FCS Playoffs: South Dakota Stages Big Rally, Falls Short at Sam Houston State
To the surprise of absolutely no one, the top two offensive teams in all of FCS football combined for 96 points and more than 1,300 yards of total offense, Saturday (December 2), when South Dakota traveled to sixth-seed Sam Houston Sate in round two of the FCS Playoffs.
What was a surprise is how the scoring unfolded in the Bearkats 54-42 win.
SHSU scored on eight of their first ten possessions and got three first half touchdown catches and a scoring run from Southland Conference Offensive Player of the Year Davion Davis, rolling up 468 yards of total offense in he process, to mount a seemingly insurmountable 41-14 lead at halftime.
Quarterback Jeremiah Briscoe threw for 331 yards and four touchdowns in the first 30 minutes.
But the Coyotes have a conference player of the year of their own, and quarterback Chris Streveler put on a show in the second half. The Missouri Valley offensive MVP tossed four second half touchdown passes, on the Coyotes first five possessions, to pull USD to within two points early in the fourth quarter.
That lone possession during that stretch the Coyotes didn't score proved to be huge.
South Dakota thought it had a touchdown run from Kai Henry, but the play was called back when USD was flagged for illegally helping the runner.
Moments later, Henry appeared to have enough for a first down on fourth and goal from the ten yard line, but a questionable spot gave SHSU the ball back on downs.
Later in the second half, a Coyote drive was stopped in the red zone, when Streveler was picked off at the Bearkat 17.
Streveler saved his best game in a Coyote uniform for last, throwing for 520 yards and five touchdowns. Brandt Van Roekel, playing in his last game for USD, made 11 catches for 234 yards and a score.
Briscoe finished with 505 passing yards and four scores for Sam Houston, who hosts Kennesaw State in the quarterfinals.
South Dakota finishes the season 8-5.