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STORY BY STEVE SCHAACK-ISU SPORTS INFORMATION
POCATELLO, Idaho - A late rally fell short as North Dakota beat Idaho State (2-3, 0-2) 28-25 in front of a crowd of 7,568 at Holt Arena on Saturday afternoon.career and the first of the season for ISU.
The Bengal defense held North Dakota (2-3, 1-1) to 374 total yards while the ISU offense had 371. Justin Arias was 40-66 with three touchdowns and three interceptions and 365 yards. Luke Austin and Broc Malcom each caught 11 passes as Austin had 98 yards receiving and one touchdown and Malcom had 69-yards.
Xavier Finney had a career-high 59-yards receiving on six receptions and carried the ball 11 times for 70 yards. Cameron Richmond had five receptions for 52-yards and one touchdown and Chad Hansen caught two passes for 20-yards and one touchdown.
Cody Sorensen and Jake Pele each had nine tackles and Mitch Beckstead had eight tackles and two interceptions, the first of his
After a scoreless first quarter, North Dakota took a 7-0 lead with 12:29 to play in the first half. ISU countered and tied the game at seven when Arias connected with Richmond on a 20-yard reception four minutes later. North Dakota scored a touchdown with 1:08 to play in the half to take a 14-7 lead at halftime.
ISU cut the ND lead to 14-10 after Garcia connected on a career-long 51-yard field goal with 11:11 to play in the third but North Dakota quickly extended its lead to 21-10 when Greg Hardin ran back the ensuing kickoff 99-yards for a touchdown.
Early in the fourth quarter, Hansen scored on a 20-yard reception to cut the North Dakota lead 21-17 with 10:22 remaining in the game then with 5:53 to play the lead was extended to 28-17 when Ben Peters recovered an ISU fumble in the end zone.
ISU scored with 2:07 to play in the game on a three-yard touchdown pass to Austin but North Dakota was able to run out the clock on its drive to seal the victory.
Idaho State returns home next Saturday, Oct. 12, to host Northern Colorado at 3 p.m. in Holt Arena.
Mike Kramer Post Game Quotes|
On the heart of the team
"It is a necessary part of your equipment that you draw when you become an Idaho State Bengal. We have so little opportunity to be successful. A lot of our guys are not sure how to handle that opportunity to be successful. The cool part is we battled today and that is two Big Sky games in row where we have battled. That has to be a positive for us as we try to learn how to win."
On the defense
"We have to play better. We got some stops when we needed to make stops. We didn't tackle good early. We made some assignment mistakes. We really screwed up as a coaching staff trying to change calls early on the defense. We had a lot of growing to do in the first half as a staff defensively. The growth was very apparent in the second half. We are a full-team. It is not just the defense, offense or the kicking game. The kick return was the back breaker. While the defense played well at times they didn't play well early.
On the offense
Offensively we are finding ourselves a long way from the end zone a lot of the time. We battled some field position because our defense bends and we start every drive inside the 20 in the first half almost. We went 11 quarters of only scoring one touchdown.
On the kickoff return for a touchdown
When we kicked the ball off to 84 that was something we said we were not going to do. We are not understanding at every single position understanding what the mission has to be on every single play.
Improving as a team
"It is a step forward in terms of the closeness of the ball game but tt was a very winnable game and we hurt ourselves way more than they did."
- Cody Sorensen had a career-high nine tackles.
- Mitch Beckstead had the first two interceptions of the season for the Bengals and the first of his career.
- Chad Hansen scored his first career touchdown in the fourth quarter on a 20-yard touchdown pass from Justin Arias.
- Brendon Garcia kicked a career-long 51-yard field goal. It tied for the 24th longest field goal in Idaho State history.
- Vai Peko recovered a fumble on special teams for the second straight game. Last week he recovered a fumble on an Idaho State kickoff.
- Robby Mackesey made his first-career start at defensive end and had six tackles.
- Pat Carter made his first-career start at corner back.