Bison make it six titles, edging James Madison to regain FCS championship
Jan 07 2018
When North Dakota State quarterback Easton Stick dropped back with four seconds remaining in Saturday's FCS National Championship Game in Frisco, he stared intently at the clock in a way that few players ever do in the middle of a football game while he sprinted backward.
North Dakota State standout defensive tackle Nate Tanguay said his advice to his younger teammates during championship week is to "lock in" during practices and meetings but relax and enjoy the flurry of activities that includes meeting with former Bison football players and an annual bowling tournament. They trailed 17-6 at halftime. Despite snapping the ball just eight more times, North Dakota State managed a 15-minute advantage in time of possession, chewing up 37:41 in its 70 snaps compared to just 22:19 in 62 plays for James Madison. "Whenever they are on the field, we have belief in them". After taking over at their own 44-yard line, Stick handed the ball off to Anderson for 13 yards on two plays and Dunn for two yards on two plays before whistling a dart to junior wide receiver Darrius Shepherd, who converted a wide-open pass downfield into a 50-yard touchdown to extend NDSU's lead to 14-3.
JMU - Marcus Marshall has 11 carries for 30 yards and 1 touchdown. For the second time in the half, a JMU miscue directly propagated a touchdown for the Bison.
Last year's semifinals meeting ended in a 27-17 Dukes victory in Fargo with JMU scoring 10 unanswered points in the fourth quarter.
"The defense, we were trying to make something happen, get the ball back in our offense's hands, set the tone coming out in the second half", said JMU defensive lineman Simeyon Robinson, who had two sacks, forced a fumble, and blocked a field-goal attempt. Marshall then paraded through a stack off defenders to slip into the end zone and narrow the deficit to 17-13. "We made a couple of mistakes we don't typically make", he said.
"I love what players pass down to us, it's been like this for years", Dempsey said. James Madison took down South Dakota State by a score of 51-16, while North Dakota State squeaked by Sam Houston State, 55-13. "That's what it came down to. the plays were there". Sophomore cornerback Marquise Bridges intercepted Schor's pass at the NDSU 3-yard line.
JMU - Bryan Schor was 14-for-32 with 148 yards and 2 interceptions.
Kelly, by the way, was his team's second-leading rusher with the 24 yards. "This is about this group of seniors and their opportunity to finish it the way they've always wanted to". For Shepherd, it was his first touchdown catch this season and also the biggest offensive play in a game dominated by defense. After getting as close as the NDSU 18-yard line, it just wasn't meant to be for the Dukes.
A scrambling Schor, under heavy pressure and off balance, heaved it in the end zone and the ball fell incomplete. The Dukes broke an FCS single-season record with 43 takeaways this year.