North Dakota State claims sixth FCS title in seven years

North Dakota State claims sixth FCS title in seven years

North Dakota State claims sixth FCS title in seven years

"We could not be more thrilled for the opportunity to be back in Frisco, Texas, and have the opportunity compete for a third national title for James Madison University football". NDSU takes home its sixth FCS title - tying Georgia Southern, who has since moved to FBS, for the most in FCS/DI-AA history. The Dukes are now riding a 26-game winning streak.

They saved the best for last in the FCS this season.

The Bison limited James Madison to 241 yards on 62 plays, allowing one touchdown.

"That's nearly an absurd accomplishment, and one that you probably won't ever see again", Houston said. "Obviously they have the respect of the entire country, but I can promise you our kids are confident and motivated and are going to be ready to play tomorrow".

Under heavy pressure on fourth down, Dukes quarterback Bryan Schor heaved a high-arcing pass to the North Dakota State goal line, but the ball was knocked to the ground.

NDSU 17 JMU 3 - Pedersen makes a 32-yard field goal with 39 seconds left in the second quarter. "I think he's finally playing and doing the things that we knew he could do".

"They made the plays and we made too many mistakes".

After showing flashes of excellence in the third quarter, the Dukes' reverted to their sloppy style of play from the first half in the fourth quarter.

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The Dukes looked like they were going to back up their coach's words early in the second half. D'Angelo Amos' 33-yard punt return, his second big return of the day, set JMU up nicely at the Bison 33-yard line. Despite the encouraging field position, Schor whiffed on three pass attempts and JMU was forced to settle for a field goal booted in by redshirt freshman Ethan Ratke.

"Most important things to us was don't flinch", said NDSU cornerback Marquise Bridges on the fake punt.

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

Fans are in "a fight right now for every ticket that's out there", Houston said. The Bison's first drive notably showcased the return of junior running back Lance Dunn - arguably NDSU's most lethal offensive threat, who hadn't played since October 21.

"Great time to get a first", Klieman said. The Dukes also finished 14-1 with the loss.

Stick completed 13 of 22 passes for 130 yards and a touchdown with no interceptions. To add insult to injury, a fight broke out after the play and JMU was taxed with a 15-yard penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct.

James Madison, with all of the momentum on its side, advanced the ball to the 19-yard line with 1:53 left, but its only positive gain on the ensuing four plays earned one yard.

"Many times you see a dropoff over time, but [NDSU coach Chris Klieman] has done a great job keeping that program at that championship level, and that takes a lot", JMU coach Mike Houston said.

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