North Dakota State's reign of FCS supremacy ends

Hawk Central staff

FARGO, N.D. — If any nagging splinter of September's loss to North Dakota State was still lingering, Iowa fans, here's your best chance for awhile to pluck it out.

Khalid Abdullah had 180 yards rushing, added 51 yards receiving and a touchdown and James Madison snapped North Dakota State’s 22-game postseason win streak with a 27-17 upset in the FCS semifinals Saturday night.

James Madison (13-1) will play in the FCS National Championship on Jan. 7 in Frisco, Texas.

Iowa's Nathan Bazata sacks North Dakota State quarterback Easton Stick during their game at Kinnick Stadium on Sept. 17. North Dakota State scored a big upset over the Hawkeyes that day, but lost on Friday in the semifinal round of the FCS playoffs while trying to defend their five consecutive national championships.

After NDSU defensive end Brad Ambrosius was called offside on a fourth-and-19, the Dukes took a 20-17 lead on a 45-yard field goal from Tyler Gray with 11:46 to go.

A 25-yard touchdown pass from Bryan Schor to John Miller with 6:59 left made it 27-17.

James Madison outgained the Bison 301-164 total yards in the first half. Abdullah had 175 of those yards and his 10-yard touchdown reception gave JMU a 17-0 lead midway through the second quarter. Schor threw for 242 yards and three touchdowns.

Chase Morlock and King Frazier sandwiched scoring runs around a 45-yard field goal by Sam Pederson as North Dakota State (2-2) made it 17-all with 5:53 left in the third quarter.

The Bison were held to a season-low 132 yards rushing. Easton Stick was 19-of-38 passing for 216 yards with an interception.

If you recall — which we're sure you do — the Bison entered Kinnick Stadium on Sept. 17 and walked away with a 23-21 victory via a final-play field goal.


NORTH DAKOTA STATE: The Bison suffered their first postseason defeat since 2010, when they lost to eventual national champions Eastern Washington 38-31 in overtime.

JAMES MADISON: The Dukes are the first Colonial Athletic Association school to make the national championship since Towson in 2013. They are making their first national championship appearance since 2004, when they beat Montana 31-21.


NORTH DAKOTA STATE: Season is over.

JAMES MADISON: They await the winner of Youngstown State and Eastern Washington.