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

Football Prepares for Youngstown State

Jacks travel for final road game after NDSU win
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Evan Patzwald
Wide receiver Griffin Wilde catches a pass in the Jacks’ 33-16 win over NDSU Saturday at Dana J. Dykhouse Stadium. The win tied the Dakota Marker series at 10 wins apiece.

SDSU will make a trip to Youngstown, Ohio to play Youngstown State at Stambaugh Stadium at 11 a.m. Nov. 11. The game can be watched on ESPN+ and listened to on Jackrabbits Sports Network.

The Jacks have had a successful season so far, earning a record of 9-0 overall, 6-0 in conference play. Travelling to Stambaugh Stadium, the Jacks will play the Penguins in their second to last game of the regular season.

When the Jacks last met up with the Penguins, they controlled the game with an end score of 47-16, but the Penguins are on a three-game win streak and look to add to it.

YOUNGSTOWN STATE

Youngstown State sits in the fifth ranked spot in the Missouri Valley Football Conference. They are 4-2 in their conference matchups and 6-3 overall, finding themselves ranked No. 22 nationally.

They are on a three-game win streak, which started with their homecoming game against Illinois State defeating them 41-38. The Penguins followed the homecoming win with a victory against Missouri State at home 44-28, they then hit the road and beat Indiana State 19-7.

Four games into the 2022 season, Mitch Davidson took over the quarterback role as a junior at half time against North Dakota State. Davidson is in his senior year and has been having a successful season so far.

The senior from Salem, Ohio has passed for 2,169 yards this season and has thrown for 15 touchdowns with three interceptions on the year. Davidson has a passing percentage of 70.54, he also has 43 rushing attempts with 93 yards and five touchdowns.

He is currently the fourth most efficient quarterback in the FCS with a passing efficiency of 164.19.

Senior running back, Tyshon King leads the Penguins running game with 722 yards on 130 carries, leading the team with nine touchdowns. Another big component to their running game is senior Dra Rushton, who has rushed for 468 yards on 110 carries, with seven touchdowns.

Davidson has three big targets in his passing game all three having over 400 receiving yards. Senior Bryce Oliver leads the receivers with 664 yards on 42 receptions, finding the endzone five times this season. After missing the last season due to injury, junior C.J. Charleston has 459 yards on 28 receptions, making his way to the endzone three times.

The final of the three main targets is Max Tomczak, a sophomore from Illinois. Tomczak trails Charleston by 31 yards, having 428 yards receiving on 35 receptions with one touchdown on the year.

Defensively, Alex Howard leads the Penguins with 58 total tackles followed closely by Greg Benton Jr. with 53. The two have 7.5 tackles for loss a piece and Dylan Wudke trails by half a tackle with seven tackles for loss.

Defensive back Troy Jakubec is a magnet for the ball with four interceptions on the season leading the team in that category. Devin Lee leads the team in sacks with five and proves to be a problem for offensive lineman.

The Penguin offense ranks 12th in the FCS for scoring offense, while their defense sits at No. 40. They do sit at No. 2 for time of possession, which is something the Jacks will have to stop.

With their offense ranking 12th for scoring, head coach Jimmy Rogers credits the Penguins rushing game to their offensive line. “I think their o-line is really good, they’re explosive, they stay on blocks, they pick up stunts well, they communicate well,” said Rogers.

Rogers also credits their backfield with their ability to run through and break tackles. He knows that they must stay balanced and not to focus too much on the run or pass because they will use it to their advantage.

SOUTH DAKOTA STATE

Jackrabbits do not plan to slow down this season as they have been proving themselves to be a strong contender to return to the championship game. South Dakota State sits at No. 4 in scoring offense, while they are at the top as No. 1 for scoring defense.

Jackrabbits look to finish undefeated and use it as momentum into the playoffs.

Running back Isaiah Davis is a powerhouse and leads the rushing attack with 867 yards on 126 carries. Davis leads the team in touchdowns with 10 on the season.

The other two running backs, Amar and Angel Johnson have also benefited the Jacks rushing game as Amar has run for 555 yards on 85 carries, finding the endzone three times. Angel has rushed for 289 yards on 30 carries and has found himself in the endzone four times this season.

Although quarterback Mark Gronowski has thrown for 1,741 yards and 18 touchdowns, he is not far behind Angel Johnson with rushing yards. Gronowski has rushed for 242 yards on 53 carries, making it to the endzone six times.

Gronowski is also the most efficient quarterback in the FCS with a pass efficiency of 178.81, three spots above Youngstowns’ Davidson.

The Jacks have a strong receiver room with Gronowski’s three main targets having all over 200 yards receiving. Jaxon Janke leads the three with 537 yards, followed by his twin Jadon with 324 and Griffin Wilde trailing not far behind with 283 yards.

Tight end Zach Heins has also been a big component to the Jacks’ offense with 223 yards on 17 receptions, finding the endzone four times.

The Jacks’ defense has proven itself worthy of the number one spot each week. Leading the defense in total tackles is Jason Freeman with 60, followed by Isaiah Stalbird with 49 and Saiveon Williamson with 48.

Cade Terveer leads the team defensively in two categories, totaling six tackles for loss and five sacks. Freeman not only leads the team in tackles but also in interceptions with two.

With only two games left the Jacks are hoping to finish strong, not only with how they are playing but also with the number of fans coming to games.

“We have a special team right now and I hope people really appreciate it and hope people want to come out and support and stay consistent through the playoffs. What we experienced on Saturday is home field advantage at the highest degree,” Rogers said.

The Jacks will end their season at home against Missouri State Nov. 18.

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About the Contributors
Bosten Morehart, Asst. Sports Editor
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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    John BrachnaNov 9, 2023 at 8:56 am

    Let’s go Penguins 🐧!

    Reply