Photo: South Dakota State Athletics

2022 FCS Playoffs: Semifinals Recap

The semifinals of the 2022 FCS Playoffs set up a Dakota Marker rematch in Frisco, TX on January 8th. 

We recap all the action from the semifinals of the FCS Playoffs below. 

North Dakota State 35, Incarnate Word 32

North Dakota State overcame a 16-0 first quarter deficit to advance to their 10th FCS National Championship in school history. Kobe Johnson (136 Rushing Yards; 3 TDs) led a Bison rushing attack that totaled over 328 rushing yards and four touchdowns on Friday night. QB Cam Miller struggled through the air as he went 1/12 with five passing yards, but exploded for 132 rushing yards and one touchdown. 

The Bison defense allowed over 500 total yards of offense, but forced four turnovers that changed the game on Friday night. Dawson Weber led the Bison with two interceptions and a fumble recovery, including the game-winning interception with 1:13 left in regulation. Spencer Waege had a dominant performance as he led the Bison with three tackles for loss, two sacks, and one forced fumble. Michael Tutsie and James Kaczor both had 13 tackles for the Bison defense. 

Lindsey Scott Jr. had two crucial interceptions, but led the Cardinals with 362 total yards and three touchdowns. Marcus Cooper had a solid performance with 112 rushing yards, while Jarrell Wiley made an impact by averaging 7.7 yards per carry and an early touchdown in the first quarter. Darion Chafin and Taylor Grimes each had seven catches on Friday, while Grimes led the team with 77 receiving yards. 

Up Next: North Dakota State will make their 10th appearance in the FCS National Championship against South Dakota State (Jan. 8; 1pm/CT; ABC) in Frisco, TX. The Bison have a 9-0 record in the FCS National Championship in school history.

South Dakota State 39, Montana State 18

The frigid temperatures did not impact South Dakota State on Saturday afternoon as the Jackrabbits scored on their first five possessions of the game. Isaiah Davis exploded for 158 rushing yards and one touchdown as he averaged over 9.5 yards per carry. Montana State struggled to slow down the rushing attack for South Dakota State as the Jacks totaled 281 yards on the ground and three touchdowns. Mark Gronowski had one of his best performances of the season as he completed 77% of his passes for 189 passing yards and three total touchdowns. Tucker Kraft had a big game with four receptions for 69 receiving yards and one touchdown. 

South Dakota State entered the game as the #1 rushing defense in the country and the Jackrabbits continued their dominance against the Bobcats. The Jacks held the #1 rushing offense to 52 yards rushing on 34 attempts as the Bobcats averaged 1.5 yards per carry. Adam Bock had a dominant game with 8 total tackles and two tackles for loss, while Isaiah Stalbird also totaled eight tackles for the Jacks. Reece Winkelman (4 Total Tackles; 2 TFLs) and Caleb Sanders (3 Total Tackles; 1 TFL) were dominant against the Montana State offensive line as both players were major disruptors throughout the game. 

Montana State lost QB Sean Chambers early in the game due to injury and QB Tommy Mellott appeared to be banged up late in the 2nd half. Mellott had 174 passing yards and one rushing touchdown for the Bobcats. Isaiah Ifanse led the team with 28 rushing yards on only seven carries, while Sean Chambers finished the game with one rushing touchdown. Willie Patterson (4 Receptions; 47 Receiving Yards) and Clevan Thomas (4 Receptions; 74 Receiving Yards) were the leading receivers for the Bobcats. 

Up Next: South Dakota State will make their 2nd appearance in the FCS National Championship against North Dakota State (Jan. 8; 1pm/CT; ABC) in Frisco, TX. The Jackrabbits have an 0-1 record in the FCS National Championship in school history.

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