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Bison run past Bobcats in FCS National Championship

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FRISCO, Texas – North Dakota State was stout in the run game rushing for 380 yards while keeping Montana State out of the end zone for 55 minutes en route to a 38-10 victory over the Bobcats on Saturday, Jan. 8, in the FCS National Championship game at Toyota Stadium.

The Bobcats received the opening kickoff and marched down the field 37 yards into NDSU territory behind the efforts of quarterback Tommy Mellott. However, Mellott sustained an injury at the end of the drive and Montana State was forced to punt. The Bobcat freshman signal caller wouldn’t see the field again. 

NDSU rattled off an opening drive of 80 yards, followed by back-to-back possessions that covered 75 yards, to jump out to a 21-0 advantage. The Bison extended their lead to 28-0 by halftime. 

Following NDSU’s opening drive of the second half that ended in pay dirt, MSU sustained a drive of 12 plays and 67 yards that resulted in a 26-yard field goal by Blake Glessner. The Bison would convert on a field goal before the end of the third quarter. 

Montana State rattled off an 11-play, 80-yard drive on its final possession of the fourth quarter. Tucker Rovig completed a 28-yard touchdown pass to Lance McCutcheon to get the Bobcats up to 10 points with 5 minutes, 8 seconds remaining. 

NDSU finished with a 506-335 edge in total yards and limited the Bobcats to 156 yards rushing on the day. Kobe Johnson (106), Quincy Patterson (98) and Hunter Luepke (82) led the Bison on the ground. Jasir Cox had a team-high 7 tackles and Dawson Weber also picked off a pass for an interception. 

Rovig was inserted as quarterback for the contest after the first drive for the Bobcats and eventually finished 13 of 28 passing for 156 yards. He also ran the ball eight times for 51 yards. Isaiah Ifanse was MSU’s leader on the ground with 84 yards on 18 carries. 

McCutcheon eventually finished the game with five receptions for 106 yards. His receiving day pushed him to 1,219 yards on the year, a new program single-season record. Troy Andersen and Callahan O’Reilly each finished with 10 tackles for MSU whle Tre Webb recorded nine. 

The Bison clinched their ninth FCS title while the Bobcats, who ended their season at 12-3 overall, made their first national championship game appearance since 1984.

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