Sioux strike fast in winThe University of North Dakota’s offense didn’t spend a lot of time on the field in the first half. Three of the Sioux possessions lasted two minutes, producing three touchdowns and more than 240 yards of offense.
By: Wayne Nelson, Forum Communications Co.
GRAND FORKS — The University of North Dakota’s offense didn’t spend a lot of time on the field in the first half. Three of the Sioux possessions lasted two minutes, producing three touchdowns and more than 240 yards of offense.
Not all Sioux players were pleased with the quick strikes, which led to UND’s 49-24 win against Northwestern State on Saturday before 7,966 fans at the Alerus Center.
“I was talking to the hogs between kickoffs and I told them, ‘I’d appreciate it you guys run the ball a little bit.’ We needed a breather,” UND defensive lineman Ross Brenneman said.
The Sioux offensive linemen didn’t listen. Neither did Greg Hardin or Jake Landry.
UND’s offense didn’t let anyone catch their breath in the first half, turning in a performance that contained one highlight play after another.
UND racked up 524 of offense on a day that was highlighted by Hardin’s five catches from Landry for 171 yards and three touchdowns. The Landry-to-Hardin scoring plays covered 52, 76 and 33 yards. Hardin also solidified his role as the UND go-to player.
UND improved to 2-2 and it was the first Sioux game against a Division I FCS opponent this season. The game served as a measuring stick for UND to see how it will perform in its third season of FCS competition.
“When we play disciplined football, we’re pretty good,” UND coach Chris Mussman said. “When we don’t that’s the rollercoaster we’re trying to avoid.
“You saw a team that came out hungry. When you get the momentum going early, it builds throughout the day. I was pleased with our effort, particularly in the second quarter. That’s when we took control of the football game.”
Northwestern led 10-7 after Rumeall Morris’ 40-yard halfback option pass to Adrian Reese resulted in a touchdown. The touchdown came after Hardin scored on a 52-yard pass from Landry on UND’s second offensive play of the day.
The Sioux, however, hit a higher gear in a 21-point second quarter.
r Hardin scored on a 76-yard scoring pass from Landry, a score that capped a three-play, 91-yard drive.
r Chris Anderson then hauled in a 71-yard scoring pass over the middle from Landry midway through the quarter, a score that capped a two-play, 75-yard drive.
r And Hardin finished the quick-score blitz with a 33-yard scoring pass with 1:48 left in the first half, a one-play drive set up by Justin Belotti’s interception.
Landry, who threw for 300 yards, said he’s not surprised much by Hardin anymore.
“He can make an average play into a great play,” Landry said.
The quick scoring drives were just too much for Northwestern State, a team that a week earlier broke a 13-game losing streak.
“Our Achilles was giving up too many big plays against a good football team,” Northwestern coach Bradley Dale Peveto said. “They had a good game plan.”
Peveto, however, said he was a little surprised that UND came out throwing early.
NSU 10 0 14 0 — 24
UND 7 21 7 14 — 49
NSU–Jo Shaughnessy 28 FG
UND–Greg Hardin 52 pass from Jake Landry (Zeb Miller kick)
NSU–Adrian Reese 40 pass from Rumeall Morris (Shaughnessy kick)
UND–Hardin 76 pass from Landry (Miller kick)
UND–Chris Anderson 71 pass from Landry (Miller kick)
UND–Hardin 33 pass from Landry (Miller kick)
UND–Josh Murray 74 run (Miller kick)
NSU–Sterli Endsley 5 pass from Paul Harris (Shaughnessy kick)
NSU–T.C. Henry 1 run (Shaughnessy kick)
UND–Jake Miller 1 run (Z. Miller kick)
UND–Murray 60 punt return (Miller kick)
TEAM STATISTICS NSU UND
First downs 21 23
Rushes-yards 31-90 41-224
Passing yards 308 300
Comp.-Att.-Int. 23-47-1 13-21-0
Total yards 398 524
Fumbles-lost 2-0 0-0
Penalties-yards 10-87 7-85
Punts-Avg. 7-43.9 5-40.8
RUSHING: NUS, Sterli Endsley 12-66, Sidney Riley 3-18, Paul Harris 10-15, Rumeall Morris 4-2, T.C. Henry 1-2, Tyler Wolfe 1-minus 13. UND, Josh Murray 14-121, Jake Miller 13-49, Jake Landry 8-27, Brent Goska 4-20, Drew Daggett 1-7.
PASSING: NSU, Harris 19-36-0 247, Wolfe 3-10-1 21, Morris 1-1-0 40. UND, Landry 13-21-0 300.
RECEIVING: NSU, Adrian Reese 7-123, Bradley Brown 6-35, Henry 3-100, Phillip Harvey 3-11, Endsley 2-11, Jake Bryan 1-14, Justin Aldredge 1-13. UND, Greg Hardin 5-177, Ryan Dressler 4-29, Chris Anderson 2-75, Josh Murray 1-17, Seth Wisthoff 1-2.
Nelson is the Sports Editor of The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead, which is owned by Forum Communications Co.