No. 7 UND dominates No. 12 Missouri State, 44-10, in FCS first round

Bison beats East Washington


North Dakota controlled nearly every facet in the game en route to a 44-10 victory over No. 12 Missouri State in the first round of the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) playoffs from the Alerus Center in Grand Forks.

The Fighting Hawks (5-1) scored on its first four possessions of the game while surrendering just 185 total yards to capture their first victory in the FCS playoffs in three tries and move to 11-1 inside the Alerus Center during postseason play.

It was another balanced attack on offense, with UND accumulating 223 yards through the air and 141 on the ground. Tommy Schuster did most of his work in the first half, finishing the day 13-of-18 for 223 yards and two scores. The redshirt freshman moves to 6-1 in his career at the helm, spreading the ball out to seven-different receivers.

True freshman Bo Belquist had his best day as a Fighting Hawk in the win, leading the team with four catches for 88 yards and a score. Garett Maag also found pay dirt with a 50-yard touchdown catch on the game’s opening drive to finish with three catches for 63 yards.

Otis Weah was held to a season-low 64 yards on 13 carries, but the redshirt sophomore found the end zone for the sixth straight game with his eighth rushing score of the year. Dalton Gee took nine carries for 29 yards in a reserve role while Creighton Mitchell ended the game with five carries for 37 yards and his first career touchdown.

Josh Navratil and Jaxson Turner added to their sack totals with a pair each, with Turner moving just a half a sack shy of Ross Brenneman for second on the program’s DI list for career sacks with 18.0.

In other college football news, North Dakota State defeated Eastern Washington 42-20 on Saturday in its NCAA first-round playoff matchup. The Bison overcame an early 14-0 deficit and outscored its opponent 42-6 for the remainder of the ballgame.

NDSU was led by Dominic Gonnella who netted 163 rushing yards and scored a pair of touchdowns. All told, the Bison gained 422 yards on the ground compared to just 61 rushing yards for Eastern Washington. Defensively, the Bison collected five sacks while not allowing any for EW.

Up next for the Bison, they plan to face No. 2 seed Sam Houston State next weekend in Huntsville, Texas.