Saturday, October 29, 2011 | Valley Football
Bison Win Battle of League's Top Ranked Teams
On Saturday, No. 3 North Dakota State stayed perfect on the season by upending visiting No. 2 UNI, 27-19, in what was the sixth meeting in league history between two teams ranked in the Top 5. No. 22 Illinois State won at Southern Illinois, Youngstown State beat visiting Western Illinois, and South Dakota State outlasted Missouri State.

No. 3 North Dakota State 27, No. 2 UNI 19
(AP) FARGO, N.D. -- Brock Jensen completed a career-high 22 of 25 passes for 204 yards and a touchdown Saturday as North Dakota State took sole possession of first place in the Missouri Valley Conference with a 27-19 victory over Northern Iowa. D.J. McNorton scored on a 6-yard run and an 8-yard pass for the Bison (8-0, 5-0), who are one of two undefeated teams in the FCS, along with Sam Houston State (8-0). North Dakota State also scored on a 3-yard fumble recovery by Kyle Emanuel.

Northern Iowa (6-2, 5-1), which was averaging 202 yards rushing per game, was held to 53. David Johnson had 16 yards on 10 carries, but caught 10 passes for 114 yards and a TD. Tirrell Rennie was 20 of 30 for 224 yards, but threw his first interception of the season -- snapping a school-record streak of 171 passes without an interception dating back to last season.

No. 22 Illinois State 38, Southern Illinois 30
(AP) CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Matt Brown threw for 254 yards and two touchdowns Saturday to lead Illinois State to a 38-30 victory over Southern Illinois. The Redbirds (6-3, 4-2 Missouri Valley) jumped ahead less than 3 minutes into the game when Colton Underwood picked up a Saluki fumble and ran 53 yards for a touchdown. Brown connected with James O'Shaughnessy for an 18-yard score midway through the first quarter to make it 14-0. Illinois State led the rest of the way.

Brown's 19-yard pass to Tyrone Walker gave the Redbirds a 24-7 lead in the second quarter. Southern Illinois (2-6, 1-5) got within 31-24 in the fourth quarter, but Cliffton Gordon's 3-yard TD run with 4:31 to play put it away for Illinois State. Kory Faulkner was 29 of 37 for 334 yards and a touchdown for the Salukis. He also led SIU with 44 rushing yards and ran for a score.

Youngstown State 56, Western Illinois 14
(AP) YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio -- Kurt Hess threw for four touchdowns and ran for another to lead Youngstown State in a 56-14 rout over Western Illinois on Saturday. The Penguins (5-3, 3-2 Missouri Valley Conference) dominated from the start, scoring on the first play of the game, en route to a 49-0 lead. Hess threw a 70-yard TD to Christian Bryan eight seconds into the game. After a 13-yard TD run by Hess, a 2-yard TD run by Jamaine Cook and a 69-yard TD from Hess to Jelanie Berassa, the Penguins led 28-0 in the first quarter.

Hess who was 7 of 10 for 209 yards, also threw TDs of 17 yards to Kevin Watts and 28 yards to Kintrell Disher. The Penguins also got 111 yards and two touchdowns on 17 carries by Cook. The Leathernecks (2-6, 1-4) ended the shutout on Nikko Watson's 5-yard touchdown run with 5:21 left in the third quarter.

South Dakota State 43, Missouri State 36 (2OT)
SPRINGFIELD – Missouri State (1-8, 1-5 MVFC) racked up a season-high 451 yards, but came up just short in a 43-36 double-overtime loss to visiting South Dakota State (3-6, 2-4) here Saturday in Missouri Valley Football Conference action. The Jackrabbits spoiled the Bears' homecoming with a two-yard touchdown run by Zach Zenner, who finished with a team-high 77 rushing yards, in the second overtime to secure the come-from-behind win. The Bears could not answer on their second overtime possession and turned the ball over on downs four plays later, three yards shy of the first-down marker at the 15.

SDSU's Austin Sumner finished 20-for-31 for 377 yards and four touchdowns, including two TD strikes to Moss who had seven catches for 178 yards. Aaron Rollin had a game-high eight receptions for SDSU for 163 yards. QB Trevor Wooden led MSU's charge with 338 yards of total offense, including a game-high and career-high 107 rushing yards on 24 carries. He also passes for 231 yards, going 22-for-31 with a career-best four touchdowns. He became the first MSU signal caller to throw for four scores since Cody Kirby on Oct. 6, 2007 against Illinois State. Jermaine Saffold had seven receptions for 74 yards and became MSU's career leader in receiving yardage. The senior from Grandview, Mo., now has 2,062 yards on 113 career catches.