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 start season 3-0

Joclyn Haven
Isaiah Davis carries the ball in the Jacks’ 70-7 win Saturday at Target Field in Minneapolis, MN. The game had 18,174 fans in attendance.

The South Dakota State football team has concluded its nonconference schedule with a record of 3-0 and will now begin Missouri Valley Football Conference action Sept. 30.  

Including the playoffs, the Jackrabbits have now won their last eight nonconference games dating back to last year and have extended their overall win streak to 17 straight.  

So far this season, SDSU has shown why they are the No. 1 team in the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS). Starting off with a 45-7 victory over Western Oregon, the Jackrabbit defense managed to intercept the Wolves three times, resulting in scores from both the offense and the defense. 

After the impressive week 1 game, the Jacks faced the No. 3 ranked Montana State Bobcats. After going down early 10-0 in the first half, the Jackrabbits stormed back, scoring a late touchdown combined with a replay review that would give the Jacks the 20-16 win. 

Most recently, the Jacks strolled into Target Field and dominated in all three phases of the game, cruising to a 70-7 victory over Drake. In a game that saw nine different Jackrabbits score, they put up the most points in a game since 2018, a 90-6 victory over Arkansas-Pine Bluff. 

The Jackrabbit offense has had an efficient start to the season, averaging 454 yards per game, and scoring 19 touchdowns through 3 games. But there could be an argument that the defense has been even more impressive, allowing just 10 points and 258 yards per game.  

Individually, quarterback Mark Gronowski has thrown eight touchdowns with only one interception, 531 passing yards and another 56 yards and three touchdowns on the ground. 

Amar Johnson has been the leading rusher so far for the Jacks, with 180 yards and a score, while Isaiah Davis is second with 162 yards and one touchdown run. It’s been a quiet start this season for senior running back Isaiah Davis; however, two blowout wins haven’t allowed him to stay on the field for most of those games. Sophomore tailback Angel Johnson has seen a lot more action in the second half of those games and he has done well, running the ball 15 times for 147 yards and two touchdowns. 

Jaxon Janke leads the team in receiving so far, having caught 13 passes for 154 yards and a touchdown. One man that’s made a name for himself in the first few games of the season is true freshman wide receiver Griffin Wilde. The Sioux Falls native took over Jadon Janke’s spot in his absence and has had seven catches for 146 yards and three touchdowns. Wilde has caught a touchdown in every game to start this season and has had arguably the biggest touchdown so far with his late in the game score to beat Montana State.  

Jadon Janke has only played in one game because of  an injury, but he will be returning at the start of conference play.

 “I’m going to be excited to get Jadon [Janke] back come UND,” SDSU coach Jimmy Rogers said. “He will be ready.” 

With the nonconference schedule over, Missouri Valley Football Conference play begins. It will be another tough schedule for the Jackrabbits.  

According to the most recent coaches’ poll, four of the eight conference opponents on their schedule are ranked in the top 25 in No. 2 North Dakota State, No. 13 Southern Illinois, No. 14 University of North Dakota and No. 24 Youngstown State. Along with those four, Northern Iowa is hanging just out of the top 25. 

The Jackrabbits will play No. 14 North Dakota, Saturday Sept. 30 at Dana J. Dykhouse Stadium. Kickoff is slated for 2 p.m. 

“We have a lot of talent, but we need to prepare and be at our best every week,” Rogers said. “The Missouri Valley [Football Conference] is hard to win in and anybody can beat you.” 

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All The Collegian Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *