GRAND FORKS, ND — Missouri State Bears end the NCAA FCS football playoff game by falling to the North Dakota Fighting Hawks.
The Bears struggled to put points on the board throughout the game. North Dakota came out on top with a score of 44 to 10.
Making their first NCAA appearance since 1990, Missouri State fell behind 27-3 at the intermission, but did not allow an offensive touchdown in the second half until the 2:17 mark of the fourth quarter with the game already in hand. The Fighting Hawks added a pair of unconventional scores on a blocked punt and an interception return in the third that put things out of reach.
The Bears secured their only touchdown of the game with 12:20 to play as quarterback Jaden Johnson tucked the ball and scampered eight yards for a touchdown to cap a 10-play, 46-yard scoring drive. Missouri State’s TD march included a 13-yard pickup by Myron Mason and a 12-yard carry from Tobias Little to the UND 8-yard line. After a pair of incomplete passes, Johnson took things into his own hands on third-and-eight and gave MSU a playoff touchdown that made it 37-10 at the time.
North Dakota QB Tommy Schuster finished 13-for-18 through the air for 223 yards and a pair of early touchdowns to lead the home side to a 364-yard offensive output.
Dwight Jacobs and Tyler Lovelace led the Bears defense with 7 tackles apiece.
“Offensively, we couldn’t move the ball consistently,” said Bears head coach Bobby Petrino in a press release. “You have to take your hat off to North Dakota. They out-executed us and outplayed us. We have to take today’s game, learn from it, and use it to be better moving forward. I told our players not to let this one game take away from what they achieved this season.”
KOLR10 will have a full recap of the game.