NDSU 35, SHSU 3FSC Semi-final playoff game on ESPN2
We arrived at the Fargodome 90 minutes before kickoff; the parking lot is almost full already. I chatted with my neighbors about the Bison football team. #23 John Crockett came out wearing Beat headphones, warming up in the end zone and taking a measure of the crowd. He would do it again in pads before the National Anthem.
As the dome filled up the excitement level ramped up; peaking when the Bison came out of the inflatable helmet. The Sam Houston fans only filled a quarter of a section. Their band was seated on the NW corner of the dome. I would hate to be seated behind their tubas. Many long media time outs. I surmise ESPN was delaying the game, so it wouldn't be half over before they joined it in progress. ESPN2 was covering a High School Basketball game! The Big South Conference was providing the officiating crew. The calls were good this week. SHSU was 7-57; NDSU was 1-5 yards. Phil Hansen won the coin toss for the Bison, who chose to defer. The NDSU student section was singing, "I Believe." The punt went in the end zone, no run back. The volume in the dome was deafening, part of that was me yelling my head off. I was so loud I hurt my right ear and had to plug them rest of the game. Even my mom was yelling. #53 Kyle Emanuel got a sack, and the crowd generated a false start, which got the crowd even crazier.
The Bison got the ball. #11 Carson Wentz's pass hit the umpire in the head. Unfortunate for the ref, and more so for the Bison, who had to punt. The game goes back and forth in a defensive battle with each team feeling the other out. A lot of Media time outs. When the Bison got the ball back #85 Kevin Vaadeland was wide open with a touchdown looming, but Carson's pass was a little over thrown and Kevin couldn't keep his footing or the ball. Carson hit a 31 yard pass to John Crockett. #83 Carey Wood caught a nice pass too, but also caught an elbow to the neck, and had to be carted out of the game to the hospital. This seemed to fire up the Bison- revenge. John Crocket found the end zone. The Bison take a 7 to 0 lead. The Bearkats
find themselves pinned deep. The defense looks like they're going to get a stop or a safety but SHSU QB #15 Jared Johnson fades a hole and shakes tackles for a long long first down. Jared finds #19 Gerald Thomas for 39 yards. It looks like SHSU may be trading scores with the Bison, but the Bison defense holds and the Bearcats settle for three points to start the second quarter. 7 to 3.
#13 Eric Perkins returns the punt to the 30 yard line. He had an opening but it closed quickly. The SHSU plays fast and tuff. The Bearkat
offense is moving the ball pretty well. It appears their players are starting to cramp up. This is a good sign for the Bison. Sam Houston misses a 40 yard field goal. #81 Isaiah Frandsen catches his first career reception as the Bison are missing their two starting Wide Receivers. Back on defense, Bison: #53 Kyle Emanuel and #61Brian Schaetz combine on a sack of Jared. The teams go back and forth. The Bearkats
get a sack on Carson. John Crockett fumbles but recovers. It seems like a tight game going into the half: 7 to 3 Bison lead.
During half time both bands perform together. The PA announces Carey Woods has a neck injury, but has movement in his extremities.
The second half doesn't begin so well for the Bison. They're forced to punt, but Sam Houston comes unimpeded to #17 Ben LeCompte who goes down to the ground. Although the Bison get an automatic first down from the penalty, Carson is intercepted. Bison defense stiffens. Carson hits John Crockett, wide open for 36 yards. His teammate #22 King Fraiser takes it the other 33 yards for a touchdown. 14 to 3. The local press was so concerned about stopping SHSU's FBS transfers, but it was NDSU's FBS transfer, King Fraiser, who scored. #31 Tom Barneson pins SHSU at their 7 yard line. The crowd in our section goes into overdrive. The Bison defense gets a three and out, leading to excellent field position. #23 John Crockett breaks a 55 yard run giving the Bison a 21 to 3 lead and all the momentum switches to NDSU. Carson sets a single season passing yardage record for the Bison. #53 Kyle Emanuel gets another sack. And #6 C.J. Smith almost picks off #15 Jared Johnson. The Bison are wearing the SHSU offensive line down.
The Bison offense goes no huddle and runs John Crockett up the middle over and over and over again, just destroying the SHSU defense. The Bison are one quarter away from a 4th straight trip to Frisco and the FCS Championship game.
#23 John Crockett barrels in for the touchdown from 10 yards out; taking half the Texan team with him. 28 to 3 Bison. "God Bless Texas" plays in the Fargodome. And there are 18,025 fans singing along. On defense #38 Carlton Littlejohn with huge hit on SHSU QB #15 Jared Johnson. Johnson is out of the game after that play. SHSU head coach KC Keeler is on field screaming for flag that never comes. Jared Johnson comes back into the game and connects with #85 LaDarius Brown: only his 2nd reception. #91 Mike Hardie is down on the field after play. The Refs are letting both teams play this game. Bison: #49 Nick DeLuca picks off Jared. Carson finds #46 Andrew Bonnet for a big gain. The crowd knows the Bison own the Bearkats
. The 'Wave' goes around the field half a dozen times. Carson finds #16 RJ Urzendowski for a 14-yard touchdown pass. The Bison 35, Sam Houston State 3 with 3:38 to play in the game. The Bison fight song plays again. "Welcome To Fisco North" sign goes up. The Bison start putting in back up players. #19 Jared Johnson is sacked by #96 Greg Menard. Jared gets a meaningless completion and the game is over. The Bison sidelines erupt onto the field. The senior players race over to the student section and climb up on their last game in the Fargodome. The mood is electric.
Note: I was so excited going to the game I forgot my camera on the kitchen counter and didn't remember until I was in the Fargodome breezing through security. I did have my Fuji F-11 so I photographed the family, took some movies, and some plays near the south end zone.
00 03 00 00 = 03NDSU
07 00 14 14 = 35Scoring Plays1st Quarter
NDSU - John Crockett 3 yd run (Adam Keller kick ), 9 plays2nd Quarter
SHSU - Luc Swimberghe 22 yd field goal 15 plays, 82 yards3rd Quarter
NDSU - King Frazier 33 yd run (Adam Keller kick ), 4 plays, 90 yards
NDSU - John Crockett 55 yd run (Adam Keller kick ), 1 plays, 55 yards4th Quarter
NDSU - John Crockett 10 yd run (Adam Keller kick ), 14 plays, 87 yards
NDSU - RJ Urzendowski 14 yd pass from Carson Wentz (Adam Keller kick ) 6 plays, 53 yardsAdditional CoverageGoBison.com
has coverage and a video. They also have the Box Score
, Play-by-Play, Participation, etc.
Inforum.com has articles on the game by: Jeff Kolpack
, Eric Peterson
, Kevin Schnepf
, Jeff Kolpack again
, and Tu-Uyen Tran
has an interesting article on Forum photographer David Samson.
They also have Stats
, and Photos
. Kevin Schnepf
on the SHSU preparing for the Fargodome.Houston Chronicle ItemOnline