- Associated Press - Saturday, October 11, 2014

BROOKINGS, S.D. (AP) - Zac Lujan threw three touchdown passes to Jake Wieneke as South Dakota State rallied to beat Missouri State 32-28 Saturday night.

Lujan finished with 17-of-28 passing for 310 yards for the Jackrabbits (4-2, 1-1 Missouri Valley Football Conference), despite being sacked five times. Zach Zenner ran for 149 yards and a score on 27 carries. Wieneke had eight receptions for 183 yards. Jason Schneider had seven catches for 105 yards.

Lujan threw 78- and 10-yard touchdown passes to Wieneke in the second quarter. But Missouri State’s Kierra Harris and Calan Crowder combined for four rushing touchdowns in the first half to give the Bears (3-3, 0-2) a 28-17 lead at halftime.

After a scoreless third quarter, Lujan and Wieneke connected again for a 26-yard touchdown early in the fourth and Zenner ran it in for another score to put the Jackrabbits on top, 32-28.

“Zach has trained so hard. There’s not a lot of people can take those hits,” SDSU coach John Stiegelmeier said. “I’m glad he’s on our team.”

SDSU trailed 28-10 with 3:56 left in the second quarter. It got within 28-17 at the half, and the Jackrabbits’ defense limited Missouri State to just 80 yards in the second half and shut down the Bears when they threatened to score late in the game.

The Bears (3-2, 0-1) owned the first half. Harris ran for 72 yards and was 12-for-25 for 113 yards passing. He was intercepted once.

Crowder first scored on a 3-yard run with 30 seconds left in the first quarter, then added a 2-yard run with 3:56 left in the half. The last score was set up by Jerry Springer’s interception of a Tyler Finnes pass deep in SDSU territory.

Finnes briefly replaced Lujan at quarterback in the first half.

“We felt the game was moving a little too fast for him. We just wanted him to calm down,” Stiegelmeier said. “Zach and the team rallied.”

Lujan and Wieneke kept the Jackrabbits close as they teamed up for two first-half scores and connected again midway through the fourth quarter. Wieneke broke past the defense and Lujan floated a 28-yard TD pass into his arms to make it 28-23. Lujan then hit Schneider for a two-point conversion.

On the Jackrabbits’ next series, Zenner’s 30-yard run down to the 10-yard line set up his own 1-yard run that gave SDSU a 32-28 lead with 7:55 left.

Missouri State drove down field to the South Dakota 31 late in the game but the drive ended with an incomplete pass on fourth down with less than a minute to play.

“I’m really proud of our program,” Stiegelmeier said. “To go out and play from that deficit and win the game. I’m just really proud.”

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