BROOKINGS, S.D. (GoJacks.com) — North Dakota State’s Adam Cofield scored on a 71-yard touchdown run late in the fourth quarter, pushing the top-ranked Bison over third-ranked South Dakota State, 23-16, in a battle of Missouri Valley Football Conference and Football Championship Subdivision heavyweights before a record crowd of 19,371 Saturday afternoon at Dana J. Dykhouse Stadium.
In retaining the Dakota Marker, NDSU improved to 8-0 overall and 4-0 in the MVFC. The Jackrabbits dropped to 6-2 overall and 3-1 in league play.
Cofield’s heroics spoiled a valiant comeback bid by the Jackrabbits, who played most of the game without starting quarterback J’Bore Gibbs.
NDSU finished with a 394-330 advantage in total offense, out-gaining the Jackrabbits on the ground, 332-220. Pierre Strong finished with a game-high 120 yards on 19 carries for SDSU. Ty Brooks led the Bison with 97 yards on nine carries, with Adam Cofield adding 86 yards on seven attempts.
Trey Lance ended the game for the Bison 7-of-14 passing for 62 yards and added 76 rushing yards on 18 attempts. His completions were spread among seven different receivers.
SDSU’s three quarterbacks combined for 110 yards through the air. Gibbs was 3-for-5 for 70 yards before exiting. Cade Johnson was the top receiver with four catches for 76 yards.
Christian Rozeboom tallied a game-high 13 tackles for SDSU and forced a fumble. Michael Tutsie and Jabril Cox each registered seven stops for the Bison.
The Jackrabbits open the second half of the conference season by traveling to Missouri State on Nov. 2. Kickoff is slated for 2 p.m. at Plaster Stadium in Springfield, Mo.