Coyote football preps for tough test in North Dakota
7 mins read

Coyote football preps for tough test in North Dakota

Twenty-one points. That’s how much USD was down at the start of the fourth quarter before making a massive comeback to take down Weber State in double overtime during their first home game of the season Saturday afternoon.

With 10:21 left, the Coyotes scored to make it 42-28. Then, with 6:51 left they scored again to make it 42-35. Finally, with just 27 seconds left, junior quarterback Chris Streveler found sophomore wide out Shamar Jackson for a 26-yard touchdown to even the game at 42.

Weber State threw an interception on the ensuing drive and the Coyotes ran out the clock to head into overtime.

USD opened the first overtime with possession. On third and seven, Streveler found Jackson again for a 10-yard touchdown to put USD up 49-42.

On Weber State’s OT possession they were able to find the end zone on a 25-yard touchdown pass.

The Wildcats got the first crack at the end zone in the second overtime. USD forced a three-and-out and Weber State lined up for a field goal. The 36-yard try was no good.

The Coyotes took the field only needing a field goal to seal the victory. Two runs from senior running back Trevor Bouma and one from Streveler weren’t enough to get a first down. This brought on senior kicker Miles Bergner. Bergner nailed the 34-yard kick to give the Coyotes a 52-49 victory.

This comeback came after the opening quarter saw the Coyotes go down 21-0 with Weber State running only one play. A 63-yard interception return off of Streveler opened the scoring. The Wildcats then capitalized off sophomore wide receiver Tacari Carpenter’s fumble, with a six-yard touchdown pass. Up 14-0, Weber State was relentless, returning a Streveler fumble to put them up 21-0 not even halfway into the first quarter. The Coyotes would fight back from the 21-point deficit to go into halftime down 28-21.

In the second half, the Coyotes faltered, giving Weber State another 21-point lead going into the fourth quarter. Despite going down by 21 two separate times throughout the game, the Coyotes were able to come back.

That resiliency was centered around the belief that they could win. After the game, Streveler noted the team’s confidence on the final drive of the fourth quarter.

“We all kind of huddled up and I looked in all the o-line’s eyes and I didn’t see any doubt,” Streveler said. “I didn’t see any doubt that we were going to have a chance to put a drive together.”

Streveler had a big game as the leader of the offense, running for 125 yards and two touchdowns and throwing for 173 yards and four touchdowns.

Those individual performances helped add to the team’s confidence that shined throughout the fourth quarter and overtime periods as the Coyotes fought to earn their first win of the season.

“When the game went to overtime, there was not a soul on our sideline that didn’t think that game was going to end up in the win column for us,” said Coyote head coach Bob Nielson.

The Coyotes now must change pace as they prepare to take on North Dakota. The Fighting Hawks are currently 0-2 on the season, but both loses were tightly contested. The then 19th ranked UND dropped their first game against Stony Brook 13-9. The next game, UND took on FBS opponent Bowling Green. The Fighting Hawks took Bowling Green right down to the wire, but a missed two point conversion spelled the end of UND as they fell 26-27.

Nielson understands that despite the 0-2 record, UND may be the most dangerous team the Coyotes have faced thus far.

“North Dakota is, I think, a good team that certainly has demonstrated to be a very good football team, a team that probably will challenge us in significantly more ways than Weber did,” Nielson said. “We have to play better than we did against Weber State to have a chance to win the football game.”

Senior running back Trevor Bouma, who carried the ball 36 times against Weber State for a game high 150 yards rushing, noted that for all the Coyotes did well, there is still a lot of room for improvement.

“Obviously the last game showed what our offense is capable of, but going back to the film you can still see there’s a lot of room for improvement,” Bouma said.

Despite transferring in this summer, Streveler has been able to acclimate quickly and become a force for the Coyote offense.

“Just coming in this summer, working out with these guys over the summer was huge. These guys love getting after it and I just tried to jump in and gel with it as much as I could just by getting after it with them,” Streveler said. “It all kind of starts there and then obviously you just kind of earn your stripes on the field and what not and just continue to build those relationships over the course of a season.”


Despite the excitement of the double OT win last weekend, Streveler recognizes that the team cannot dwell on it and must prepare to face the next opponent.

“Treat every week the same. It’s just business as usual this week just getting right back to business,” Streveler said. “You can savor the victory for 24 hours, then you just kind of wipe it clean and move on to the next game. I think that’s something I know I focus on and I know a lot of these guys are focused on.”

To come out on top against UND, the Coyotes must face one of their biggest weaknesses so far this season: turnovers.

“The turnovers are a big deal and we haven’t done a good job of taking care of the football in the first two weeks and haven’t done a good job of forcing turnovers in the first two weeks,” Nielson said. “That’s something we have to get corrected, because this week and as we move into the conference schedule winning the turnover margin is going to be a big part of having a chance to win the football game.”

USD travels to Grand Forks to take on the Fighting Hawks this Saturday. Kickoff is set for 4 p.m.

“One game at a time,” Streveler said. “We’ve got big goals this season and if we want to accomplish those goals then we’ve got to be focused every week.”