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Jackrabbits tame Jed Stugart’s Lindenwood Lions

SDSU wins home opener 52-7
Published: Sep. 11, 2021 at 11:45 PM CDT
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BROOKINGS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - South Dakota State scored on all seven of its first-half drives, ending four of those drives on touchdown passes from Chris Oladokkun, as the second-ranked Jackrabbits rolled past Lindenwood, 52-7, before a crowd of 15,162 Saturday night at Dana J. Dykhouse Stadium.

With the win, SDSU improved to 2-0 on the season. Lindenwood, an NCAA Division II program, dropped to 0-2.

The Jackrabbits needed only three plays after the opening kickoff to crack the scoring column. On the first play from scrimmage, Oladokun hooked up with Jaxon Janke deep along the right hash for a 55-yard pass play to the Lion 20. Pierre Strong, Jr. did the rest, gaining 13 yards on his first carry of the night before scoring from 7 yards out a minute and 13 seconds into the contest.

Oladokun found tight end Zach Heins for touchdowns of 4 and 2 yards on the next two Jackrabbit possessions to put SDSU up 21-0 late in the first quarter.

The SDSU onslaught continued in the second quarter as the Jackrabbits put 24 more points on the board. Oladokun worked with another Jackrabbit tight end, Tucker Kraft, for a pair of scores four minutes apart, covering 5 and 13 yards to push the lead to 35-0.

All five of the Jackrabbits’ touchdown drives to that point canvassed at least 71 yards.

Oladokun was an efficient 12-for-14 passing for 171 yards and the four touchdowns. Kraft caught a team-high four passes for 38 yards.

SDSU pulled its starters midway through the second quarter and backup quarterback Keaton Heide led the Jackrabbits on two more scoring drives in the opening half. The first drive ended with a career-long 54-yard field goal by Cole Frahm, with the second culminating on a 14-yard touchdown pass from Heide to Mason Leighton in the right corner of the end zone.

The Jackrabbits finished the first half with 426 yards of total offense and ended the night with a 560-196 advantage for the game. SDSU rushed for 330 yards and threw for 230 as Heide completed 3-of-5 passes for 54 yards and Rudy Voss completed his first collegiate pass attempt for five yards. Eight different Jackrabbits tallied at least one reception.

Third-string running back Amar Johnson capped the Jackrabbit scoring with a 1-yard touchdown run midway through the third quarter to finish off a seven-play, 71-yard drive.

Lindenwood ended SDSU’s shutout bid on the first play of the fourth quarter as Payton Rose hauled in a 37-yard touchdown pass from Cade Brister.

The Jackrabbit defense limited Lindenwood to 84 net yards rushing with the help of three sacks. Nash Sutherlin tallied 33 yards on 11 carries, with Brister gaining 21 yards on the ground and throwing for 112 on 9-of-18 passing.

Both Strong and Johnson topped the century mark for SDSU. Strong gained 110 yards on only seven carries, while Johnson, filling in for an injured Isaiah Davis, collected 105 yards on 15 attempts.

Daeton Mcgaughy led the Jackrabbit defense with five tackles. Payton Shafer recorded two of SDSU’s 10 tackles for loss, including a sack.

UP NEXT The Jackrabbits have their lone bye week of the regular season before opening Missouri Valley Football Conference action Sept. 25 at Indiana State. Kickoff for that contest is 1 p.m. Eastern (noon Central) at Memorial Stadium in Terre Haute, Indiana.

NOTES

  • Saturday’s game marked the first-ever meeting between SDSU and Lindenwood in football
  • Oladokun became the first Jackrabbit quarterback to throw four touchdowns in a game since Taryn Christion’s five-TD performance against Indiana State in 2018
  • Kraft’s touchdowns were the first of his career
  • SDSU improved to 8-0 in Dairy Drive games
  • The Jackrabbits upped their record in home openers under head coach John Stiegelmeier to 21-4, including 6-0 at Dana J. Dykhouse Stadium
  • Strong became the seventh running back in SDSU history to top 3,000 career yards and moved into sixth place in career rushing by a Jackrabbit with 3,089 yards as he passed both Cory Koenig (2,990 yards from 2004-07) and Les Tuma (3,018 yards from 1970-73) in Saturday’s game
  • Strong turned in the 12th 100-yard game of his career
  • SDSU averaged 9.2 yards per play on 61 offensive snaps
  • Graham Spalding came up with the only takeaway of the game, an interception for the Jackrabbits in the second quarter
  • A total of 28 different Jackrabbit players were credited with at least one tackle

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