Lance Schuveiller booted a 26-yard field goal as time expired to lift Southwest Minnesota State to a 32-30 victory over Northern State on Saturday in Aberdeen, S.D.
SMSU (1-1, 1-1 NSIC) took over for the game-winning drive with 1:04 left on the clock with the ball at its own 22-yard line. Tyler Peschong started the drive with a 25-yard pass to Anthony Dean, but following two incomplete passes and a five-yard loss, SMSU faced fourth-and-15 from the 42-yard line. With the game on the line, Peschong found Dean for a 49-yard completion down to the NSU 9-yard line with five seconds on the clock.
With no timeouts remaining, Peschong spiked the ball to stop the clock with three seconds left, giving Schuveiller the chance to kick the game-winner.
The field goal made for Schuveiller was his first since the 2009 season. Mike Wenk, the teams field goal kicker the past two seasons, is out with an injury.
SMSU finished the game with 413 yards of offense, while limiting NSU (0-2, 0-2 NSIC) to just 282 yards.
Gannon Moore led SMSU with 117 yards rushing and two touchdowns on 19 carries, for his third career 100-yard rushing game. Peschong completed 15 of 33 pass attempts for 225 yards and one touchdown, while also rushing for 42 yards on nine attempts.
The game started well for SMSU as the Mustang defense forced a NSU punt on the games opening possession and on the ensuing punt, SMSUs Tyler Tonderum blocked the kick setting up the SMSU offense at the NSU 12-yard line.
SMSU was not able to take advantage though, as the NSU defense stepped up two plays later as Peschong was intercepted at the 8-yard line and NSUs Jayson Geditz returned the interception 92 yards for a touchdown to give the Wolves an early 6-0 lead with 12 minutes and 15 seconds left in the first quarter following a missed PAT.
Playing with the wind to their backs in the first quarter, the Mustangs answered back less than three minutes later to take their first lead of the game as Peschong connected on a 34-yard touchdown pass to Tyler Erickson with 9:20 left in the quarter to cap a seven-play, 70-yard drive.
SMSU extended the lead later in the quarter as Moore broke free for a 36-yard touchdown run to make the score 14-6 with 6:35 on the clock.
NSU cut the SMSU lead to 14-9 with a 23-yard field goal by Felipe Alfaia late in the quarter, but again SMSU had a quick response to add to the lead.
Moore gave SMSU a 12-point lead with a 4-yard touchdown sprit early in the second quarter to make the score 21-9 at the 14:51 mark.
With SMSU going into a stiff wind, the NSU defense made several stops in the second quarter and were finally able to score its first offensive touchdown of the game as Jared Jacobson scored on a 1-yard touchdown run with 37 seconds remaining in the half to cut the lead deficit to 21-16 at halftime.
SMSU racked up 230 yards of offense in the opening half with 10 first downs, while the SMSU defense limited NSU to just 118 yards, with 48 coming on the last drive of the half.
Following an SMSU punt on its first possession, NSU continued its comeback and regained the lead on a 45-yard touchdown pass from Jacobson to Mark Hanley to make the score 23-21 with 10:19 left in the third.
The game remained 23-21 into the fourth quarter before the SMSU defense made one of the biggest plays of the game as Graham Ketterling recovered a muffed NSU handoff in the end zone for a touchdown to give SMSU a 27-23 lead with 11:15 left in the game. Peschong then sprinted into the end zone on the two-point try to make the score 29-23.
Heading into a stiff wind, NSU answered with its biggest drive of the game, moving 75 yards on 13 plays, with John Hughes capping the drive with a 4-yard touchdown run to push NSU back into the lead at 30-29 with 4:20 left in the game. The biggest play of the drive came with NSU facing fourth-down and four at the SMSU 10-yard line and Jacobson was able to rush around the right side to pick up the first down and keep the drive alive.
SMSU turned the ball over on downs on its next possession, giving the ball back to NSU with a chance to run out the clock for the victory. NSU picked up a first down on its first play, moving the ball to the SMSU 23-yard line, but the Mustang defense was able to stop NSU on downs to set up the game-winning drive.
J.J. Bobrowicz paced the SMSU defense with 10 tackles, while Mark Schollmeyer added eight tackles including 2.5 for loss.
Southwest Minnesota State returns home next Saturday, Sept. 15, to take on the University of Mary with kickoff slated for 5 p.m. at the Regional Event Center.
Courtesy: Kelly Loft, SMSU Athletics