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South Dakota Loses at Western Illinois, 24-10

Western Illinois University
Western Illinois University

The ninth-ever Missouri Valley Conference football game for the University of South Dakota ended exactly the same way as the previous eight, with a loss.

USD fell at Western Illinois Saturday, 24-10.

The Coyotes had a chance to score the first points of the game on their first possession, but Miles Bergner missed on a 50-yard field.

After a scoreless first quarter, the Leathernecks broke the drought when Nathan Knuffman connected on a 28-yard field goal to make it 3-0 Western Illinois.

Al season, USD has been plagued by snapping problems in the punting game, and a bad snap in the second quarter led to the game’s first touchdown, as Western’s Kevin Kintzel scooped up the ball at the 11 and took it into the end zone.  10-0 Leathernecks.

The Coyote offense found its rhythm on the next drive, as a key 4th-and-8 conversion from quarterback Josh Vander Maten kept the drive alive and Bergner put USD on the board with a 27-yard field goal to cut the Leathernecks’ lead to 10-3.

Wet, windy weather kept the Coyotes grounded in the first 30 minutes.  USD attempted just 5 passes, completing just 1, for 3 yards.

10-3 Western Illinois at halftime.

The South Dakota defense a turnover on Western Illinois’ first possession of the second half as Tyler Starr picked off Trenton Norvell at the WIU 47. But the USD offense went three-and-out, punting the ball back.

Near the end of the third quarter, Western Illinois put together a 95-yard drive, aided by two USD penalties, Nikko Watson covering the final yard and making it a 17-3 game.

The Coyotes offense showed signs of life in the fourth quarter, when the USD coaches decided to bring in backup quarterback Kevin Earl, and he responded, driving the Yotes 8 plays in 66 yards, going 3-for-5 thru the air, and handing it off to Jordan Roberts for a 6-yard score and a 17-10 game.

The Leathernecks answered right back though, as J.C Baker broke off a 54-yard run and WIU scored two plays later on a Norvell to Joey Borsellino 4-yard pass, and the Leathernecks were back up by 14.

Paced by Baker and Watson, who each reached triple digits in rushing, WIU outgained USD 221-99 on the ground.  South Dakota was just 1-of-16 on third down.

The loss was the 18th straight on the road for USD.

The Coyotes host Missouri State next Saturday at 2:00pm

SDSU Shutout by NDSU

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