Different Dakota: SD State wins 1st FCS title over ND State


FRISCO, Texas (AP) – Mark Gronowski threw three touchdowns and ran for another 51 yards as South Dakota State won its first national championship Sunday with a 45-21 victory over first-time loser North Dakota State. 10 FCS title games.

As a true freshman two seasons ago, Gronowski tore the ACL in his left knee during the opening drive of the Football Championship Subdivision title game. Nearly 20 months after an unprecedented spring finale loss and a quarterback missing the 2021 season, the Jackrabbits (14-1) defeated a border state rival at his alma mater for John Stiegelmeier’s 26th season-long award at his alma mater. .

Amar Johnson rushed for 126 yards and Isaiah Davis had 119 for his ninth 100-yard game of the season and both scored for South Dakota State. Gronowski, who completed 14 of 21 passes for 223 yards, scored on the third play of the second half to make it 38-14.

Cam Miller was 17-of-26 for 256 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions for the Bison (12-3), who moved from Fargo to Frisco for the 10th time in 12 seasons.

The Jackrabbits have won the last four meetings between the Missouri Valley Football Conference rivals in less than two years. The previous three played regular-season games for the Dakota Marker Trophy at an MLS soccer stadium more than 1,000 miles from their state’s border. It was their 114th meeting since 1903, but the fifth in the FCS playoffs and the first in league play.

South Dakota State’s previous FCS title game was a last-minute loss to Sam Houston State in May 2021 after the lower division season was pushed back to the spring due to the coronavirus pandemic. COVID-19. The Jackrabbits defeated NDSU in the game-shortened regular season and then again this fall before overcoming a 21-7 halftime deficit in the Fargodome before a 23-21 win last October.

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