Bison Cruise To Third Consecutive National Title With 35-7 Victory Over Towson
FRISCO, Texas – The North Dakota State football team cruised to its third consecutive NCAA Division I FCS national championship on Saturday, Jan. 4, defeating No. 4-ranked Towson 35-7 in front of 19,802 fans at Toyota Stadium.
NDSU becomes just the second team in FCS history to win three straight national championships, joining the Appalachian State teams of 2005-07. The win was NDSU's 24th in a row, matching the school and FCS record winning streaks.
The Bison set a school record for wins in a season, ending the year at a perfect 15-0. NDSU is the first undefeated FCS champion since Marshall went 15-0 in 1996.
John Crockett carried nine times for 86 yards for NDSU, and Sam Ojuri added 85 yards on 15 carries for the Bison. Quarterback Brock Jensen was 13-of-18 through the air for 135 yards.
The Bison claimed a 7-0 lead on a two-yard touchdown run by John Crockett with 5:34 left in the first quarter, but Towson responded with a 12-play, 77-yard drive and tied the game at 7-7 on a three-yard run by Terrance West as the quarter ended.
Momentum swung in NDSU's favor late in the second quarter, as Towson lined up to attempt a 41-yard field goal with just over five minutes remaining. Junior safety Colten Heagle broke through the line to block the kick, and defensive end Kyle Emanuel scooped up the ball and rumbled 59 yards to the Towson five-yard line.
Ryan Smith carried around end for a touchdown on the next play, giving the Bison a 14-7 lead with 4:43 left in the half.
Cornerback CJ Smith intercepted Towson quarterback Peter Athens on the following drive and put together a 33-yard return to set up the next Bison touchdown. Brock Jensen found Zach Vraa for a 12-yard scoring strike with 1:05 remaining in the half, stretching the margin to 21-7.
NDSU tacked on a nine-yard touchdown run by Jensen in the third quarter and a one-yard score by Sam Ojuri early in the fourth quarter.
NDSU finished unbeaten for the first time since 1990 when the Bison claimed a Division II national title.