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

Bison top Jackrabbits in Dakota Marker game


To much dismay of South Dakota State football fans, the Dakota Marker now belongs to the North Dakota State Bison after the Bison won 21-17.

The Fargodome was packed with 18,846 fans excited to watch the 15th annual Dakota Marker game. It featured two of the top three ranked teams in the country and it was a back-and-forth affair throughout the afternoon.  

NDSU’s (4-0) victory was due over SDSU (2-1) was the performance of senior quarterback Easton Stick and a stout defense.

Stick completed  9-of-20 passes for 182 yards with an interception, but the senior stepped up when it counted. He accounted for all three of the Bison scores and added 63 yards on the ground including multiple third-down conversions.

“He found the scramble lanes we gave up and took advantage of it,” senior defensive end Ryan Earith said.

The Jackrabbit defense could not stop the Bison. The Bison were able to gain first down yardage twice on the final possession and kneel on the football to drain the final 1:23 from the game clock.

Besides the final two plays, Saturday’s game was a hard-fought contest.

Just as they had in their two most recent meetings with the Bison (2016 FCS Quarterfinals and 2017 regular season), the Jackrabbits got out to an early lead.

SDSU senior quarterback Taryn Christion connected with sophomore wide receiver Cade Johnson on a swing pass to give the Jacks a 7-0 lead. The score capped off a 10-play, 89-yard drive that took more than six minutes off the clock.

An interception in the end zone by Bison cornerback Jalen Allison ended a drive when the Jackrabbits were threatening to go up by two scores.

“It was a little bit different look than we were expecting,” Chirstion said, “But I just have to see that guy rotating.”

The Bison answered with a pair of second-quarter touchdown passes from senior quarterback Easton Stick.

A 22-yard scramble by Stick on third-and-21 set up a 17-yard touchdown connection with tight end Ben Ellefson on the following play to even the score at seven at the 13:14 mark of the second quarter.

Later in the second quarter, a 41-yard touchdown reception by senior wide receiver Darrius Shepherd gave the Bison a 14-7 lead heading into halftime. Shepherd recorded a career-high 118 yards receiving on five receptions.

A 39-yard Chase Vinatieri field goal pulled the Jackrabbits within four and a 61-yard touchdown scamper from senior running back Isaac Wallace pushed the Jacks into the lead, 17-14, entering the fourth quarter.

A five-yard rushing touchdown by Stick with 13:00 left on the clock pushed the Bison ahead for good as the SDSU offense could not find an answer in the final quarter.

Christion finished 19-for-29 passing with 202 yards, one touchdown, and one interception while Wallace led the way for the Jacks on the ground with 112 yards on nine carries. It was the first time in Wallace’s career that he surpassed 100 yards rushing in back-to-back games (192 yards on five carries against Arkansas Pine Bluff).

Defensively, junior linebacker Christian Rozeboom led the Jackrabbits with 12 total tackles. Redshirt freshman Krockett Krolikowski added seven tackles including 1.5 sacks.

While they may not have come out on top on the scoreboard in this game, the Jackrabbit football season is far from over and according to SDSU head coach John Stiegelmeier, they look ready to move on.

“I’ll tell you what, there is a hunger in our guys’ eyes after this game,” Stiegelmeier said.  “It was fun to see that.”

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