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SMSU FOOTBALL: Mustangs win second straight with dramatic victory over Minot State

Photo courtesy of Sean Arbaut/Minot State SMSU’s Boyer Bouman throws a pass during their game against Minot State University on Saturday. The Mustangs defeated the Beavers 21-17.

MINOT, N.D. – Boyer Bouman connected on a 34-yard touchdown pass to Daniel Davis with 25 seconds left in the game to lift Southwest Minnesota State to a thrilling 21-17 victory over Minot State on Saturday at Herb Parker Stadium in Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference football.

SMSU, which improves to 2-3 overall with its second straight victory, started the game-winning drive at its own 13-yard line and included a fourth-and-long conversion early in the drive.

“It was definitely a hard-fought game and both teams battled back and forth,” SMSU coach Cory Sauter said. “I felt we played pretty solid on both the offensive and defensive side of the ball and we got put in a tough spot where they scored late and we had one final drive to win it,” Sauter said. “In that series, there were a lot of components to it. We had some trouble with the kickoff and got pinned deep and had to make a long drive. We had a fourth-and-long and responded with the touchdown to Daniel Davis. There were certainly all of the emotions of being ahead, and then behind and then scoring late to win it, so it was pretty emotional game.”

SMSU dominated statistically with more than 433 yards of offense and 22 first downs, while MISU was limited to less than 251 yards and 12 first downs. The SMSU defense held MISU to just one first down and 37 total yards on 14 plays in the opening half.

Max Simmons led a balanced SMSU rushing attack with a season-high 142 yards on 20 carries, while Duce Reynolds added 92 yards and one touchdown on 21 carries.

Bouman closed the game completing 14 of 23 pass attempts for 130 yards. Dakota Jaeschke and Luke Narveson each caught four passes for the Mustangs, while Davis added three receptions for 61 yards.

SMSU controlled the first 19 minutes of the game as MISU was held to just six plays and no first downs in the opening quarter.

The MISU defense came through for the game’s first points on SMSU’s third possession. Facing third and short near midfield, Bouman was intercepted by Isaiah Bigby at the MISU 48-yard line and he returned for a touchdown to give the Beavers a 7-0 lead with 10:58 left in the second quarter.

Following an SMSU punt, the Mustang defense made its first big play of the game as Onte Burn recovered a Beaver fumble at the MISU 20-yard line following a big hit by Chris Bain to force the fumble. The Mustangs took advantage of the turnover as six plays later Reynolds plowed across the goal line for a 1-yard touchdown to tie the game at 7 with 4:26 remaining in the half.

MISU picked up its lone first down of the half on its next drive, but the SMSU defense forced a punt and took over with 1:05 left at its own 27-yard line. The Mustangs moved the ball to the Beavers 49-yard line and called timeout with three seconds on the clock. Out of the timeout, Paul Herrera–who played one series earlier in the game–entered and tossed a Hail Mary pass into the end zone that Dakota Jaeschke came down with for a dramatic half-ending touchdown. Skyler Crew’s PAT was good and SMSU took a 14-7 lead into halftime.

SMSU maintained the seven-point lead into the fourth quarter before MISU’s Jose Luis Moreno booted a 37-yard field goal with 12:02 left in the game to make the score 14-10.

The Mustangs later in the game attempted to build on the lead but were forced to punt with less than seven minutes remaining in the game.

Bouman’s punt pinned the Beavers inside their own 5-yard line, but several big plays and a defensive pass interference call moved the ball down to the SMSU 33-yard line. Ben Bolinske then found Lavante Bushnel for a 33-yard touchdown pass with 3:40 remaining to put MISU in front at 17-14.

SMSU then put together the game-winning drive covering 87 yards on 11 plays. One of the key plays was a fourth down conversion pass from Bouman to Luke Narveson for 17 yards on fourth-and-16 moving the ball to the SMSU 39-yard line. Bouman would later find Davis for a first down reception and two more completions to Jalen Coleman before finding Davis open for the game-winning touchdown.

Burns, Gage Roberson and Davaeon Johnson each recorded a team-high eight tackles to pace the Mustang defense, while Cory Hollowell chipped in with seven tackles.

Southwest Minnesota State returns home next Saturday to face Bemidji State University for homecoming with kickoff slated for 3 p.m. at the Schwan Region Event Center.

— Content courtesy

of SMSU Athletic

Communications

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