Strong’s big day catapults South Dakota State to win
BROOKINGS, S.D. (AP) — Freshman Pierre Strong Jr. ran for 253 yards and three touchdowns on just 17 carries and Taryn Christion had three TD passes and ran for a score to propel South Dakota State to a 49-27 victory over South Dakota on Saturday.
Strong had three rushing TDs for a second straight game and is averaging more than 10 yards per carry this season. The Jackrabbits (8-2, 6-2 Missouri Valley Football Conference), ranked fifth in the FCS coaches poll, will find out Sunday if they are one of eight teams chosen to host a first-round playoff game. SDSU beat the Coyotes (4-7, 3-5) for a 10th straight time, including seven straight at the Division-I level.
Strong scored on a 30-yard run on the Jackrabbits’ first possession. After Austin Simmons hit Brett Samson for a 3-yard score to knot the score at 7, Strong took a first-down handoff and raced 73 yards for a TD and a 14-7 lead. Christion followed with two scoring strikes — a 20-yarder to Cade Johnson and a 59-yarder to Blake Kunz — to put the Jackrabbits up 28-7 at the end of the first quarter. Christion added a 16-yard TD run in the second quarter for a 35-7 halftime lead.
A Christion-to-Johnson 10-yard scoring strike in the third quarter and Strong’s 46-yard TD run in the fourth capped the scoring for SDSU.
Simmons, who passed for 295 yards and ran for 79 more, scored on runs of 8 and 16 yards and connected with Connor Herrmann for a 17-yard score in the second half for South Dakota.