(From the SDSU sports desk)
HARRISONBURG, Va. – A ball-hawking James Madison defense forced 10 South Dakota State turnovers – five in each half – and the Dukes slammed the door shut on a Jackrabbit comeback with two long touchdown runs early in the third quarter en route to a 51-16 victory in the Football Championship Subdivision semifinals Saturday afternoon at Bridgeforth Stadium.
The top-seeded and defending national champion Dukes ran their winning streak to 26 games in improving to 14-0 on the season. SDSU, seeded fifth, had its record-setting season end with an 11-3 overall record.
Ball security continued to be an issue for the Jackrabbits, who turned the ball over on five of six possessions – a fumble and four interceptions – between the third and fourth quarters. One of the interceptions was returned 59 yards for a touchdown by the Dukes’ Raven Greene.
JMU finished with a 463-366 advantage in total offense, although the two teams were even in total yards at 202 at halftime. Marshall gained 203 yards on 15 carries, while Schor tallied 203 yards through the air, completing 18-of-25 passes.
Stapleton finished with five passes for 70 yards, with David Eldridge adding five catches for 75 yards. For the Jackrabbits, Isaac Wallace and Brady Mengarelli each gained 66 yards on respective totals of 13 and nine carries.
Wieneke ended his final collegiate game with game highs of seven catches and 105 yards, with Goedert adding five receptions for 43 yards. Christion totaled 234 yards on 18-of-43 passing and was picked off six times, including three times by Jimmy Moreland.