FARGO, N.D. (AP) — Easton Stick threw for a touchdown and ran for two more that made the difference as North Dakota State beat Western Illinois 24-12 in a battle between two of the top teams in the FCS on Saturday.

Stick brought the Bison back from a two-point halftime deficit with a short scoring run for the lead after taking his team 75 yards in 11 plays on the first drive of the third quarter. He repeated on the next Bison drive, slashing and rolling 8 yards for another touchdown and the final score.

The Bison (7-0, 4-0) now lead the Missouri Valley Conference with South Dakota falling 37-21 today to Illinois State.

Stick finished with 221 yards passing and 61 yards rushing. Bruce Anderson ran for 93 yards and RJ Urzendowski had 100 yards receiving, including a 58-yard scoring catch in the second quarter.

Sean McGuire had 185 yards passing for the Leathernecks (5-2, 2-2).

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