The bison lost the lead with just under four minutes of playing time
HUNTSVILLE, TX – Eric Schmid’s 6-yard touchdown run 3:39 in the game put Sam Houston up to a 24:20 win over North Dakota State 2 in the quarterfinals of the NCAA Division I Football Championship on Sunday, May 4,984 spectators at Bowers Stadium.
North Dakota State ended its season 7-3 overall with the eleventh FCS quarter-finals in a row. Sam Houston (8-0) hosted the quarter-finals on Sunday night between North Dakota and James Madison.
NDSU posted a safety in the second quarter and a kickoff return and a punt return in the third quarter to finish the game 17-17. Jake Reinholz’s 33-yard field goal with 8:17 in the game put NDSU in the lead with 20-17.
Schmid scored a nine game goal 72 yards, highlighted by a 47 yard passing game against Ife Adeyi in third and tenth place to get the ball to the NDSU 5 center to bring the Bearkats back forward.
The state of North Dakota advanced to Sam Houston 17 on the final drive, thanks to a pass interference call in fourth and fifth, Dominic Gonnella’s 22-yard rush to third and second, and a five-meter pass from Cam Miller to Christian Watson, who finished third and second with a 39-second lead.
The bison fiddled with an exchange in the backfield and could not implement a fourth and sixth pass attempt, as 29 seconds were still in play.
NDSU were 10-0 down in the first quarter after Sam Houston benefited from a bison fumble and interception, but NDSU got on the board in the second quarter when Logan McCormick blocked a boat that rolled out of the end zone for safety reasons.
SHSU took the lead 17-2 in their first possession of the second half. The Bearkats marched 75 yards in 12 games bordered by a 23-yard reception from Noah Smith.
Watson responded to that score with a 94-yard kickoff return touchdown, making it the fifth player in school history to return two kickoffs for touchdowns in the same season.
The bison forced a three in the next series and Braylon Henderson took the Sam Houston punt 76 yards for a touchdown. Reinholz turned the PAT kick to tie the game at 17.
NDSU’s Hunter Luepke rushed 12 times for a team height of 57 yards, Gonnella had 10 carries for 46 yards, and Miller ran 14 times for 26 yards. Miller was 7 of 18 and passed 90 yards with two interceptions.
Linebackers Cole Wisniewski, Jackson Hankey and Jasir Cox each led six tackles to lead the bison defense, which brought Sam Houston to the second-lowest overall score (313) that season.
Wisniewski, Eli Mostaert, Lane Tucker and Michael Tutsie had lost tackles. Cornerback Courtney Eubanks and the defensive end Spencer Waege each had two pass separations.
Courtesy of NDSU Athletics