The Valparaiso University football team incurred a 64-0 setback to full-scholarship, nationally-ranked North Dakota State on Saturday afternoon at the Fargodome in Fargo, N.D. The Bison have won eight of the last 10 FCS national titles and entered the game ranked fifth nationally in the Stats Perform FCS Poll and fourth in the AFCA Coaches’ Poll.
How It Happened
- North Dakota State (2-0) jumped in front before its first offensive snap of the day as Jayden Price returned a punt 45 yards for a touchdown.
- The Bison reached the endzone twice more before the end of the first quarter to build up a 21-0 lead.
- Christian Watson scored on a 65-yard TD pass from Quincy Patterson early in the second quarter, then a pair of long runs by Jalen Bussey and Patterson made it 43-0 by halftime.
- NDSU scored twice in the third quarter and once more in the fourth to account for the 64-0 final.
- The Bison had just six pass attempts in the game, but did their damage on the ground. They outrushed Valpo 458-73 and outgained the Beacons 465-111 in total offense. North Dakota State had 11 different players with at least one rushing attempt.
- Two Valpo drives that reached the red zone ended with turnovers, as the Beacons moved the ball effectively on several occasions late in the game. A 17-yard pass to the North Dakota State 17-yard line ended with a lost fumble, then Valpo again moved it inside the 20 in the final minute before an interception on the final play of the game.
Inside the Game
- Punter Ben Niesner (Black Diamond, Wash. / Tahoma [Portland State]) was a bright spot for Valpo, totaling 302 yards on seven attempts for an average of 43.1 yards per punt. He placed two kicks inside the 20 including a 58 yarder, his longest of the season to this point. However, Niesner’s most notable play came when he turned in Valpo’s longest rush of the day, a 17-yard gain to move the chains on 4th-and-4 from the Valpo 36-yard line early in the second quarter.
- Defensive back Kohlton Sherman (Millington, Mich. / Millington) had a big game in the Valpo secondary, racking up a team-high 10 tackles including four solos. It was his second career double-figure tackle game and first since Nov. 2, 2019 at Davidson.
- Sophomore Adam Mekky (Mount Prospect, Ill. / Prospect) enjoyed a breakout day for the Valpo defense, accruing seven tackles. Trey Psota (Bay Village, Ohio / Bay) and Evan Annis (Hilliard, Ohio / Hilliard Davidson) chipped in five apiece.
- Jadarius Horton (Charlotte, N.C. / West Charlotte [Southwestern College]) notched a sack for his first career tackle for loss. The sack went for a loss of seven, one of the defensive highlights of the day for the Beacons.
- Jordan Bingham (Indianapolis, Ind. / North Central) and Robert Washington (Huntersville, N.C. / East Gaston [Old Dominion]) hauled in four catches a piece to lead the team.
Valpo (0-2) will kick off the home portion of the season next Saturday, Sept. 18 at 1 p.m. vs. Dartmouth at Brown Field as a top-tier Ivy League foe makes its way to Northwest Indiana. All Valpo home games this season will be broadcast on ESPN3 as well as the Valpo Sports Network, available on 95.1 FM Valparaiso, on ValpoAthletics.com and via the TuneIn Radio app.