Venric Mark ran for 117 yards and three touchdowns to lead Northwestern to a 38-7 win against South Dakota Saturday at Ryan Field. It was the final tune-up for both teams before heading into conference play.
Mark led a Wildcat ground game that managed 277 yards and accounted for all five scores. All but two of his 16 carries came in the first half. Northwestern (4-0) scored on four of its six first-half possessions and led 28-0 at halftime.
South Dakota (1-2) got on the scoreboard with a 4-yard touchdown run by quarterback Josh Vander Maten that made it 35-7 with 4:10 remaining in the third quarter. Vander Maten finished 17-of-33 for 189 yards passing. He accounted for 38 of the Coyotes 51 yards rushing.
South Dakota had more penalty yards (62) than rushing yards in the first half and committed the games only turnover right before the break. An unexpected snap from center bounced off Vander Maten and Brian Arnfelt fell on the ball for Northwestern with 1:35 remaining. Mark was in the end zone four plays later for the Wildcats fourth score.
The Coyotes took on a Big Ten foe for the third consecutive year, but fell to 2-26 all-time against the conference. South Dakota opens Missouri Valley Football Conference Play at home next Saturday against Illinois State. Game time from the DakotaDome is set for 2 p.m.
Courtesy: Bryan Boettcher, USD Athletics