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NDSU 34, Indiana St. 7 - final

North Dakota State took its sweet time to put away Indiana State on Saturday night. Although unimpressive, the 34-7 victory before 16,211 at the Fargodome was a win, nonetheless, and the Bison improved to 5-4 overall and 3-3 in the Missouri Valle...

North Dakota State took its sweet time to put away Indiana State on Saturday night.

Although unimpressive, the 34-7 victory before 16,211 at the Fargodome was a win, nonetheless, and the Bison improved to 5-4 overall and 3-3 in the Missouri Valley Football Conference. NDSU, ranked 24th in the Division I Football Championship Subdivision coaches poll, struggled to take a 20-7 halftime lead against a team that lost its 23rd straight game - the longest such streak in the country.

The Sycamores fell to 0-9, but they were the most inspired team for almost three quarters. They outgained the Bison 124-117 in the first half and had a golden chance to go into halftime down 10-7.

But Bison safety Cyrus Lemon returned an interception 41 yards to the Sycamore 30 with three minutes remaining and the Bison made them pay for the mistake.

Quarterback Nick Mertens hit receiver Alex Belquist for a 15-yard touchdown with 1:20 left and it was 17-7. Indiana State wasn't done turning it over, either.

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Linebacker Fred Bussey stripped running back Antoine Brown and cornerback John Richardson recovered it at the ISU 37. Shawn Bibeau booted a 39-yard field goal two plays later and it was 20-7.

Still, there wasn't much excitement in the dome. Mertens was 4 of 12 passing for 47 yards. Running back Tyler Roehl, who scored NDSU's first touchdown on a 5-yard run, found a few seems for 62 yards on 11 carries.

Brown, on the other hand, had a better first two quarters with 73 yards. His 19-yard touchdown run up the middle tied the game at 7-7 in the first quarter.

NDSU tallied one touchdown in the third quarter on Jordan Schultenover's 5-yard run off a reverse. Mertens' 3-yard touchdown flip to fullback Tyler Jangula on the first play of the fourth quarter made it 34-7.

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Jeff Kolpack at (701) 241-5546.

Kolpack's NDSU media blog can be found

at www.areavoices.com

Jeff would like to dispel the notion he was around when Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press, but he is on his third decade of reporting with Forum Communications. The son of a reporter and an English teacher, and the brother of a reporter, Jeff has worked at the Jamestown Sun, Bismarck Tribune and since 1990 The Forum, where he's covered North Dakota State athletics since 1995.
Jeff has covered all nine of NDSU's Division I FCS national football titles and has written three books: "Horns Up," "North Dakota Tough" and "Covid Kids." He is the radio host of "The Golf Show with Jeff Kolpack" April through August.
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