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North Dakota State cruises to Valley outright title over South Dakota

Coyotes finish at 7-4, likely will be among FCS playoff teams on Sunday

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South Dakota Coyotes football. (Republic file photo)
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FARGO, N.D. — North Dakota State burst out to a 28-0 lead and rolled up 522 yards of offense in a 52-24 win against No. 16 South Dakota Saturday inside the Fargodome.

The Coyotes (7-4, 5-3 MVFC) were competing for a share of their first Valley championship in one of five matchups of top-25 teams on the final day of the regular season. The fourth-ranked Bison (10-1, 7-1) had already secured the Valley’s automatic bid and will likely earn one of eight seeds when the 24-team FCS playoff bracket is revealed at 11:30 a.m. Sunday on ESPNU.

South Dakota is hopeful to receive one of 13 at-large bids the NCAA committee will hand out. It would give the program its second FCS playoff appearance.

The Bison outgained the Coyotes 303-97 on the ground and 522-293 overall. Jalen Bussey ran five times for 62 yards and a touchdown to lead a bevy of Bison backs. TaMerik Williams added 60 yards on 12 rushes and scored twice. Nine different Bison backs contributed to the final tally.

South Dakota quarterback Carson Camp completed 21-of-27 passes for 196 yards and two touchdowns. He threw a 40-yard touchdown pass to Mike Mansaray in the third quarter and completed a 12-yard shovel pass to J.J. Galbreath for a score in the fourth. Nate Thomas ran 10 times for 62 yards in the opening half, but carried twice for minus-2 yards in the second.

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Carter Bell became the first South Dakota player to return a punt for a touchdown since Stefan Logan in 2006. His 47-yard strike cut NDSU’s 28-3 halftime lead to 28-10 early in the third quarter. The Coyotes have also returned a kickoff for a touchdown this season, something they hadn’t done since 2008.

Defensively, South Dakota got 11 tackles from safety Elijah Reed. Jacob Matthew added seven tackles and recovered a fumble. Nick Gaes got his team-leading seventh sack of the season.

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