Southern Illinois stuns SDSU in overtime.
BROOKINGS – Southern Illinois recovered from an initial 20-point deficit to defeat the state of South Dakota in overtime, 42-41, in a Missouri Valley Football Conference battle between the Top 10 teams Saturday afternoon at Dana J. Dykhouse Stadium.
The Salukis, ranked seventh by the Football Championship Subdivision coaches and eighth in the Stats Perform media poll, improved to 5-1 overall and 3-0 in the league. SDSU, second by the media and third by the coaches, fell to 4-1 overall and 1-1 in the MVFC.
The Jackrabbits dominated both sides of the ball in the first 21 minutes of the game to build a 20-0 lead. SDSU kicked off and marched 75 yards in seven plays, with award nominee Walter Payton Pierre Strong, Jr., scoring on a 20-yard dash for the game’s first score.
SDSU increased its lead to 17-0 in the first minute of the second quarter with 10 points in the 15-second span. After Cole Frahm kicked a 40-yard field goal, linebacker Jackrabbit Isaiah Stalbird forced a fumble and Xavier Ward bounced back at SIU 19. The SDSU offense needed just one play to score when Strong threw a runner pass to Jadon Jake in the end zone.
Frahm’s second field goal at the half, one from 22 yards with 9 minutes and 12 minutes remaining in the first half, brought Jackrabbit’s lead to 20-0.
However, SDSU’s advantage could have been even greater at that point, as SDSU turned the ball over (their first loss of the season) in the red zone on their second possession of the game and the Jackrabbits settled down with the first and the goal in SIU 8 before. Frahm’s second field goal.
SIU began to gain momentum in its favor in the middle of the second quarter. The Salukis took the board with a 61-yard touchdown pass from Nick Baker to Jerron Rollins, then, after an interception on Jackrabbit’s possession, charged at shortstop when Landon Lenoir caught an 18-yard touchdown pass from Baker.
The Salukis were poised to take their first lead of the game late in the third quarter, but the SDSU defense came up with what could have been the deciding play of the game. After taking a field goal off the board due to a penalty, SIU opted to do so in the fourth and SDSU 2 goals. Saluki’s running back Javon Williams Jr. flew off in an attempt to score, but Ryan van marel shook the ball before Williams broke the plane of the goal line and Malik Lofton He picked up the ball in the 3 and proceeded to roll down the left sideline for the longest fumble in Jackrabbit history.
The two-point conversion was as good as Chris Oladokun connected with Zach Heins.
The big plays would continue in the fourth quarter, with three touchdowns scored in the span of one minute. First, SIU scored on a 19-yard pass from Baker to Zach Gibson on a play of fourth and 4. SDSU needed only one play to respond when Strong broke an arm tackle and went over Saluki’s defense for a touchdown. 85 yards of his entire career. The Salukis then edged to 35-28 on a 63-yard touchdown from Donnavan Spencer.
SDSU had another opportunity to cushion their frustrated lead when SIU blocked a 37-yard field goal attempt with 3:36 left.
Baker then led SIU in the tying series, a 14-play, 70-yard drive that included two fourth-down conversions. First, Saluki’s quarterback ran for eight yards and a first down at fourth-six, then he connected with Izaiah Hartrup for 18 yards and a new series of downs at fourth-and-11 from SIU 41. Baker capped the series by throwing his fourth touchdown pass of the game with 34 seconds to go, 19 yards for Lenoir.
SIU opted to kick the extra point and play for overtime.
SDSU won the coin toss in overtime and opted to go defense first, but SIU kept up their offensive pace with Baker picking up 14 yards to set up a 10-yard touchdown run from Spencer.
The Jackrabbits only needed two answering plays with a touchdown of their own. Oladokun found an open Canyon bauer for 14 yards before connecting with Tucker Kraft in the end zone for an 11-yard touchdown. Kraft finished the game with a career-high of 10 receptions and 124 receiving yards.
Rather than play for another extra session, SDSU opted to try to win with another two-point attempt. This time, Oladokun’s pass to Zach Heins was well defended and fell to the grass, giving SIU a 42-41 victory.
The two squads combined for more than 1,100 yards of total offense, with the Jackrabbits holding a narrow 559-546 lead. Strong finished the afternoon with 162 rushing yards on 20 carries and added another 51 yards on four receptions. Oladokun completed 23 of 31 passes for 358 yards, a season-high. Jadon janke had 117 receiving yards on three receptions in the first half.
For SIU, Baker threw for 359 yards on 28 of 45 passes. Lenoir racked up 147 yards on 10 receptions with Rollins scoring 104 yards on four receptions. Spencer finished the day with 103 rushing yards on just 10 carries and the two touchdowns, all of which came in the second half and in overtime.
Adam bock had a career-best 17 tackles, including a half-sack for the Jackrabbits. Bryce Notree set the pace for SIU with 10 tackles.
UNTIL NEXT TIME
The Jackrabbits return to action on October 16 in Western Illinois. The kick-off is scheduled for noon at Hanson Field in Macomb, Illinois.
- SIU ended a six-game losing streak to the Jackrabbits, but SDSU still leads the all-time series, 9-4
- Strong surpassed the 100-yard mark for the fourth time this season and 14th time in your career
- Strong’s touchdown pass was the second of the season and the fourth of his career.
- SIU made 81 offensive plays, compared to 61 for the Jackrabbits.
- SDSU kicked only once in the game, 50 yards for Hunter Dustman
- Three of Strong’s 100-yard games have come against Southern Illinois
- Jadon janke reached the century mark in yards receiving for the second time in his career
- Bock’s 17 saves are tied for sixth by a Jackrabbit since tackles became an official NCAA statistic in 2000.
- SDSU fell to 5-6 in overtime games, including 2-1 at Dana J. Dykhouse Stadium
- Attendance was 12,216