SDSU Strong

South Dakota State running back Pierre Strong, Jr., (20) breaks through for a long gain as Southern Illinois University cornerback Madre Harper (25) tries for the stop in the second quarter of their Missouri Valley Conference football game Saturday. South Dakota State won the Hobo Day homecoming game 28-10.

BROOKINGS — J'Bore Gibbs threw a pair of touchdown passes to Jaxon Janke to break open the game in the fourth quarter and South Dakota State beat Southern Illinois 28-10 on Saturday in a Missouri Valley Football League opener.

The Salukis (2-3) led 10-9 at halftime after Kare Lyles passed 19 yards to Nigel Kilby with 12 seconds left in the second quarter. But Pierre Strong burst through the line for the go-ahead score on a 64-yard run midway through the third quarter. Strong, who had four runs of over 25 yards, finished with a season-high 229 yards on 20 carries for the Jackrabbits (4-1), ranked third in the FCS.

Gibbs threw a 58-yard TD pass to Cade Johnson in the first quarter and Chase Vinatieri, nephew of NFL kicker Adam Vinatieri, had a 39-yard field goal and finished the game with the Jackrabbits' record for career points via kicking at 322.

USD wins homecoming, blanks Indiana State, 38-0

VERMILLION — Austin Simmons ran for three touchdowns and threw for a fourth as South Dakota shutout Indiana State, 38-0 in the Missouri Valley Conference opener for both schools Saturday.

The shutout was the first in a Dakota Days homecoming game since 2004, when the Coyotes blanked Augustana, 23-0.

Simmons capped a 10-play, 75-yard opening drive with a 4-yard run for his first touchdown. Kai Henry broke free for a 42-yard scoring run in the first quarter and Simmons raced 37 yards for a score to open the second as the Coyotes (2-3, 1-0) built a 24-0 advantage at intermission.

Simmons finished 15 of 25 for 210 yards with an interception and a 29-yard touchdown pass. He carried nine times for 138 yards.

Gunnar See was 23 of 38 for 239 yards and an interception for Indiana State (2-3, 0-1).

South Dakota forced eight Indiana State punts and the Sycamores turned the ball over on downs twice in the second half.

Dixie State thumps BHSU in St. George

ST. GEORGE, UTAH — The Black Hills State University football team scored first, but ultimately fell to Dixie State University, 55-22, on Saturday afternoon.

The Yellow Jackets (1-4, 1-4 RMAC) got the ball first, and had an impressive drive. They took 4:26 off the clock with a 14 play, 65 yard drive, culminating in a 29-yard Sean Dorney field goal, putting the visitors ahead, 3-0. The Trailblazers (4-1, 4-1 RMAC) responded with a field goal of their own with 8:07 remaining in the first quarter.

As time wound down in the first period, DSU had driven into Yellow Jacket territory. On their first play of the second quarter, quarterback Keaton Mott found Chase Hess for a 32-yard touchdown to give the home team their first lead of the afternoon. The Trailblazers would score on their next possession as well to lead, 17-3, with 9:43 to play in the half.

The Yellow Jackets used over five minutes on their next drive, but stalled at the Trailblazer's 34-yard line. Jacob Parks stepped up to take try a 52-yard field goal, just slipping it over the crossbar to narrow the lead to 17-6.

The two teams traded scores on their next possessions. Dixie State's backup quarterback, Kody Wilstead rushed for a 12-yard touchdown, before the BHSU responded with Chance Eben hooking up with Isaac Jefferson for a 25-yard touchdown reception. The Yellow Jackets trailed, 24-13, with 1:32 to play in the period, but using two big plays, the Trailblazers were able to move down the field and score with 24 seconds left on the clock. DSU would enter halftime leading 31-13.

Dixie State dominated the second half with three scores, and the Jackets answered when Eben led the team down the field, eventually finding Jordan Pace for a 19-yard score to make the score 52-22.

Eben finished with 248 passing yards and threw for his first two career touchdowns. Kielar Harpham caught nine balls for 89 yards. Defensively, Josh Gurnaby and Hunter Stephens led the Yellow Jackets with eight tackles, while Bailey Rosenstrauch had seven.

The Yellow Jackets will next return home for The Battle for the Homestake Trophy. BHSU will host South Dakota School of Mines Saturday at 6 p.m.

Eagles come up short against Western

GUNNISON, Colo. --  Another strong game by junior quarterback Dalton Holst wasn't enough to put the Chadron State College football team over the top, as the Western Colorado Mountaineers held on for a 33-32 homecoming win  Saturday.

The Eagles accumulated 401 yards of total offense, and Holst was at least partly responsible for 323 of them, passing for 256 and rushing for 67 more to lead the Eagles in the ground attack. Holst was 21-for-36 passing with no turnovers, and averaged 8.4 yards per carry.

The signal-caller from Gilette, Wyoming, lobbed touchdown passes of 56, 14, and 6 yards, two to junior St. Thomas More graduate Cole Thurness and one to senior Tevon Wright.

CSC got on the board on its first possession when one of those passes by Holst sailed 30 yards in the air and was taken in by Thurness, who ran it in from the opponents' 30 for an official gain of 56 yards, just under four minutes into the game.

However the Mountaineers went on a 24-0 run the rest of the first and into the second quarters. 

The Eagles responded with 3:47 remaining in the first half, with Tyler Lewis punching a ball out from the Western running back's arms in the backfield, and Joel Carpenter scooping it up and returning it 47 yards to make it 24-12.

The Mountaineers' Chandler Davis his the second of his two field goals headed into halftime for a 27-12 lead.

In the second half, CSC made a comeback bid with 20 consecutive points. Touchdown passes to Wright and Thurness found paydirt, and another strike of 54 yards to Wright set up a scoring plunge by freshman Justin Cauley from one yard out.

A 32-27 lead and all the momentum seemed to favor an Eagles' win, however on the very next possession, Western quarterback Connor Desch found receiver Malcolm Wesley for a 47-yard touchdown reception.

On the Eagles' final drive, the Mountaineers earned their only three sacks of the day, coming on consecutive possessions. The stops forced a turnover on downs with approximately 1:30 left on the clock and the Eagles in possession of only one timeout.

Thurness came two yards shy of matching a season high, catching seven passes for 100 yards. Wright added 85 yards receiving.

Chadron State will try to regroup next Saturday, hosting Adams State University at noon.

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