North Dakota State claims sixth FCS title in seven years

07 January, 2018, 04:13 | Author: Felix Jensen
  • NDSU ends JMU 26-game winning streak for sixth FCS Championship

After piecing together an unforgettable 26-game winning streak and flawless 2017 campaign heading into the season, JMU fell to North Dakota State 17-13 in the FCS Championship at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas.

The Bison (14-1) made it six championships in the last seven years and tied Georgia Southern for the most titles in FCS history.

North Dakota State led, 17-13, with 4:37 remaining in the game Saturday when James Madison defensive lineman Simeyan Robinson blocked a Cam Pederson field-goal attempt to give his offense possession on its own 27-yard line.

The Bison have won 14 national championships in football with the first eight coming in Division II before NDSU transitioned to Division I. "[I'm] so excited for an opportunity to compete with those guys one more time".

Despite taking over in prime position at the NDSU 28-yard line, after two drives by junior running back Marcus Marshall, Schor was hit by a defenseman as his arm moved through the zone, which deflected the ball off one of his linesman and into the hands of NDSU's senior tackle Nate Tanguay, who returned the interception for 11 yards to the NDSU 29-yard line.

Said James Madison coach Mike Houston: "They made the plays". It led to a 32-yard Pedersen field goal and it was 17-3. They trailed infrequently while winning 26 consecutive games, 14 of them this season.

"I've seen a lot of guys go down, you know, that's how I got here that's how I'm playing", Wilson said Thursday after practice. "They have such a dominant team and they don't make many mistakes". They had (only) 53 yards rushing in the first half. It didn't help NDSU that JMU held a big advantage in the punting game.

The Bison would runout the final 58 seconds of the clock for the championship. The teams traded field goals in the final minute of the first half and the Bison took a 17-6 lead into halftime. Sophomore cornerback Marquise Bridges intercepted Schor's pass at the NDSU 3-yard line.

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James Madison, with all of the momentum on its side, advanced the ball to the 19-yard line with 1:53 left, but its only positive gain on the ensuing four plays earned one yard.

"Obviously there are people out there that don't respect us that much", Houston said.

A personal foul penalty on JMU on the play gave the Bison the ball at the 44.

Klieman says, "They got different players, just like we got different players".

The Dukes entered the season as the No. 1 team in the land.

"If you take the busiest day we've ever had, it doesn't compare to when the Bison are here", Verich said. This year the tables are flipped, as James Madison is No. 1 and NDSU is No. 4. Anderson carried the ball 18 times for 63 yards with a 3-yard touchdown, while Lance Dunn returned from a midseason injury to gain 50 yards on 13 carries.

"We talk about it all the time: Field goals won't beat you, and it didn't today", Klieman said.



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