Jacks fall to NDSU Bison in title game, 28-41

Jeremy Fugleberg

Jeremy Fugleberg

A last minute interception by North Dakota State University sealed the fate of the Jackrabbits, who fell to the Bison 28-41. The border battle victory gave the Bison the Great West Football Conference title and the Dakota Marker.

A record Fargodome crowd of 19,053 watched the Bison (10-1) and Jackrabbits (7-4) slug it out for 69 combined points and 824 yards of total offense, trading touchdowns through the air and on the ground.

It was a big-play game by the two big-play heavyweights of the conference. The Jackrabbits, ranked 18th in the nation in Division 1AA, surprised the Bison with several big scores and a powerful running game.

But the Bison scored three touchdowns in the third quarter and returned a punt for another score in the fourth quarter. Despite several scores, including a 59 yard Kardoes pass to wide receiver Micah Johnson, the Jackrabbits were 10 points down and had to play from behind.

With the confidence that comes from knowing the ball has to go in the air, the Bison defense sawed away at the Jacks offensive line, pressuring Kardoes and sacking him twice for a turnover on downs with just under three minutes left in the game.

The Jackrabbits defense held the Bison to a field goal on the next series. But Kardoes’ flurry of passes ended in an interception, giving the ball back to the Bison for a final series of downs.

After throwing the interception, Kardoes slowly walked off the field. It was his last game as a Jackrabbit and a capstone to a stellar comeback season. But unlike the last seven games, the victory was not his. Not this night.

#1.883973:3028593240.jpg:sdsuvsndsu04.jpg:Andy Kardoes of South Dakota State attempts to gain some yards but is unable to outrun some of the North Dakota State defenders during his game Saturday evening at the Fargo Dome in Fargo, ND.:#1.883972:111441480.jpg:sdsuvsndsu03.jpg:South Dakota State’s Marty Kranz and Justin Kubesh stop Kyle Steffes of North Dakota State during the second half of their game on Saturday evening at the Fargo Dome in Fargo, ND.: