North Dakota State claims sixth FCS title in seven years

Road to Frisco: Thursday update in Texas and the Seth Wilson spotlight

Winning the line of scrimmage goes a long way in this one.

For the Dukes, today didn't represent the former. North Dakota State was able to run the clock out, and secure their sixth FCS Championship in the last seven seasons. "The senior class is hungry to go out and get the job done". Inside that locker room we have something that no one else in the country has.

"I told (my team) we were going to win the football game and I firmly believed that", Houston said of his message to his team at halftime.

The Bison have injury concerns in the secondary heading into the championship game.

Quarterback Easton Stick was named the games Most Valuable Player. The Bison's first drive notably showcased the return of junior running back Lance Dunn - arguably NDSU's most lethal offensive threat, who hadn't played since October 21. Asked what he could take from that game, Bison coach Chris Klieman said, "Nothing, really".

After a three-and-out for the Dukes, JMU turned to its most stable unit to turn the momentum back its way.

NDSU - Derrek Tuszka had 6 tackles and 2 sacks.

"If you take the busiest day we've ever had, it doesn't compare to when the Bison are here", Verich said.

"In the back of our mind, we were looking at them", Stapleton said. For the second time in the half, a JMU miscue directly propagated a touchdown for the Bison. For James Madison, quarterback Bryan Schor completed 14 of 32 passes for 148 yards and two interceptions.

Last year's semifinals meeting ended in a 27-17 Dukes victory in Fargo with JMU scoring 10 unanswered points in the fourth quarter.

Road to Frisco: Thursday update in Texas and the Seth Wilson spotlight
James Madison comes up short in quest for back-to-back FCS Championships, falling to NDSU 17-13

Stapleton finished with eight catches for 189 yards in that game.

"It's hard to put into words, but this culture is incredible, the fans, the coaches, the players.it's so special", said Bison wide receiver Darrius Shepherd, who had a 50-yard touchdown catch in the second quarter.

At the time, the Bison were ranked No. 1 and James Madison was ranked No. 4. Marshall then paraded through a stack off defenders to slip into the end zone and narrow the deficit to 17-13.

Marshall, a Georgia Tech transfer, rushed for a season-high 203 yards in the semifinals against South Dakota State and has four touchdowns in three playoff games. "They don't think we are good enough to be here". "That's what it came down to. the plays were there". D'Angelo Amos returned a punt 33 yards to the NDSU 33-yard line. They took advantage of a short field on their first drive of the third quarter.

It left the outcome up to the Bison defense. As Pedersen jolted toward the ball for a 38-yard attempt, Robinson leaped and knocked the ball into the ground to keep the score at 17-13.

"He didn't have the type of season I thought he was going to have", Schor said. "You don't see a big play because someone's out of position or they blew a coverage".

With the game in the final minutes, JMU ran a fake punt with Harry O'Kelly to continue the drive.

NDSU - Bruce Anderson had 18 carries for 63 yards and 1 touchdown.

A scrambling Schor, under heavy pressure and off balance, heaved it in the end zone and the ball fell incomplete. Several players from each team leaped for the ball, but the Dukes' receivers came up empty.

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