Jacks back on track

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Springfield, Missouri – Senior running back Brady Mengarelli put the South Dakota State Jackrabbits on his back and regain their high FCS Championship aspirations with a 62-30 win over the Missouri State Bears.

Mengarelli finished the day with 11 carries for 117 yards and two touchdowns.

As a team, the Jacks ran for 262 yards. Junior quarterback Taryn Christion contributed to the rushing game with eight carries and 65 yards with a touchdown. Isaac Wallace had 14 carries on 61 yards. Sophomore Mikey Daniel found the end zone four times on 10 carries for 32 yards.

“He’s our power back, he got into the end zone, I love he does it, he gets into the end zone and doesn’t dance around, this is Jackrabbit football,” Stiegelmeier said of Mikey Daniel.

SDSU opened the game up with a 61-yard kickoff return from sophomore wide receiver Cade Johnson that set up the first SDSU touchdown.

“We really needed a game like this, we struggled coming out last week against UNI,” Cade Johnson said about the quick start for the Jacks.

As effective as the run game was, Christion was clicking on all cylinders again for the Jacks. He was efficient and accurate as he connected on 74 percent of his passes for 323 yards and two touchdowns.

Offensively, the Jackrabbits were .500 on third downs and they gained 9.38 yards per play.

Senior Dallas Goedert had eight catches for 170 yards and a touchdown. Johnson also contributed to the receiving cause as he had two catches for 75 yards and a touchdown. Christion also found Jake Wieneke three times for 61 yards. Skylar Cavanaugh had two receptions for 23 yards.

“We really needed a game like this, we struggled coming out last week against UNI,” Cade Johnson said about the quick start for the Jacks.

At the half, MSU looked like they were going to make it interesting, as SDSU only led by seven points, but the Jackrabbits outscored the Bears 28-3 in the third quarter.

Defensively, sophomore linebacker Christian Rozeboom led the Jacks with 19 tackles and a tackle for a loss. On defense, the Jackrabbits were without Nick Farina and Logan Backhaus.

“We had a lot of guys step up today,” Rozeboom said.

The Jacks only got to MSU quarterback Peyton Husling once, despite MSU giving up just under three sacks a game heading into the game. Huslig had 17 completions for 189 yards and an interception.

SDSU held MSU wide receiver Malik Earl to 73 yards on six receptions and no touchdowns. Junior wide receiver Deion Holliman had six receptions on 59 yards. Senior tight end Erik Furmanek had five receptions for 44 yards and a touchdown.

Despite holding MSU to just 189 passing yards, Huslig gained 134 yards on the ground with 16 carries. Randall had 85 yards on seven carries. MSU had 235 rushing yards as a team.

While SDSU was efficient in winning the game, there are still some concerns on special teams. Holliman had a 64-yard punt return for a touchdown. Chase Vinatieri connected on eight extra points but missed his first attempt.

Other good news for the Jacks lies in the other results in the MVC.

UNI defeated the Youngstown State Penguins 19-14 at the UNI Dome. In-state rival South Dakota Coyotes lost to the Illinois State Redbirds 37-21.

These results could prove to have significant implications on the MVC toward the end of the season.

Up next, the Jacks will travel to Macomb, Illinois next Saturday to take on the Western Illinois Leathernecks.

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