South Dakota State University's Independent Student-Run Newspaper Since 1885

The Collegian

South Dakota State University's Independent Student-Run Newspaper Since 1885

The Collegian

South Dakota State University's Independent Student-Run Newspaper Since 1885

The Collegian

Jacks emerge victorious after second half comeback

Nail-biter in Brookings sends the Bobcats back to Bozeman
Evan Patzwald
Mark Gronowski (11) drops back to pass during a football game against Montana State at Dana J. Dykhouse Stadium in Brookings, S.D. on Saturday, Sept. 9.

The FCS game of the week did not disappoint the loud and sold-out crowd at the Dana J. Dykhouse Stadium for the ranked matchup of the No.1 South Dakota State Jackrabbits and the No.3 ranked Montana State Bobcats. This special prime-time game has added to the recent Jacks/Cats football rivalry.

With under 10 seconds left on the clock, Montana State quarterback Sean Chambers threw a touchdown pass to give the Bobcats the lead. But it was called for review.

As 19,331 fans stood with their jaws on the bleachers, the officials determined the receiver didn’t have possession of the ball until he was out of bounds.

“My heart just sank when I thought he was in.” senior safety Cale Reeder said in the postgame press conference. “But then, after seeing the review, saw it, looked like an incompletion, so just had to trust the refs to make the correct call.”

With just one second remaining and an additional 15-yards due to an unsportsmanlike conduct call on Bobcat head coach Brent Vigen, the Cats found themselves nearly half the field away from the endzone. The ball was thrown to a crowd of black and white jerseys, yet still fell incomplete, giving the Jacks their second win in a row against Montana State.

Though the Rabbits took home the ‘W’, Montana State had their way early, going into halftime 10-0 Cats which was the first time SDSU has gone into halftime scoreless since 2015.

“Really we shouldn’t have even put our defense in that situation,” said quarterback Mark Gronowski, “I mean, we played really poorly in the first half and we came back battling in the second. I’m just glad our defense ended up stopping them and we came out with the win.”

After a fumble from Gronowski early in the game, Montana State struck the board first with a rushing touchdown from Chambers, who went 3/9 on the night with 53 yards and an interception. Though SDSU held on the passing game, Chambers rushed for 90 yards and one touchdown on 20 attempts.

MSU would add three to their lead when Brendan Hall put on in from 27 yards. Hall went an impressive 3/3 on the night with a go-ahead field goal late in the game right in front of the SDSU student section.

Coming out of halftime, SDSU looked like a new team.

“We knew that we faced adversity before. We’ve done it, we came back from it.” explained Gronowski, “And we just knew that we just had to believe in each other and believe in ourselves that we’re gonna come back and finish this game.”

He finally put the Rabbits on the board in the third quarter with a 20-yard rush, sparking a fire that ignited the crowd: the Jacks were back.

Gronowski threw 22 passes the whole night, completing 13 for 184 yards and two scores. On the ground, the Illinois native rushed for 26 yards and a touchdown.

Isaiah Davis led the team in rushing yards with 66 on the day while Amar Johnson followed closely with 47 of his own on just five carries.

Like the Western Oregon game, true freshman Griffin Wilde had the most receiving yards with 49 along with the go-ahead touchdown which ultimately sealed the game for the Jacks.

SDSU would score first in the fourth quarter with a touchdown from Zach Heins, who caught two passes for 25 yards and a score.

After two field goals and two minutes on the clock, the Jacks were down three and needed something. Magic Mark Gronowski pulled the rabbit out of his hat as SDSU scored a touchdown in just two plays and 70 yards out.

Saiveon Williamson and Colby Huerter have picked up the slack with star linebacker Adam Bock still sidelined. Both guys finished the game with 10 tackles each, leading the team. Reeder followed with 8 tackles while getting an interception late in the game.

After the close call, the Jacks will travel up to Target Field for a game against Drake on Sept. 15. Kickoff is set at 2:30 p.m.

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About the Contributors
Marshall Minihan, Sports Editor
Sports Editor Marshall Minihan is a junior at South Dakota State University and is from Canton, South Dakota. He majors in journalism and minors in communication studies and recreation administration.
Evan Patzwald
Evan Patzwald, Design Editor
Design Editor Evan Patzwald is a senior advertising major from Sioux Falls. He has minors in journalism, graphic design and social media.

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