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Jacks hope Thunder and Lightning can lead them far in FCS Playoffs

SDSU led by Dynamic Duo of running backs start post season Saturday against Cal-Davis
Published: Nov. 24, 2021 at 12:09 AM CST
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BROOKINGS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) -The Jackrabbit football team open the FCS Playoffs on Saturday against UC Davis. They hope it’ll be a long run thanks in part to their backfield duo of Pierre Strong Jr and Isaiah Davis, who’ve certainly been dynamic in the short time they’ve been together.

One is thunder. “I mean the man aint’ even 20 yet. I think he’s 19, so I think he’s a monster in the making!” SDSU Senior RB Pierre Strong Jr. says of Isaiah Davis.

The other lightning. “Every day everything we do is to push each other. Whether it’s drills, competition, whatever we do we’re always pushing each other.” SDSU Freshman RB Isaiah Davis says.

Together, Pierre Strong Jr and Isaiah Davis are a perfect storm.

“Both distinctly different. Both are great players. Both are unselfish and so they rejoice in each other’s successes. I’ve been around some running backs or heard stories of running backs that they wouldn’t want to share the position. These guys are fine with it.” SDSU Head Coach John Stiegelmeier says.

Unfortunately, like the real meteorological event, it’s been rare to see. Though Strong had established himself as a 1,000 yard back when Davis, Missouri’s Gatorade football player of the year, arrived as freshman last spring, Isaiah got his opportunity to shine when Strong was hurt four games into the season. “He really just kind of motivated me just to take advantage of my reps. And I feel like the beginning of the year I did my best to do that and it all worked out.” Davis says.

They would combine to run for more than 1500 yards and 13 touchdowns, bonding through competition. “We going to make sure each one of us is doing the right thing always. That’s just like my little brother. I love him, he love me, so we got that genuine love.” Strong says.

One which helped Davis recover when he suffered a shoulder injury in week two this fall that sidelined him for more than two months. “Don’t get down on yourself because, once you get hurt, people tend to forget about you. I’ve been there and done that. So I told him just keep working. Keep working, there’s always going to be a light at the end of the tunnel.” Strong says.

Isaiah returned in the season finale, teaming with Pierre to help the Jacks beat UND. It was just the eighth time in 21 games that each had carried the ball nine or more times.

Yet, with the postseason ahead. “It’s great having him back just having a one-two punch!” Pierre says.

Perhaps conditions are right for a storm across the FCS Playoffs.

In Brookings, Zach Borg, Dakota News Now.

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