VERMILLION, S.D. – Top-ranked South Dakota State shrugged off an early 3-0 deficit and rolled to a 37-3 win over No. 4 South Dakota Saturday inside the DakotaDome.
It was the 22nd consecutive win for the defending champions who now sit alone atop the MVFC standings with three weeks remaining. South Dakota State (8-0, 5-0 MVFC) ran for 266 yards, passed for 207 and limited South Dakota to 183 yards of total offense.
The Coyotes (6-2, 4-1) lost for the first time since a season-opening game at Missouri. South Dakota’s best possession was its first one when the Coyotes drove 42 yards and took a 3-0 lead on a career-long, 50-yard field goal by Will Leyland. Leyland hasn’t missed a kick all season.
South Dakota’s defense held Isaiah Davis to 69 yards on 17 carries – his lowest output in conference play – but it was a small consolation. Amar Johnson ran eight times for 66 yards and two scores and the Janke brothers – Jaxon and Jadon – combined for six catches for 148 yards.
South Dakota’s run game was stymied, and Aidan Bouman threw for 133 yards while completing 17-of-31 passes. Tight end JJ Galbreath had eight catches for 65 yards, but Carter Bell and Jack Martens were held to three combined completions and 35 yards. Some early drops in the first half stopped drives and SDSU took full advantage.
Coyote cornerback Shahid Barros intercepted Mark Gronowski on SDSU’s second drive of the game. It was Barros’ first collegiate pick and just the third interception thrown by Gronowski all season. But a cruel decision by the replay official threw Barros out of the game after making a seemingly innocuous tackle on SDSU’s third possession. The Jackrabbits scored on the very next play, took their first lead and scored on every possession the rest of the way.
South Dakota returns to the road next week for what aims to be another top-25 matchup. The Coyotes face 11th-ranked Southern Illinois at 1 p.m. in Carbondale, Illinois.