San Diego falls to top-seed North Dakota State in NCAA second round

Saturday, December 3, 2016
by San Diego Athletics Media Relations

FARGO, N.D. – The University of San Diego football team saw its magical postseason ride come to an end with a 45-7 loss to top-seeded North Dakota State University in the second round of the NCAA Division I Football Championship, Saturday, at the Fargodome.

With the loss, the Toreros finish the season with a 10-2 overall record, and they saw their nine-game winning streak come to an end.  USD did however become the first Pioneer Football League school to win a postseason game, as they pulled off the greatest upset in FCS playoff history, defeating Cal Poly 35-21, this past Saturday.

“[North Dakota State is] big, they are fast, and they tackle particularly well on defense, and they are very physical on offense as well.” stated head coach Dale Lindsey of North Dakota State.  “Outside of Alabama, this might be the most physical group of guys that I’ve seen.”

“It means a lot to me and these guys, as most of us were overlooked most of our lives, coming out of high school” said USD sophomore quarterback Anthony Lawrence on getting this far in the postseason.  “We wanted to come out here and shock the world, but that didn’t happen.”

Lawrence paced the USD offense with 201 passing yards, one touchdown and had one interception.  Jonah Hodges rushed for 93 yards on 19 carries, and caught seven passes for 68 yards.  Nic Henson led the defense with nine tackles, while Max Michaels and Alec Moreno each had six total tackles.

With the win, the Bison improve to 11-1 overall, and remain a perfect 17-0 in the Fargodome in postseason play.  Next up for coach Chris Klieman's Bison is a rematch with rival South Dakota State (9-3). The two teams shared the Missouri Valley Football Conference title, but the Jackrabbits earned the automatic bid to the playoffs because of their 19-17 win inside the Fargodome on Oct. 15.

NDSU quarterback Easton Stick accounted for 307 yards of total offense and passed for three touchdowns. Stick threw for 208 yards and rushed for 99 more. He connected on two touchdowns passes to fullback Chase Morlock and one to wide receiver RJ Urzendowski.

Running back Bruce Anderson capped the scoring with a 61-yard touchdown run with 19 seconds remaining.

Although San Diego (10-2) held the ball for more than 11 minutes longer than NDSU, the Bison forced a pair of turnovers and had a 507-296 advantage in total yards. The Toreros entered the game ranked No. 1 in the FCS in the fewest points (12.9) and yards allowed (244.6) per game.

San Diego's lone touchdown came on quarterback Anthony Lawrence's 1-yard pass to tight end Ross Dwelley midway through the third quarter, which cut into the Toreros' 21-0 halftime deficit.

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