No. 1 Jackrabbits roll Indiana State on Hobo Day

Marshall Minihan, Sports Reporter

The South Dakota State football team gave fans a lot to cheer for on Hobo Day, scoring touchdowns on each of their first seven possessions en route to a 49-7 blowout win against Indiana State.

19,041 fans at Dana J. Dykhouse Stadium saw the No. 1 Jackrabbits win their Division I-school record eighth straight game to improve to 8-1 overall on the season and 6-0 in the Missouri Valley Football Conference.

“So honored by our fans who keep showing up, I know it was Hobo Day, but a beautiful day. What an environment, honoring for our program, administration, and great job by our ticket people. It was just a really really great environment for our homecoming,” Coach John Stiegelmeier said.

SDSU has scored 49 points in back-to-back games this season, which are their highest-scoring games of the season, passing their 45 points scored against Butler in week three.

The Jackrabbit defense started hot, forcing Indiana State to go three and out on the opening drive of the game. SDSU’s offense would show their dominance early by marching down the field to the 4-yard line where tailback Isaiah Davis took the ball in for a touchdown and the first score of the game.

Last week’s MVFC Player of the Week, quarterback Mark Gronowski would use his legs for the next score on a 2-yard rush to put his team up 14-0. This play was the quarterback’s third rushing touchdown in the last two games.

On the next drive, Indiana State was held up again, but this time coming from an interception from SDSU cornerback Dalys Beanum. Beanum’s interception continued South Dakota State’s streak of intercepting at least one pass in every game of the season so far.

The turnover set up the offense in great field position, where Davis would strike again with a 10-yard touchdown rush to push the lead to 21-0. Stiegelmeier said Davis finished the game early and was taken out due to a “precaution” after an injury he suffered two weeks ago against NDSU. Davis finished the game with 37 rushing yards on seven carries and two touchdowns.

After being down 21 points early in the second quarter, the Sycamores finally found the end zone after a 25-yard touchdown pass to receiver Harry Van Dyne from quarterback Cade Chambers.

This would be the only time Indiana State would score for the rest of the game.

However, the Jacks would strike back with a touchdown themselves, this time an 11-yard score to receiver Jadon Janke. Janke finished with two catches for 20 yards and a score. The other Janke twin, Jaxon caught the football five times for 83 yards in the game.

With Just 57 seconds left in the first half, Gronowski marched the Jacks down the field 65 yards before finding tight end Michael Morgan in the end zone for a 2-yard touchdown with just seconds left on the clock. By halftime, the score was 35-7 and the game was essentially put out of reach.

all-American tight end Tucker Kraft made his second game appearance since his injury early in week one against Iowa. Kraft scored a touchdown of the game early in the third quarter on a 21-yard pass from Gronowski. Kraft was targeted five times and caught each ball for a total of 59 yards and one touchdown.

Backup running back Amar Johnson took charge after Davis’s exit and scored the final touchdown of the game on a two-yard rush. Johnson finished the night with 10 carries for 78 yards and one touchdown. after his score put the Jacks up 49-7 in the third quarter, starters got the rest of the day off.

“I always got to give (credit) to my o-line, making my job easier every day and every game and even at practice,” Johnson said. “They just dominated (Indiana State’s) d-line today and that’s all I got to say, congrats to them.”

With defensive leader Adam bock still out with an injury, Jason Freeman stepped up and led the team with 10 total tackles on the day. Saiveon Williamson brought in four solo tackles and one assisted tackle during the game as well as bringing the total game tackles for the Jacks to 55.

SDSU will travel to the UNI-Dome in Cedar Falls, Iowa to take on the University of Northern Iowa, a team that beat the Jackrabbits on Hobo Day last year.