Salukis hand Bison third loss of season

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- North Dakota State solved some leaks in its defense. But after four games, the Bison woke up this morning with the following reality: they are 1-3.

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- North Dakota State solved some leaks in its defense. But after four games, the Bison woke up this morning with the following reality: they are 1-3.

The last time that happened was 2002.

"When it's all said and done, it comes down to the 'W,'" said Bison running back Pat Paschall.

Southern Illinois gave the latest "L" to NDSU, a 24-14 Saluki victory accomplished by a few big plays and stout pass defense.

The Missouri Valley Football Conference opener for both teams was typical league football: tough.


"The big thing was, we made them earn everything they got," said SIU head coach Dale Lennon. "It was just a well-played game on both sides."

The Salukis got one touchdown in each of the third and fourth quarters and that was enough. Meanwhile, after displaying some explosive offensive tendencies the first three games, the Bison went silent against the Salukis.

Paschall got 150 yards on 20 carries, but not much else worked despite a whopping time of possession advantage of over 15 minutes --37:34 to 22:26. Quarterback Nick Mertens completed 9 of 23 passes for 105 yards. He was sacked four times.

"We missed some opportunities, but this is a talented secondary," NDSU head coach Craig Bohl said of SIU. "Hopefully we'll throw the ball a little bit better."

The offense scored just one touchdown, a one-yard run by D.J. McNorton in the second quarter that tied it at 7-7. The other came via a little-known special teams rule early in the fourth quarter.

The Salukis blocked a Shawn Bibeau field goal, but an SIU player touched the deflection while it was in the end zone. NDSU offensive lineman Gerry Ebel pounced on it and it was 17-14 with 13:29 remaining.

NDSU got the ball back with 12:03 left at its own 23. But three plays gained seven yards, and after a 24-yard punt by John Prelvitz, the Salukis got the ball at their 46.

A 35-yard run by Deji Karim was the big blow in the drive that ended with a seven-yard pass from quarterback Chris Dieker to receiver Joe Allaria with 8:16 left.


It put the Bison two possessions behind at 24-14.

NDSU came in giving up averages of 36.7 points and 446.3 total yards. Progress was made against SIU, which came into the game leading Division I Football Championship Subdivision in rushing 270 yards a game.

The Salukis had just 139 yards on 39 attempts.

"The defense is coming together," said Bison linebacker Matt Kittelson. "But we gave up three big plays and they ended up scoring on all three."

The first was a blown coverage, something that has happened in each of the first three games. This time, it appeared true freshman cornerback Brendin Pierre was trailing receiver Jeff Evans on a 61-yard touchdown play in the second quarter.

"We had some miscommunication on coverage," Bohl said. "We have a couple of young guys back there."

The Bison, however, answered the SIU touchdown with one of their own on a 60-yard drive that was all running plays. McNorton went over from the 1 and it was 7-7.

The Salukis led 10-7 at halftime on Kyle Dougherty's 44-yard field goal.


They made it 17-7 in the third quarter thanks to great field position. After the Bison offense stalled at its own 10, NDSU was flagged 15 yards for interfering with the SIU punt returner, giving the Salukis the ball at the Bison 35.

Karim scored from the 23 three plays later and the Bison were in need of some offense from there. They didn't get it.

The Forum and The Dickinson Press are both owned by Forum Communications Co.

NDSU 0 7 0 7 -- 14

SIU 0 10 7 7 -- 24

First quarter

No scoring

Second quarter


SIU-Jeff Evans 61 pass from Chris Dieker (Kyle Dougherty kick) 10:25

NDSU-D.J. McNorton 1 run (Shawn Bibeau kick) 5:36

SIU-Dougherty 44 field goal, 2:41.

Third quarter

SIU-Deji Karmin 23 run (Dougherty kick) 8:54

Fourth quarter

NDSU-Gerry Ebel blocked field goal return (Bibeau kick) 13:19

SIU-Joe Allaria 7 pass from Dieker (Dougherty kick) 8:16



First downs 19 14

Rushes-yards 54-219 33-139

Passing yards 105 186

Comp.-Att.-Int. 9-23-1 10-23-0

Total yards 324 325

Fumbles-lost 0-0 0-0

Penalties-yards 6-50 5-78


Punts-Avg. 8-36.8 8-46.4


RUSHING: NDSU, Pat Paschall 28-151, McNorton 12-37, Matt Voigtlander 2-15, Nick Mertens 11-38. SIU, Karim 23-128, Dieker 3-12, Lucien Walker 1-5.

PASSING: UND, Mertens 9-23-1 105. SIU, Dieker 10-23-0 186.

RECEIVING: NDSU, Warren Holloway 5-63, Shamen Washington 1-25, Paschall 1-8. SIU, Allaria 6-90, Evans 2-70, Bryce Morris 1-14, Ryan Kernes 1-12.

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