GRAND FORKS, N.D. (AP) - Idaho State scored the last 22 points of the game to rally past North Dakota 37-31 Saturday in the Big Sky Conference.
Trailing 31-15 late in the third quarter, the Bengals (2-5, 1-2) got two touchdowns from Jakori Ford and another from KW Williams.
Idaho State quarterback Michael Sanders completed 32 of 49 pass attempts for 427 yards and four touchdowns. His 27-yard pass to Jakori Ford with 6:15 to play was the game-winner.
“No question we got outplayed down the stretch,” North Dakota coach Bubba Schweigert said.
UND led 31-15 after John Santiago’s 27-yard TD run with 1:21 left in the third. Santiago ran for 155 of UND’s 270 rushing yards.
But Idaho State rallied late behind Sanders’ second TD pass to Williams a minute later, and Ford’s 1-yard run with 10:30 to play, to make it 31-29.
Williams caught 12 passes for 204 yards and two scores and Madison Mangum caught 10 passes for 142 yards and a TD.
The Bengals were forced to the air by a UND defense gave up just 53 yards on the ground.
“They always get the ball out quick so it’s hard to get pressure on a team like that,” UND linebacker Will Ratelle said. “Their offensive line protected well, too.”
UND took a 21-15 lead into halftime despite three turnovers.
Mistakes played a role in Idaho State’s early lead. UND’s Keaton Studsrud threw an interception, Josh Seibel muffed a punt return and Santiago lost a fumble.
Studsrud was injured in the third quarter and replaced by Ryan Bartels, who was 3 of 8 for 47 yards.
Idaho State cashed in on a 25-yard touchdown pass from Sanders to a wide-open Williams. But the PAT failed, leaving the Bengals up 6-0.
Seibel atoned for the mistake on UND’s ensuing possession when he caught a 13-yard TD pass from Studsrud. Reid Taubenheim’s PAT made it 7-6 with 3:21 left in the first quarter.
Idaho State answered with a 35-yard Zak Johnson field goal and a 34-yard TD pass from Sanders to Mangum that gave the Bengals a 15-14 lead with 7:55 left in the half.
UND reclaimed the lead with 42 seconds left in the half on a 9-yard pass from Studsrud to Miguel Cerriteno.
Taubenheim kicked a 33-yard field goal and UND led 31-15 after Santiago’s 27-yard TD run with 1:21 left in the third.
“We did a really good job in the third quarter to get the lead but we just couldn’t get off the field on defense (in the fourth),” Schweigert said. “Too many big plays.”
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