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NDSU's FCS reign ends with loss to James Madison

FARGO --The North Dakota State football team's six-year run of playoff perfection came to an end Friday night against the team it all started with. James Madison University claimed a 27-17 semifinal win in the Division I Football Championship Sub...

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Khalid Abdullah of James Madison carries against North Dakota State during their NCAA FCS Semifinal football game Friday, Dec. 16, 2016, in Fargo, N.D. Michael Vosburg / Forum Photo Editor

FARGO -The North Dakota State football team's six-year run of playoff perfection came to an end Friday night against the team it all started with.

James Madison University claimed a 27-17 semifinal win in the Division I Football Championship Subdivision playoffs before a raucous and stunned crowd of 18,282 at the Fargodome. The upset marked the first FCS playoff loss since 2010 for the Bison-which began its 22-0 playoff run in 2011 with a 26-14 opening-round Fargodome win over James Madison.

So instead of NDSU aiming for an unprecedented sixth straight national championship, James Madison will advance to the Jan. 7 FCS title game in Frisco, Texas, with hopes of winning its second title and first since 2004.

The Dukes led 17-7 at halftime and clinging to a 20-17 lead late in the game, James Madison's offense-shut down for much of the second half-came to life. Khalid Abdullah, who ran for 180 yards in the game, broke free on a 55 -yard run to the Bison 25.

On third down and 10, quarterback Bryan Schor found an open John Miller in the end zone for a 25-yard touchdown to give James Madison a 27-17 lead with 6:59 remaining.

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NDSU drove to the James Madison 37 before a fourth-down incompletion ended the drive with 3:53 remaining. NDSU got the ball back on its own 18 with 2:19 remaining but picked up only two first downs before giving up the ball with 57 seconds remaining.

Trailing 17-7, NDSU scored on its first two possessions of the second half to tie the score but With 11:46 remaining of the game, Tyler Gray hit a career-long 45-yard field goal to give James Madison a 20-17 lead. Facing fourth-and-19, it appeared quarterback Bryan Schor was sacked but James Madison had called timeout. Facing fourth-and-19 again, Schor punted but NDSU was whistled for offside setting up the field goal.

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