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Last-second pass gives South Dakota State Dakota Marker win over North Dakota State

FARGO -- South Dakota State needed to travel 80 yards in 2 minutes, 28 seconds on Saturday. It took the Jackrabbits 2:27. Taryn Christion's 2-yard touchdown pass to Jake Wieneke with 1 second remaining ended six years of Dakota Marker frustration...

North Dakota State's Bruce Anderson carries against South Dakota State's Christian Rozeboom Saturday, Oct. 15, 2016, at the Fargodome.David Samson / The Forum
North Dakota State's Bruce Anderson carries against South Dakota State's Christian Rozeboom Saturday, Oct. 15, 2016, at the Fargodome.David Samson / The Forum
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FARGO - South Dakota State needed to travel 80 yards in 2 minutes, 28 seconds on Saturday. It took the Jackrabbits 2:27.

Taryn Christion's 2-yard touchdown pass to Jake Wieneke with 1 second remaining ended six years of Dakota Marker frustration against North Dakota State. The 19-17 victory at Gate City Bank Field at the Fargodome also ended eight straight losses to NDSU, a streak that included two Division I FCS playoff games.

"My fourth time playing them, we lost the rest," Wieneke said. "It's nice to finally beat them."

It was the first loss after five wins for the Bison, who came in ranked No. 1 in the FCS coaches poll. It ended 14 straight NDSU victories dating back to a loss at home last season to the University of South Dakota.

That was the second-longest winning streak in Missouri Valley Football Conference history, taking second place to NDSU's 33 in a row from 2012-2014.

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"Losing sucks, plain and simple," said Bison quarterback Easton Stick, who lost for the first time in 14 games as a starter. "But it's something that's not going to define us. We'll go back, watch tape, learn from it and get better. That's the bottom line. We'll move forward and we'll get better."

It came down to the final drive, with the Jackrabbits taking over at their 20-yard line with 2:28 remaining.

SDSU overcame a first-and-20 situation after a holding call getting a first down on a Christion run to the Jackrabbits' 43-yard line. Later, a pass to Wieneke got 25 yards to the 11 with 21 seconds remaining.

After two incompletions, Christion's pass to Dallas Goedert on third down reached the 2-yard line with 5 seconds left, meaning the Marker came down to one fourth-and-1 play. Wieneke got open in the left corner of the end zone in a one-on-one matchup with cornerback Jalen Allison.

"They made a play at the end," said NDSU head coach Chris Klieman. "They have a great receiver who made that play. Like we said, losing is tough around here, it doesn't happen very often. But at the same time, you can't let a game beat you twice. We have to come back and have a great week of practice. I know the resolve of this football team will show. I'm proud of the way the guys competed, they played really yard."

It was the Jackrabbits who were the better second-half team, although it didn't start that way.

The Bison made it a two-possession lead taking the second half kickoff 76 yards in nine plays to go ahead 17-3. Stick did the damage with a 26-yard touchdown run and the Bison had the edge.

NDSU appeared to be on the verge of putting some serious distance on the Jackrabbits after stopping them on fourth down near midfield. But Bison running back King Frazier fumbled two plays later, and the Jacks took advantage of the turnover.

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Christion hit Goedert from 13 yards for the touchdown and it was quickly 17-10 with 5:26 left in the third quarter. The Jackrabbits had 280 yards of total offense at that point, yet finding the end zone wasn't easy.

For instance, they were stopped inside the 1-yard line on fourth down in the first quarter.

The SDSU defense, however, kept the Bison from a bigger lead. After the touchdown to start the second half, the Bison offense had three straight possessions without much production, which eventually led to a Chase Vinatieri 42-yard field goal with 11:04 left.

That made it 17-13.

SDSU got the ball back at its own 30 with a chance to take the lead. But a fourth-and-15 pass, a drive that was hurt by a holding penalty, wasn't near any SDSU receiver and the Bison took over with 4:00 remaining.

They didn't go anywhere in three plays, giving the Jacks the final shot.

"Jesse came and told us at the end, 'We're down by four, we're going to get you the ball back,'" said Wieneke, referring to linebacker Jesse Bobbit. "And they did."

They took advantage, winning the Marker for the first time since a 28-13 win in 2009 in Brookings. The Bison are now 13-2 against SDSU in the Fargodome.

Related Topics: EASTON STICK
Jeff would like to dispel the notion he was around when Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press, but he is on his third decade of reporting with Forum Communications. The son of a reporter and an English teacher, and the brother of a reporter, Jeff has worked at the Jamestown Sun, Bismarck Tribune and since 1990 The Forum, where he's covered North Dakota State athletics since 1995.
Jeff has covered all nine of NDSU's Division I FCS national football titles and has written three books: "Horns Up," "North Dakota Tough" and "Covid Kids." He is the radio host of "The Golf Show with Jeff Kolpack" April through August.
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