North Dakota State avenges loss to James Madison to win FCS championship

North Dakota State avenges loss to James Madison to win FCS championship

North Dakota State avenges loss to James Madison to win FCS championship

The No. 2-seed Bison avenged last seasons' FCS playoffs loss to James Madison by upending the top-seeded Dukes 17-13 in the FCS championship game on Saturday.

By winning six championships in seven years in the suburb north of Dallas, the Bison tied Georgia Southern with the most FCS titles.

"We've got a bunch of warriors and a bunch of winners in that locker room", Bison coach Chris Klieman said after the game. They needed some points badly before kicking away to NDSU to start the third quarter, and Stapelton's snaring of this one - momentarily pinning it to the helmet of the Bison's Josh Hayes - got them across midfield to at least set up a field goal. What a great group of guys.

"Both players, I think their teams know how valuable they are", Klieman said about Stick and Schor. The Bison have since outscored opponents 204-47.

Bison junior quarterback Easton Stick was named the game's most outstanding player, totaling 165 yards of offense, including a 50-yard touchdown pass to Darrius Shepherd in the second quarter.

Marcus Marshall had a 1-yard run for the only touchdown for the Dukes, who lost the turnover battle 3-1 after forcing 10 takeaways in the semifinals.

North Dakota State came into the game looking for revenge after last season's disappointing end. James Madison got another, 21-yard field goal from Ratke to make the score 17-6 at halftime.

It's not quite as cold as it was past year in Texas, as the temperatures were in the high 40's on Thursday, and it's expected to be in the mid-50's on Saturday for the FCS national championship game.

James Madison, with all of the momentum on its side, advanced the ball to the 19-yard line with 1:53 left, but its only positive gain on the ensuing four plays earned one yard.

"Field goals don't beat you", Klieman said of his team's defensive effort.

"They made plays and we made too many mistakes", James Madison coach Mike Houston said. "They busted their tail".

The Dukes went on to win last year's title - only their second all-time. That zero changed on the biggest stage and helped NDSU win its sixth FCS championship in seven seasons. "Nobody's done that before".

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