Jackrabbits Down Western Oregon

Adam Zobel

Adam Zobel

Coach John Stiegelmeier and his Jackrabbit football team had a situation that last week no one would ever want to face. Coming off a hard-fought loss to Winona State, the Jacks were stunned by the sudden death of teammate Donnie Parsons and faced a long trip to the West Coast to face an unfamiliar opponent.

A week such as last week often defines a football team as SDSU could either rise to the challenge against the undefeated Wolves with a strong showing or wilt from their stresses.

The Jackrabbits were up to the task on Saturday as they convincingly defeated Western Oregon 37-10 at McArthur Field in Monmouth, Oregon.

The defense allowed the Wolves to score 10 points in the second quarter, but placed its imprint on the game as John Perry returned an interception 65 yards for a touchdown on the last play of the first half. SDSU limited the home team to 290 total yards, compared to 532 for the Jackrabbits.

Quarterback Brad Nelson came out like a slinger for the third straight week as he threw for 304 yards and three touchdowns for the Yellow and Blue. Nelson opened the scoring for the Jacks as he threw to Solomon Johnson for a 76-yard touchdown. He later added scoring tosses to receivers Jeff Hesse and Josh Davis. Johnson led all receivers with 144 yards on four catches.

Running back Anthony Watson continued to solidify his status as the Jacks’ top newcomer of the year as he ran for 138 yards on 18 carries with a 59-yard touchdown scamper. The redshirt freshman also had three catches for 38 yards to complement his 7.7 yard-per-carry average.

Penalties continue to be a concern for the Jacks as they committed 12 infractions that cost them 110 yards. An early SDSU drive had reached the eight-yard line before mistakes pushed the offense out of field goal position. Special teams play also was a hindrance as they missed an extra point and two field goals with another field goal attempt being blocked.

The Jacks travel up to Fargo next Saturday to face North Dakota State in the North Central Conference opener for both teams. The Bison are 2-1 after losing to Division I-AA Cal-Davis on September 13. NDSU defeated Div. I-AA power Montana earlier this season. Kickoff at the FargoDome is at 7 p.m.