Jackrabbits Rally To Win Thriller In FCS Spring Football Kickoff At Northern Iowa

True Freshman Quarterback Mark Gronowski Leads Late Touchdown Drive To Win 24-20
Published: Feb. 19, 2021 at 11:56 PM CST
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CEDAR FALLS, IA (Dakota News Now) - A season of college football unlike any other at South Dakota State began with a true freshman under center at quarterback at #3 Northern Iowa.

Though it remains to be seen how the eight game spring season will play out, Jackrabbit fans have to be happy with the start.

In his first career start Mark Gronowski led the #5 Jacks on a 12-play, 75-yard drive in the fourth quarter, throwing the game winning two-yard touchdown pass to Pierre Strong Jr. with 19 seconds to play to deliver a 24-20 victory at the UNI Dome on Friday night.

Gronowski finished the day 19-29 passing for 194 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions. He also ran ten times for 45 yards and a score. Strong rushed for 98 yards on 22 carries while hauling in six passes for 31 yards and a score. Zach Heins led SDSU with five catches for 90 yards.

Trailing 7-3 after a quarter, Gronowski seemed to find his footing in the second quarter. He threw a six yard touchdown pass to Jaxon Janke that gave State a 10-7 lead with 5:14 remaining. Following a punt block Gronowski then scrambled for a five yard score on third down, staking the Jacks to a 17-7 halftime lead.

The true freshman and SDSU offense would struggle in the second half with a fumble by Gronowski setting up UNI’s go-ahead score with 5:59 left.

The Jacks (1-0) will visit the University of North Dakota next Saturday at noon.

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