Wednesday, 17 January, 2018

NDSU ends JMU 26-game winning streak for sixth FCS Championship

NDSU Veterans Share Thoughts on Return to Frisco Jim Oxley HERO Sports
Cassandra Gardner | 07 January, 2018, 01:14

After piecing together an unforgettable 26-game winning streak and ideal 2017 campaign heading into the season, JMU fell to North Dakota State 17-13 in the FCS Championship at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas.

Sure, the advanced stats indicate that NDSU is the best team in the FCS, but the Dukes can be confident in the fact that they dismantled the one team that gave the Bison issues.

This means that North Dakota State should be slight favorites over James Madison, and sure enough, the Bison are 3.5 point favorites on a neutral site in Frisco, Texas. "I know I'll have these guys the rest of my life".

As the famous Bull Durham mantra goes, "Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose and sometimes it rains".

At the end of the day, I expect the Dukes to edge the Bison 23-20 as they win back-to-back titles.

Easton Stick is in his second season as the Bison' starter.

JMU senior quarterback Bryan Schor says, "This is the reason why we play football". Although JMU took down NDSU last season in Fargo, North Dakota, the Bison have significantly improved, but the Dukes have as well. After taking over at their own 44-yard line, Stick handed the ball off to Anderson for 13 yards on two plays and Dunn for two yards on two plays before whistling a dart to junior wide receiver Darrius Shepherd, who converted a wide-open pass downfield into a 50-yard touchdown to extend NDSU's lead to 14-3.

The Bison may have failed to score any second-half points, but their defense made several key stops in thwarting the Dukes' comeback bid.

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JMU closed the half going 68 yards in four plays that ended in a 21-yard field goal by Ethan Ratke.

Said James Madison coach Mike Houston: "They made the plays".

Three plays lost two yards and the Dukes faced fourth-and-16 after an illegal motion penalty with 1:10 remaining. "There's no doubt. And we're excited about it too".

James Madison scored on its first possession of the third quarter to close within 17-13. "And they wanted to leave a legacy, and they left a legacy for the 2017 Bison".

JMU - Marcus Marshall has 11 carries for 30 yards and 1 touchdown. Therefore, the Bison had a higher net yards per play than the Dukes; NDSU's NYPP of 2.95 tops JMU's NYPP of 2.12. Sophomore cornerback Marquise Bridges intercepted Schor's pass at the NDSU 3-yard line.

With the game in the final minutes, JMU ran a fake punt with Harry O'Kelly to continue the drive.

NDSU - Bruce Anderson had 18 carries for 63 yards and 1 touchdown.

A scrambling Schor, under heavy pressure and off balance, heaved it in the end zone and the ball fell incomplete. In JMU's first drive of the fourth quarter, Alls dropped a wide-open pass downfield which preceded a drive-ending sack of Schor.

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