UND Comeback Victory Gives Them Share of First Big Sky Title
The Fighting Hawks erased a 21-point 3rd quarter deficit and rallied to beat Northern Arizona 38-31 to win their 9th straight victory, and capture a share of the Big Sky Conference title.
North Dakota (9-2, 8-0) went ahead for good with 2:43 left in the 4th quarter when Deion Harris returned an interception 40 yards for the go-ahead pick-6. The play capped off an incredible comeback that included 28 unanswered 2nd half points by UND.
The Fighting Hawks were down 31-10 against the Lumberjacks (5-5, 4-3), early in the 3rd quarter, before a 15-yard touchdown run by UND's John Santiago started the comeback. Luke Fiedler then hauled in a 2-yard pass from running back Brady Oliveira for another touchdown, and then Demun Mercer tied the game with a 10-yard touchdown reception from quarterback Keaton Studsrud with just 3:21 left in the game.
The pick-6 by Harris capped off the scoring and comeback. Northern Arizona would reach the UND 20, before turning the ball over on downs with just 29 seconds remaining.
For North Dakota, quarterback Keaton Studsrud went 13 of 34 for 252 yards, while running back Brady Oliveira ran for 103 yards. Demun Mercer finished with 10 catches for 137 yards.
The win gives the Fighting Hawks a share of their first Big Sky Conference Championship. Earlier this week, UND cracked the FCS Playoff Committee's Top 10 rankings for the first time.
Source: Washington Times