Football team falls to St. Cloud, 24-28


The SDSU Jackrabbit football team suffered its first loss of the season, 24-28, at the hands of the St. Cloud State Huskies on Sept. 27 in St. Cloud, Minn.

The loss overshadowed a record-breaking performance by senior quarterback Dan Fjeldheim (see B2).

SDSU started strong with 198 yards of total offensive gains in the first quarter, en route to a 21-7 lead after only 15 minutes of play.

St. Cloud tied the score at 21 with two touchdown passes before halftime.

St. Cloud then scored an early touchdown in the third quarter and held SDSU to only a field goal in the second half.

The Huskies went on to win the battle between two NCC teams.

SDSU jumped out to an early lead with a four-play, 63-yard drive that ended with a seven-yard Fjeldheim touchdown pass to redshirt freshman Josh Davis.

SDSU then forced a fumble that led to a two-yard touchdown run by Scott Nedved to give the Jackrabbits an early 14-0 advantage.

St. Cloud got on the board when offensive lineman Joe Keller recovered a Keith Heckendorf fumble and rumbled 19 yards into the end zone.

The Jackrabbits countered when Fjeldheim hooked up with Davis again on a nine-yard scoring pass to give SDSU a 21-7 lead.

The Huskies tied the game in the second quarter with two touchdown passes from Heckendorf.

The third quarter saw St. Cloud march down the field and score a touchdown to cap a 13-play, 74-yard drive on a four-yard pass to Daryn Ploeckelm.

SDSU moved into St. Cloud territory four times in the second half, but only managed a 35-yard field goal from Keith Witt in the fourth quarter.

The Jackrabbits allowed some key sacks and committed numerous costly penalties.

St. Cloud sealed the game when Fjeldheim was sacked on fourth down in the game’s final minute.

Fjeldheim completed 37-of-55 passes for 460 yards and two touchdowns, establishing new SDSU records for yards and completions in a game.

The prior mark of 32 completions was established by Ted Wahl in 1988. Todd McDonald set the previous record of 388 yards in 1993.

For his efforts, Watertown native Fjeldheim was named Offensive Player of the Week for the NCC.

Davis was Fjeldheim’s primary target with 11 receptions for 155 yards and two touchdowns.

Jeff Hesse and Ryan Lowry added to the air assault with 95 and 64 yards respectively.

Despite the success of the passing game, the Jackrabbit ground attack only managed to muster up 35 net yards on 23 rushing attempts.

Nedved led SDSU in rushing with 36 yards and one touchdown on nine carries.

Defensively, SDSU sacked Heckendorf seven times, forced four St. Cloud fumbles and grabbed two interceptions.

Dallas Clarksean had three sacks to lead the Blue and Gold defense.

Despite having 495 yards of total offense, SDSU was hampered by 15 penalties.

This resulted in a loss of 139 yards.

The Jackrabbits also lost two fumbles and had one pass intercepted.

“We just had too many penalties,” Fjeldheim remarked to the St. Cloud Times.

“There were a lot of times where we made the first down and it got called back and we’d be in second-and-long or third-and-long.”

“But I don’t want to take anything away from St. Cloud because they made some plays and they did what it took to win a ballgame.”

SDSU’s record dropped to 2-1 overall and 1-1 in the NCC with the loss.

St. Cloud’s record improved to 4-0 overall and 2-0 in the NCC.

The announced attendance at Selke Field was 2,402.

SDSU seeks getting back on the winning track next Saturday when it hosts the University of North Dakota, the defending NCAA Division II champions, in the annual Hobo Day game.

Kickoff is at 2 p.m.