FARGO, ND (WJHL) – The Buccaneers’ historic football season ended Saturday in the FargoDome, as No. 2 North Dakota State stifled No. 7 ETSU in the FCS quarterfinals, 27-3.
The Bucs entered the day averaging better than 35 points and almost 430 yards per contest. The Bison, however, allowed Randy Sanders’ squad to gain just 165 total yards in the win.
Walter Payton Award finalist Quay Holmes was bottled up for most of the afternoon, gaining 35 yards on 14 grueling attempts.
ETSU’s defense dug in for most of the game, but was worn down by the physical Bison run game. NDSU rushed for 278 yards and four scores. TaMerik Williams led the North Dakota State rushing attack with 91 yards and a pair of scores.
The Bison got on the board first thanks to the feet of Williams, who rolled in from three yards out. ETSU stopped the 2-pt conversion to keep the score 6-0 with 7:04 left in the second quarter.
Williams scored again for the Bison before the half was through – his 12th touchdown of the year. The seven-yard score and extra point put NDSU up 13-0 with just :51 seconds to play in the second quarter. That’s how the scoreboard looked heading into halftime.
ETSU came up with a big stop of the Bison on 4th and 2 to get the ball back with 8:06 to play in the third quarter.
But, Tyler Riddell tossed an interception on the very next play from scrimmage. Suddenly, the Bison were back with the ball in ETSU territory.
Cam Miller punched in another touchdown on the quarterback keeper from three yards away with 6:06 left in the third quarter, extending the lead to 20-0.
The Bucs caught a break late in the third quarter, as the Bison touch a punt that was pounced on by ETSU.
The Buccaneers turned the turnover into points, as Tyler Keltner knocked through a 40-yard field goal, making it 20-3 with 1:35 to play in the third quarter.
But, the Bison continued to pund the football on the ground, capping off a 12-play, 82-yard drive with a Hunter Luepke touchdown to take a 27-3 lead.
The Bucs would get the ball back, but turned it over on downs in what would be their final offensive possession.
ETSU finishes the year with a record of 11-2. Those eleven wins are the most in a single season in program history