Jackrabbits open season by breaking records


Members of the Jacks defense overpower P.J. Fulmore (3), a running back for the Dukes, at the season opener Aug. 31. SDSU beat Duquesne 51-13.

TRENTON ABREGO Sports Reporter

BROOKINGS—Records were broken Thursday night when senior wide receiver Jake Wieneke led South Dakota State over the Duquesne Dukes in a 51-13 victory as he became the schools’ career reception leader.

Jake Wieneke started the 2017 season with a game where he caught six passes for 75 yards and set a career single game-high with four touchdowns. 

“It’s definitely an honor, there’s been a lot of great receivers that have come through this program,” Wieneke said.

Junior quarterback Taryn Christion also tied a career high with five touchdown passes. Including a game-long pass of 57 yards to junior wide receiver Adam Anderson. Christion threw for 254 yards and had one interception.

Anderson contributed to the passing attack with a team-high 81 yards on just three receptions. Dallas Goedert had 43 yards on two receptions.

Not only did Christion propel the Jackrabbits through the air, but he also made an impact in the game on the ground. Christion gained 96 yards on just three attempts, including a career-high 90-yard rush.

The Jacks as a team rushed for 301 yards. Sophomore running back Mikey Daniel rushed for 63 yards on 14 attempts, while both senior Brady Mengarelli and junior Isaac Wallace found the end zone for SDSU.

Kane Louscher, a senior fullback, scored his first career touchdown on a nine-yard reception from Taryn Christion.

“When we kind of drew that play up in practice, I just had a feeling we were going to get it to him in that game, so it was exciting,” Christion said. “I was definitely geeked up going and celebrating with him in the end zone, it was just a fun time and it’s been a long time coming for him.”

Offensively, the Jackrabbits out-gained the Dukes by 609 yards to 259 yards. In the red-zone, the Jacks converted on all seven of their opportunities.

The Jacks held sophomore running back A.J Hines to 34 yards on 13 attempts. Hines was the Jerry Rice Award winner last season, as he was the most outstanding freshman in the FCS.

“I knew that would be a key point for them. We had new receivers and new quarterback coming in, we knew they would key on him,” Duquesne Head Coach Jerry Schmitt said.

Redshirt freshman linebacker Logan Backhaus recorded his first-career interception off of Tommy Stuart that set up the Jackrabbits just outside of their 20-yard line. The Jacks found the end zone on the very next play as Christion found Wieneke for a 22-yard connection.

Senior safety Nick Farina led the Jacks with three solo tackles and assisted in two more tackles. Senior Kellen Soulek and sophomore Austin Barrett both recorded sacks for the Jackrabbits.

Mid-way through the third quarter, the game became out of hand and the Jacks sat their starters to avoid unnecessary injuries.

Senior quarterback Dalton Douglas took over the second squad duties as he completed four passes for 54 yards.

SDSU played a number of true freshman in the game including defensive end Daniel Callender and tight end Skyler Cavanaugh. Linebacker Noah Urbanek also played a big role as a freshman.

“I think they did very well for their first game,” Head Coach Stiegelmeier said.

Fans’ high hopes for SDSU was on full display as the student section was filled to the brim and the official attendance was 12,218.

For Duquesne, quarterback Tommy Stuart had 175 yards and two touchdowns. Stuart connected with Kareem Coles and Nehari Crawford for touchdowns. Chavas Rawlins led the receiving corps for the Dukes with 83 yards.

“[The Jacks] are every bit as good as advertised and ranked,” Schmitt said.

Next week, the Jacks will travel to Bozeman, Montana to face the Montana State Bobcats Sept. 9 at 7 p.m.