Jacks say farewell to Coughlin-Alum with victory

AUSTIN HAMM Sports Editor

Christion leads SDSU to upset No. 2 Illinois State, hands Red Birds first MVFC loss

The Jackrabbit football team sent Coughlin-Alumni Stadium out in style, as they topped No. 2 Illinois State 25-20 in the final game at what has been the home of South Dakota State football for over fifty years.

It was the Red Birds first conference loss of the year, and just their second overall. Their previous loss had been in the first week of the season at Iowa, currently ranked No. 5 in the FBS College Football Playoff rankings. The win put the Jacks at 7-2 for the year.

“In the locker room, there wasn’t the feeling like so many times there is after a big win, that we’ve arrived,” SDSU Head Coach John Stiegelmeier said. “The feeling was kind of well done, it’s kind of what we planned, let’s keep our focus on the goals.”

Zach Lujan got the start at quarterback for SDSU, but threw an interception on the second drive of the game and gave way to freshman sensation Taryn Christion, who threw for 307 yards and two scores while adding 67 yards on the ground, including a 10-yard touchdown run. 




“We really talked about putting a good mark on this stadium, about leaving it with a good mark, and on top of senior night, that was really great to be able to do,” Christion said.

Lujan would come in to throw one pass when Christion was shaken up late in the second quarter, and made it count with a 14-yard touchdown pass to Jake Wieneke, who also had a 74-yard catch and 




run score from Christion in the second half as he totaled 104 yards on four catches for the day.

ISU was led by All-MVFC quarterback Tre Roberson, who threw for 317 yards and three touchdowns along with rushing for 80 yards on 11 carries.

 Though this will be the last time the Jacks take the field at Coughlin-Alumni and the crowd may not have been at record breaking levels, Stiegelmeier knew the value of the fans in one of the Jacks biggest wins this year.

“Great crowd tonight. I don’t care about the numbers, but they were into the game,” Stiegelmeier said. “They make a difference with the energy and the noise, so I really appreciate the Jackrabbits that showed up to the last game at a really special place at South Dakota State.”

The Jackrabbits will play next in Vermillion on Saturday against USD in an already sold out Dakotadome. The Coyotes are 5-4 on the season and 3-3 in MVFC play, but do own a win over NDSU in the Fargodome.

“It’s always exciting during the week, talking about those guys and what they’re doing,” said senior defensive back JeRyan Butler. “They are playing well, but I have no doubt that we will go down there and win and take care of business.”