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Bison QB Jensen thankful to reach FCS semifinals, 'get over that hump'

Photo by Dave Wallis/Forum Communications Co. North Dakota State quarterback Brock Jensen talks with Ryan Smith during the final minutes against James Madison during the second round of the FCS playoffs on Dec. 3 at the Fargodome.

FARGO - The 2010 season for Brock Jensen had a distraught ending on a snowy, red football field in eastern the part of Washington. It was a controversial fumble that was a routine subject of conversation for a few months with North Dakota State fans.

Trailing 38-31 to Eastern Washington in overtime, Jensen was near the goal line when he lost control of the ball. The replay determined there was insufficient evidence to overturn the call and the game ended with EWU players celebrating and Jensen on his hands and knees in disbelief.

Almost one year later, the Division I Football Championship Subdivision quarterfinals had a much different result for the sophomore quarterback. Combined with a hawking defense, he led the Bison to a 24-0 win over Lehigh at the Fargodome.

Instead of depression, there was elation.

"It was in the back of my mind, it lingers on," he said of last year's quarterfinal game. "Just to be able to get over that hump and just redeem yourself. I think that's the right word for it."

Jensen was 17 of 28 for 163 yards. He was more in control than last year's 12 of 24 against Eastern Washington when the Bison had a 31-24 lead, but couldn't hold it.

The win knocked off a second team goal, Jensen said. The first was to win the Missouri Valley Football Conference. The next one was to get farther than they did last year.

"Absolutely there's personal satisfaction," Jensen said. "It just feels really good and I couldn't do it without any of my teammates. They're the best and I wouldn't trade one of these guys for anybody."

NDSU now moves on to face Georgia Southern in the semifinals at 1:30 Saturday at the Fargodome. It will be aired on ESPNU. Montana travels to Sam Houston State (Texas) in the other semifinal Friday night.

"We put our heart and soul into this and to be one of four teams left is a special opportunity," Jensen said. "It's a great privilege."

Kolpack is a sports reporter for The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead, which is owned by Forum Communications Co.