The Coyote football team faced the North Dakota State Bison in Fargo on Sept. 30. This matchup was the Bison’s homecoming game and the Coyotes defeated the No. 2 Bison 24-19.
USD scored early in the first quarter with a 50-yard pass from sophomore quarterback Aidan Bouman to junior wide receiver Carter Bell. Sophomore kicker Will Leyland secured the extra point, making the score 7-0 with 11:23 left in the first.
NDSU responded with senior kicker Griffin Crosa kicking a 37-yard field goal at the tailend of the first quarter, putting the score at 7-3.
The Coyotes scored two touchdowns in the second quarter, the first coming from freshman running back Keyondray Jones with an 8-yard run. This was Jones’s first touchdown in his Coyote career.
Bouman found Bell once again to complete a 52-yard pass, along with two extra points from Leyland, which put the score at 21-3 going into halftime.
The Bison managed to add points to the game after halftime by a 7-yard run from sophomore quarterback Cole Payton and an extra point from Crosa with 7:23 to go in the third quarter.
NDSU scored three more points by a 26-yard field goal from Crosa with 11:10 left in the fourth quarter.
USD also kicked a field goal from 37-yards back, courtesy of Leyland, to bring the score to 24-13 with 2:49 remaining.
The Bison squeezed in a last-minute touchdown with 36 seconds remaining in the game by a 2-yard pass to senior tight end Joe Stoffel from senior quarterback Cam Miller.
The game ended 24-19 with USD upsetting NDSU, who was ranked second in the Missouri Valley Football Conference (MVFC).
In the game, Bouman finished 10 for 12 passing with 168 yards and two touchdowns.
Bell, along with the two touchdown grabs, had five catches for 124 yards. This performance from Bell awarded him the MVFC Offensive Player of the Week.
Redshirt sophomore running back Nate Thomas added 14 carries for 49 yards on the ground for the Coyotes.
Junior defensive back Dennis Shorter was tied for total tackles in the game with 13 in total. Shorter also secured his first interception of the season as he picked off Miller for the first time this season. Shorter was also named the MVFC Defensive Player of the Week for his performance.
The Bison were led by Miller who was 18 for 25 passing with 159 yards and a touchdown and interception. He also led the Bison on the ground with 12 carries for 65 yards.
The Bison led in total offense with 348 yards to the Coyotes 269 but the Coyotes averaged 7.1 yards per play while the Bison were held to 5.4. The Bison also beat the Coyotes in time of possession and plays ran.
Despite the Coyote’s defense being on the field for more than half the game they did not allow the Bison to score more than 20 points and they were able to get the only turnover of the game. This was the first time NDSU has been held below 20 points since Nov. 6, 2021, where they lost to the Jackrabbits 27-19.
After the upset victory over the Bison, the Coyotes are now No. 15 in the FCS Stats Perform Poll.
The Coyotes will be back on the turf Saturday, Oct. 7 for the Dakota Days game against the Murray State Racers starting at 2 p.m.
Photo Credit: Tavin Carncross | The Volante