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 win big in Twin Cities

SDSU football rolls past Drake at Target Field in Minneapolis
Evan Patzwald
Kevin Brenner (44) runs into the end zone for a touchdown against Drake Saturday, Sept. 16 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minn. SDSU scored 10 touchdowns in a big 70-7 win over the Bulldogs.

South Dakota State showed up and showed out for their third win of the season, against the University of Drake at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minn.

The Jacks finished the game scoring 70 points to the Bulldogs’ 7, the first time scoring over 60 points since 2018. Along with points, the SDSU’s 618 yard was the most since 2018 as well.

Drake came out of the gate hot, scoring a touchdown in the inaugural drive in just four plays, courtesy of two huge pass plays from quarterback Luke Bailey to Colin Howard. Bailey struggled throughout the game, throwing 29 passes and a touchdown with a completion percentage just over 55 percent.

Things looked good for the Bulldogs, but the score woke up the South Dakota State defense, which did not allow another score for the remainder of the game. Agent 0 Daeton McGaughey led the Jacks with 9 total tackles with Saiveon Williamson and Graham Spalding earning five each.

The Jackrabbits ran circles around Drake’s defense all game, scoring on their first two drives of the game. For the blue and gold, Isaiah ‘Touchdown’ Davis found the endzone first from a 23-yard pass from quarterback Mark Gronowski. The senior from Missouri ran the ball eight times for 77 yards with another 47 yards receiving and a score.

After a unsuccessful drive, the Bulldogs made the mistake of putting the ball in return man Tucker Large’s hands for an impressive 42-yard return, a mistake they made multiple times throughout the course of the game. With his four punt returns, Large picked up 149 yards with his longest being 61 yards.

Thanks to the long return from Large, the Jacks found themselves in great field position in which they capitalized on with another Gronowski touchdown pass, this time from 3 yards away to Kevin Brenner. His first touchdown of his career.

“It was just an awesome moment,” said Brenner. “Was not expecting to score a touchdown today.”

State would add on to their lead again on their first drive of the second quarter, the third touchdown pass from Gronowski who found tight end Zach Heins in the corner of the endzone. Though only targeted twice, Heins put up 21 yards and a score.

South Dakota State scored two more times in the second quarter, one on the ground from backup Amar Johnson and one in the sky to stand out freshman from Sioux Falls, South Dakota Griffin Wilde, his only catch of the game. Amar Johnson ended the night with 63 rushing yards and a score.

The defending FCS National Champions held the Bulldogs to just 10 rushing yards in the first half and 47 total rushing yards the entire game with Bailey leading the Bulldogs with 25 on the ground.

With four total touchdowns in the first half, Gronowski would add another, this time on the ground early in the second half from 5 yards out. But Magic Mark wasn’t done there. He added another touchdown to his already impressive stat line with a one-yard touchdown to Jaxon Janke to put the Jacks up by 42 points. Janke finished the game with 110 total yards, 85 yards receiving and one touchdown on seven targets.

Though head coach Jimmy Rogers pulled the starters out of the game midway through the third quarter, Gronowski finished with 226 yards on 18-25, six total touchdowns, five by air and one on the ground and an interception. The Illinois native was the first Jackrabbit quarterback since Taryn Christion in 2018 to have 5 passing touchdowns in a single game and he did it in two and a half quarters. The six total touchdowns were a career high for the 2022 FCS National Champion MVP.

“Individual accolades are great and all, but I mean it’s all kudos to the entire team just for giving the opportunities.,” said Gronowski postgame.

South Dakota State’s reserves would score three more times, all by the former high school teammates, Angel Johnson and Chase Mason. Angel Johnson went for 90 yards on four attempts with two touchdowns and Mason finished with 33 yards in the air, 69 yards on the ground and a score.

“We are really deep at running back,” said head coach Rogers. “When Angel touches the ball and every time he touches it, he goes 60-70 [yards], you can’t complain about that.”

South Dakota State University will not play until the last weekend of September due to a bye when they host the Fighting Hawks at Dana J. Dykhouse Stadium.

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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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