickery to grab a 7-0 lead when tight end Drew Fautsch caught a one-yard TD pass from wide receiver LaShawn Bullock at the 11:21 mark of the first quarter. After USD's offense was stopped, the Coyote defense set up USD deep in UMD's territory as linebacker Alex York (Guthrie Center, IA) picked off a Schlafke pass and returned the ball to the 11-yard line.

Four plays later, Beschorner scored on a two-yard run at the 10:02 mark. The Coyotes grabbed its first lead of the game when Tyler Evans (Stewart, MN) scored on a one-yard run with 13:22 to play in the second quarter. On the scoring drive, USD moved the ball 75 yards in 13 plays and used 4:32 of the clock.

UMD answered the USD score, when Vinny Flurry, who had nine catches for 101 yards, caught a 24-yard TD pass from Schlafke to tie the game at 14-14 at the 8:57 mark of the second quarter.

In this offensive shootout, the Coyotes struck back quickly when Logan scored on a two-yard run with 7:03 to play in the first half. USD moved the ball 76 yards in eight plays in 1:53 to grab the lead. On the drive, USD converted a 4th and 21 play as Allison made an acrobatic 31-yard catch and set up USD at the two-yard line. Thirty seconds later (6:33), UMD tied the game at 21-21, as Schlafke threw a 12-yard TD pass to Greg Aker, who caught 10 passes for 185 yards and had four TD receptions.

Early in the second half, USD regained the lead when place-kicker Frank Leibfarth (Yankton) connected on a 29-yard field goal with 11:41 to play in the third quarter. The USD scoring drive covered 88 yards in seven plays and used 3:19 of the clock.

Then, during a span of four minutes, UMD outscored USD, 21-7 to take control of the game. After Leibfarth's field goal, Aker caught an 11-yard TD pass from Schlafke and with the PAT by Britt Baumann, UMD led the Coyotes, 28-24.

On USD's next possession, Logan showed his All-American form by scoring on a 64-yard run at the 7:58 mark and with Leibfarth's PAT gave USD a 31-28 lead.

At that point, UMD used its passing game to score quickly and frequently. With 6:10 to play in the quarter, Aker hauled in a 55-yard TD pass from Schlafke as UMD took a 35-31 lead. After UMD stopped the Coyote offense, Schlafke connected on a 47-yard TD pass to Ross Schumacher to grab a 42-31 lead at the 4:15 mark of the third quarter.

UMD built its lead to 49-31 as Schlafke threw his fourth TD pass of the quarter and the sixth of the game as Aker hauled in a 32-yard TD reception with 1:25 left in the stanza.

The Coyotes tried to get back into the game after UMD had a bad snap on a punt with less than five minutes to play in the game. On USD's first play on the offensive possession, Logan sprinted nine yards for a TD as USD cut the lead to 49-37 with 4:18 to play.

But, any thought of a late comeback by USD ended when Flurry grabbed the Coyotes' onside kick and returned it 41-yards to the end zone with 4:12 left in the game. With Bauman's extra point, UMD had a 56-37 lead. USD put up the final points of the game as Allison hauled in a 19-yard TD pass from Beschorner at the 1:37 mark to cut the deficit to 56-43. The Coyotes' onside kick again failed as the Bulldogs recovered the kick and then ran out the clock.

The Coyotes' defense was led by junior defensive back Tim Dacy (Gregory), who had eight tackles, including five solo stops. York and John Barker (Sioux City, IA) had six tackles.

while defensive end A.J. Schable (Ida Grove, IA) had five tackles and forced a fumble.

Next for South Dakota will be a date with second-ranked North Dakota on Senior Day at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 5 at the DakotaDome. UND lost a 20-19 decision to Nebraska-Omaha at the Alerus Center in Grand Forks, ND, on Saturday.

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