Coyote football team derails UMD in 27-14 NCC win

Coyote football team derails UMD in 27-14 NCC win
The 11th-ranked South Dakota football team (3-0, 1-0 NCC) used an outstanding effort from its defense and the running of All-American Stefan Logan to secure a 27-14 win over Minnesota-Duluth (2-1, 0-1 NCC) in North Central Conference action at the DakotaDome Sept. 16.

South Dakota recorded its 16th straight home victory. Logan, a senior from Miami, FL, had 155 yards on 22 carries and also returned a punt 66 yards for a TD. Logan, the nation's leader in all-purpose yards, had 221 against UMD. He also recorded his 27th 100-yard rushing game of his career and now has seven straight 100-yard games, dating back to the 2005 season.

Led by Blake Hoyer, a sophomore from Lake Preston, the Coyotes' defense held the UMD offense in check. UMD had just 312 yards on 74 plays and scored 14 points with the Bulldogs' final score coming in the final seconds of the game. The Coyotes limited UMD to just 70 yards rushing on 24 carries.

"I was very happy with our effort," said Coyotes head coach Ed Meierkort, who now is 21-4 at USD, including 9-4 in NCC play. "We knew we weren't going to shut them down. But, we flew around of defense, played 22-23 guys and stayed fresh. Coach (Jim) Glogowski and (Jarod) Dodson devised a great game plan," said Meierkort.

Hoyer had nine tackles, two tackles for loss, a fumble recovery and a quarterback sack. Overall, USD recorded three quarterback sacks, eight tackles for loss and recovered two fumbles.

Senior defensive tackle John Barker of Sioux City, IA, said the Coyotes were anxious for this game.

"We were focused," said Barker, who had four tackles, two tackles for loss and also recorded a quarterback sack. "We were motivated because of what happened late in the season last season, which cost us a playoff berth. Today, we were committed on doing our job. We were flying around and executing. Everybody played well."

As has been the case during his career at South Dakota, Logan, a candidate for the Harlon Hill Trophy (Division II national player of the year honor), again put a stamp on this game early. He returned a punt 66-yard to pay dirt to lift the Coyotes to a 7-0 lead at the 7:51 mark of the first quarter.

The Coyotes built the lead to 14-0 when Tyler Evans scored on a two-yard run at the 11:45 mark of the second quarter. The lead ballooned to 21-0 when Rico Hatter hauled in a 57-yard pass from Noah Shepard with 5:40 to play in the second quarter.

UMD cut the lead to 21-7 when Tony Doherty caught a nine-yard pass from quarterback Ted Schlafke with three minutes in the first half.

Neither offense mounted much of an offensive attack in the second half, although USD was able to build its lead to 27-7 on a pair of field goals by Frank Leibfarth.

Leibfarth, a junior from Yankton, connected on a 20-yard field goal at the 3:28 mark of the third quarter. Then, he hit from 22-yards at the 10:16 mark of the fourth quarter.

UMD scored its final points on a three-yard pass from Schlafke to Greg Aker with 3.6 seconds to play in the game.

The Coyotes' offense generated 18 first downs and totaled 241 yards rushing on 41 attempts. USD also had 137 yards passing. Black completed 6-of-7 passes for 38 yards and also had five rushes for 28 yards. Shepard completed 4-of-5 passes for 99 yards with a TD and an interception. Helping Logan in the ground game was senior Travis Mlady who had 50 yards on 10 carries. Brooks Little caught three passes for 38 yards. Senior Desmond Allison hauled in two passes for 21 yards.

Senior safety Tim Dacy and junior defensive back Travis Motley had interceptions for USD. Linebacker Ryan Hedden also recovered a fumble for South Dakota.

Schlafke led the UMD offense by completing 33-of-50 passes for 242 yards. He had two TD passes and threw a pair of interceptions. Receiver Greg Aker caught 12 passes for 105 yards and a TD. Dominque Johnson caught eight passes for 60 yards. Marek Seta led the UMD rushing attack with 33 yards on six carries.

Next for South Dakota is a road trip to St. Cloud State on Saturday, Sept. 23. The Coyotes and Huskies will meet at 6 p.m. at Husky Stadium.

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