Hobo Showdown

Jacks come into Hobo Day game against Indiana St. with lots of momentum

Cooper Kanthak, Sports Reporter

The SDSU football team is back in action at home this week at the Dana J. Dykhouse Stadium after traveling to North Dakota for the past two weeks to battle against NDSU and UND, which both resulted in huge wins for the Jacks.

Winning 23-21 against the Bison and 49-35 against the Fighting Hawks, the Jacks now set their focus on Hobo Day and their opponent Indiana State. 

The Sycamores come in with a 1-6 record and 0-4 in the Missouri Valley Football Conference. Their lone win of the season was Sept. 1 against North Alabama. They do however have three one-score losses against Northern Iowa, NDSU and Youngstown State.

“They [Indiana State] play hard, they’re sound and very impressed with their defense, so we need to be ready to play our best football,” coach John Stiegelmeier said. 

The Jackrabbits have celebrated Hobo Day since its Inauguration in 1912. The football team has an overall record of 62-40-5 in Hobo Day games, including 16-8 in Hobo Day games in the John Stiegelmeier era, dating back to 1997.

The Jacks are 4-5 in their last nine Hobo Day games, including last year’s loss to Northern Iowa with a final score of 26-17. “I love Hobo Day and I’ve been blessed by the tradition,” Stiegelmeier said. 

About SDSU: 

The Jacks are riding hot as they won seven games in a row since losing the season opener to Iowa Sept. 3. 

They are ranked #1 in the FCS Poll for the second consecutive week. 

Quarterback Mark Gronowski was named to his second MVFC Player of the Week award of the season after this past week’s performance against UND. 

 He accounted for a career-high five touchdowns, throwing for three and rushing for two. Completing 15-of-20 passes for 197 yards, throwing touchdowns to Tucker Kraft, Zach Heins and Jaxon Janke. 

On the year, Gronowski is completing 63% of his passes, throwing for 1,468 yards and 13 touchdowns. On the ground, he has 215 yards on 59 attempts and 6 touchdowns. 

Running back Isaiah Davis sat out last game with injury, but he is the leading rusher on the team. 

Filling in for Davis has been backup running back Amar Johnson. With 351 yards and two touchdowns, Johnson has filled in nicely while Davis recovers.

The Janke twins still lead the team in receiving. Jaxon has 33 receptions for 394 yards and five touchdowns. Jadon has three touchdowns on 31 receptions for 427 yards.

Tight end Kraft returned from a leg injury he suffered week one, and he contributed right away with a 32-yard touchdown last week.

On defense, players will have to step up in place of linebacker Adam Bock. He suffered a leg injury against UND and will be out for a while. He leads the team in tackles with 58 total.

Jason Freeman is next with 33 total tackles.

The Jacks have forced an interception in every game this year and have a total of 11 on the year. 

Reece Winkelman leads the team with 4.5 sacks on the year.

About Indiana State:

The Sycamores offense is led by quarterback Cade Chambers. Chambers completes 47% of his passes. He has thrown for 705 yards and has a touchdown to interception ratio of 7:1.

On the ground, Indiana State is led by running back Justin Dinka. He has three touchdowns, gaining 670 yards on 94 attempts.

Wide receiver Dante Hendrix leads the team in receiving with 549 yards and three touchdowns on 32 receptions.

On defense, linebacker Geoffrey Brown leads the team in tackles with 63 total and 21 solo tackles. Defensive back Rylan Cole is second on the team with 59 total tackles. As a team, the Sycamores have four total interceptions and 15 total sacks.

They allow 35 points per game while only scoring 19 points themselves. They give up 181 yards per game on the ground and 237 yards passing. 

What’s Next:

SDSU will travel to Cedar Falls, Iowa as they take on Northern Iowa at 4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 5 .