Jacks keep Dakota Marker once again

Ariy-El Boynton

Ariy-El Boynton

For more than 700 days during 2005 and 2006, SDSU had an empty space in the trophy showcase in the Stanley J. Marshall HPER Center. The space was reserved for the Dakota Marker, the football traveling trophy given to the winner of the SDSU and North Dakota State football contest.

However, all that occupied the space in Brookings was dust.

Now, two years later, the Jacks’ rivals to the north are forced to deal with the similar situation.

With the Jackrabbits’ 25-24 victory over NDSU at the Fargodome on Nov. 22, SDSU kept the Dakota Marker trophy for the second year in a row.

“It’s going to be great to look at the trophy for another year,” said sophomore safety Conrad Kjerstad. “I’m glad for the seniors.”

Both senior quarterback Ryan Berry and wide receiver JaRon Harris had gutsy performances in their last game as Jackrabbits. Berry came back from a concussion, and Harris held on to the ball after getting creamed by a host of Bison.

Both seniors agreed that seeing the trophy will be a welcoming sight for the remainder of their time in Brookings.

NDSU was the first team to lose on their home turf in the five years that the teams have played for the Dakota Marker.

“It’s a great rivalry,” said Bison starting quarterback Nick Martines. “I look forward to playing them next year, but it hurts to not get that rock back. It’s tough.”

The Bison seniors will leave their careers knowing that they were ranked higher than SDSU twice and fell twice by less than a touchdown in both South Dakota and North Dakota.

“Yeah, it’s tough,” said NDSU running back Tyler Roehl, “but I’ve stuck to the motto: have no regrets. We gave it our all.”

SDSU holds a 3-2 advantage over NDSU in Dakota Marker contests.

Normally, SDSU heads to the locker room directly after the end of the game, but for the second year in a row, SDSU celebrated with the seven-foot trophy. Jackrabbit head coach John Stiegelmeier was doused with liquids after the game. His body may have liked the dousing in the indoor dome better than last year’s outdoor soaking on Nov. 17.

One of the players who celebrated the victory was Berry, who had over 100 family members and friends in his cheering section. That section erupted when Berry went back in the game later in the fourth quarter.

“It’s almost like a homecoming up here with all the family and friends. It was a great atmosphere,” said Berry.

“It’s a great way to end my career.”

The trophy has both “N.D.” and “S.D.” written on opposite sides.

The marker also displays a “190” with an underscore and then a “M” under the dash to represent the 190 miles between the longest-running rivalry in the Missouri Valley Football Conference.

The “rock” is modeled after the quartzite monuments that used to mark the border between the two states.

The trophy is co-sponsored by both the NDSU chapter of Blue Key National Honor Society and the SDSU Student Association. The two bodies merged in Hankinson, N.D., in 2004 as a way to add extra incentive to the rivalry of the two teams who made the jump to D-I in 2004.

#1.882137:4243892901.jpg:SDSU_vs_NDSU_football_sab-0459.jpg:The SDSU football team celebrates with the Dakota Marker after defeating North Dakota State University 25-24 on Nov. 22 in the Fargo Dome in Fargo, N.D.:Stephen Brua