Defense sparks Coyotes to 34-3 win over Missouri S&T in Dakota Days contest The University of South Dakota football team used a strong defensive effort to defeat Missouri S&T, 34-3, in front of 9,654 fans at the annual Dakota Days game Saturday in Vermillion. The Coyotes (3-4) got a big game from Tyler Spease (Sr., Rapid City) on defense. He led the team with nine tackles, including one for a loss, while also recording an interception in the second quarter. Byron Thomas (Sr., Palmdale, CA) added 1.5 sacks and a big interception return for the Coyote defense, while Byron Bullock (Sr., Inglewood, CA) collected eight tackles. USDâ�?�?s defense made a statement early with a key goal-line stand. The Miners (3-3) drove inside the Coyote 10-yard line, thanks to a short passing game, but on a fourth down, they were stopped on as USDâ�?�?s Blake Hojer (Sr., DeSmet) stopped Jerome Miller for no gain to end the drive. Missouri S&Tâ�?�?s defense kept the Coyotes at bay for much of the first half, although USD did put together a solid scoring drive in the second quarter. The drive, which spanned 81 yards on 15 plays, was capped off by an eight-yard touchdown pass from Noah Shepard (Jr., Thornton, CO) to Ben Oberle (Jr., Vermillion) with 4:30 left in the first half. The extra point was blocked, but USD held a 6-0 advantage. USDâ�?�?s defense answered again immediately, as Spease intercepted a pass from Jason Schleuter to put the Coyotes back in prime field position. The Miner defense prevented the Coyotes from scoring, however, leaving the contest at 6-0, where it stood at halftime. USDâ�?�?s offense warmed up in the second half. After a short kickoff and 11-yard return by Eric Leon, the Coyotes quickly moved down field on a five-play, 47-yard drive, which was capped off by a three-yard scoring run by Isaac Newton. With Shepardâ�?�?s two-point conversion run, the Coyotes were up 14-0 with 12:38 left in the first half. Once again, USDâ�?�?s defense stepped up big. Missouri S&T had driven to the Coyote four-yard line and was threatening to score when a pass was tipped and intercepted by Thomas, who returned the ball all the way to the Miner 17-yard line. Four plays later, USD had struck again, as Shepard scored from one yard out, putting USD up 20-0 with 8:08 left in the third quarter. Missouri S&T got on the board in the third quarter on a 34-yard field goal by Joe Drahos to cut the Coyote lead to 20-3. The Coyotes put the game away with a pair of fourth quarter touchdowns. Dion Foster (So., Robbins, IL) had a one-yard run with 12:37 left to put USD up 27-3, and on its next possession, the Coyote offense found the end zone again with Chris Ganious (RFr., Houston, TX), finding the end zone from five yards out. USDâ�?�?s defense faced a challenge late as the Miners mounted one last scoring drive; however, the Coyotes stopped Missouri S&T at the one-yard line as time expired to prevent the Miners from finding the end zone. Shepard finished 14-of-22 passing for 159 yards and a touchdown.�? Dan Skelly (Jr., Champlin, MN) had another big receiving game for USD, catching nine passes for 124 yards. Ganious had 13 carries for 94 yards and a touchdown. Ko Quaye (Jr., Champlin Park, MN) had seven tackles for USDâ�?�?s defense, which held Missouri S&T to just 275 yards of offense. The Coyotes also forced the Miners to go just 4-of-13 on third-down conversions. USD now has won eight consecutive Dakota Days games, including all five played under Coach Ed Meierkort. The Coyotes are 26-1 at the DakotaDome under Meierkort. The Coyotes are off until Nov. 1, when they will face North Greenville in Tigerville, SC. Game time is 11 a.m. Central time.
By David Lias For most people in Vermillion, Cheryl Miller and Pamella Jackson have been merely images on newsprint. The … Read Article