No. 7 South Dakota State pulls away from Western Illinois for road win

SDSU bounces back from first loss

South Dakota State University football. (Republic file photo)

MACOMB, Ill. — A 21-point third quarter for South Dakota State helped lift the seventh-ranked Jackrabbits over Western Illinois 41-17 in a Missouri Valley Football Conference matchup Saturday.

SDSU (5-1, 2-1 Valley) led 13-10 at halftime before Kinser Madison blocked a punt and Canyon Bauer returned it 9 yards early in the third quarter for SDSU's first special teams touchdown of the season. After the Leathernecks rebounded with Myles Wanza's 15-yard touchdown run, the Jackrabbits added scores on a 17-yard touchdown run by Pierre Strong Jr. and a Jaxon Janke 21-yard reception to lead 34-17 heading into the final quarter.

Janke had nine catches for 101 yards and his brother Jadon Janke had a touchdown catch in the first quarter from quarterback Chris Oladokun, who finished 17 for 25 passing for 195 yards and the two passing touchdowns.

Strong, who rushed 19 times for 122 yards, capped the scoring less than a minute into the fourth quarter with a 3-yard touchdown run. The Jackrabbits limited WIU (1-6, 1-3 Valley) to 84 yards of total offense in the second half and held a 370-237 advantage for the game.

The Jackrabbits return home to host Northern Iowa at 2 p.m. on Oct. 23 on Hobo Day.

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The Tigers got 19 points, placing them behind Hastings and Briar Cliff. Defending regular-season champion Midland was tabbed to repeat, receiving 119 points and 10 first-place votes.
With 21 points, DWU slotted in ahead of Hastings and behind Dordt in the rankings. Concordia was picked to win the conference, receiving 98 points and eight first-place votes.
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“As an alumni myself and the head coach now, you never want to see your alma mater no longer become a school,” Flemmer said. “It was kind of disbelief that it actually is happening.”
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