Sports

North Dakota State claims sixth FCS title in seven years

North Dakota State claims sixth FCS title in seven years

Winning the line of scrimmage goes a long way in this one.

For the Dukes, today didn't represent the former.

North Dakota State and Robbie Grimsley, a 2015 graduate of Hutchinson High School, play in the NCAA Division I Football Championship Game on Saturday against James Madison.

This is the Bison sixth National Championship in the past seven years and the 14th overall. Following each of those mishaps, NDSU generated a scoring drive.

JMU - Riley Stapleton had 7 catches for 107 yards.

Easton Stick is in his second season as the Bison' starter. The Dukes' Simeyon Robinson blocked Cam Pedersen's 38-yard field goal attempt and they got the ball at the 27 with 4:37 remaining. DeLuca returned to NDSU after losing most of last season to an injury.

"A lot of institutions can have a great team here or there, but those are two great programs", Bison fourth-year coach Chris Klieman said.

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After a three-and-out for the Dukes, JMU turned to its most stable unit to turn the momentum back its way.

- NDSU was held scoreless in the second half.

"If you take the busiest day we've ever had, it doesn't compare to when the Bison are here", Verich said.

"In the back of our mind, we were looking at them", Stapleton said. "They created opportunities for all of us, but we just came up short".

The Bison would runout the final 58 seconds of the clock for the championship.

JMU - Kyre Hawkins had 10 tackles.

NDSU 17 JMU 6 - Ratke makes a 21-yard field goal with 3 seconds left in the second quarter.

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At the time, the Bison were ranked No. 1 and James Madison was ranked No. 4. It was capped off by a 1-yard run from Marcus Marshall. Marshall then paraded through a stack off defenders to slip into the end zone and narrow the deficit to 17-13.

Did you know?: North Dakota State also has eight DII titles.

"Both players, I think their teams know how valuable they are", Klieman said about Stick and Schor. "They have such a dominant team and they don't make many mistakes".

Quarterback Bryan Schor scrambled for 17 yards to the 46.

But cornerback Marquise Bridges picked off Schorr at the 3-yard line and NDSU still had the lead.

But it was the Dukes who seized momentum in the third quarter. In JMU's first drive of the fourth quarter, Alls dropped a wide-open pass downfield which preceded a drive-ending sack of Schor.

It left the outcome up to the Bison defense. You could feel the air leaving the stadium as the Dukes brought the punting unit out with just over three minutes to play. Several players from each team leaped for the ball, but the Dukes' receivers came up empty.

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