The South Dakota Coyotes football team overcame a rough start to defeat the North Dakota Fighting Hawks 14-10 Saturday afternoon at the DakotaDome.
North Dakota junior wide receiver Red Wilson took the opening kickoff to the house for a 99-yard touchdown, putting the Fighting Hawks up 7-0 after just 13 seconds..
On the next North Dakota possession, senior quarterback Tommy Schuster threw a deep ball down the sideline that was intercepted by sophomore defensive back Shahid Barros. The Coyotes started their second drive at their own 7-yard line.
The Coyotes drove all the way to the North Dakota 29-yard line, where junior running back Travis Theis was stuffed on the fourth down by the Fighting Hawks defense for a turnover on downs.
After a North Dakota punt, the Coyotes started on their own 10-yard line with 7:16 left in the second quarter. On the eighth play of the drive, Bouman threw to a wide open junior wide receiver Carter Bell.
Bell went on a foot race with the Fighting Hawks defense, where he was caught at the North Dakota one yard line and fumbled. This was recovered by the Fighting Hawks in the endzone.
With the ball, North Dakota drove down the field whilst eating up the time and added a 42-yard field goal from redshirt freshman kicker C.J. Elrichs as time expired in the second quarter. This gave the Fighting Hawks a 10-0 advantage.
The Coyotes have struggled offensively in the first half of games over the last four weeks. The Coyotes have scored a total of 13 points in the first halves of their last four games.
The Coyotes first possession of the second half was another turnover by the Coyotes as Bouman tried to connect with junior tight end JJ Galbreath but was intercepted by senior defensive back Devin Hembry.
The following Coyotes’ possession after the interception, they drove down the field until they reached the 2-yard line. From there, freshman running back Keyondray Jones punched in the Coyotes first touchdown. This put the Coyotes down 10-7.
After the Coyotes touchdown, the Fighting Hawks attempted a field goal from 46-yards out that went wide right.
With the first possession of the fourth quarter, the Coyotes started on their own 19-yard line. After multiple third down conversions, the Coyotes were on the North Dakota 10-yard line when redshirt freshman running back Charles Pierre Jr. received a pitch pass from Bouman and punched it into the endzone for a rushing touchdown. This put the Coyotes up 14-10 with 8:26 in the fourth quarter.
After two consecutive punts, North Dakota had the ball on their own 22-yard line with 3:20 left in the fourth.
North Dakota completed one first down to put them at their own 34-yard line. There, the Coyotes defense stood tall as Schuster’s pass was broken up by the Coyotes’ redshirt defensive lineman Mi’Quise Grace.
The Coyotes then chewed out the clock for their eighth win of the season and sixth win in Missouri Valley Football Conference play.
Bouman finished the game with 307 passing yards and one interception.
Theis led the game in rushing with 17 carries for 66 yards. Pierre Jr. had seven carries for 32 yards and a touchdown.
The Coyotes had two 100-yard receivers with Bell finishing the day off with seven catches for 126 yards and junior tight end JJ Galbreath finishing with five catches for 101 yards.
For the Fighting Hawks, Schuster finished with 116 passing yards and one interception of his own.
Junior running back Isaiah Smith led the Fighting Hawks in rushing with 10 carries for 58 yards.
Saturday’s game was also military appreciation day at the DakotaDome. Each branch was honored in a halftime show featuring the USD marching band.
This was the final regular season home game for the Coyotes this season. The Coyotes finished this year with a 5-1 record at home.
Next week, South Dakota will travel to Macomb, Illinois for a showdown with the Western Illinois Leathernecks for the last regular season game on Nov. 18 at 1 p.m.
Photo Credit: Tavin Carncross | The Volante