BROOKINGS, S.D. (SDSU) – South Dakota State scored touchdowns on each of its first seven offensive possessions to roll past Indiana State, 49-7, before a Hobo Day crowd of 19,041 Saturday afternoon at Dana J. Dykhouse Stadium.
With their eighth consecutive victory, the top-ranked Jackrabbits improved to 8-1 overall and remained alone atop the Missouri Valley Football Conference standings at 6-0. Indiana State dropped to 1-7 overall and 0-5 in league play.
SDSU used a mix of running and passing throughout the day to rack up 409 yards of total offense. The first three Jackrabbit touchdowns all came on the ground as junior running back Isaiah Davis bookended scoring runs of 4 and 10 yards around a 2-yard run by quarterback Mark Gronowski for a 21-0 lead a minute into the second quarter. Gronowski’s touchdown run came after a 49-yard punt return by Jaxon Janke, while Davis’ second score was set up by an interception by Jackrabbit cornerback Dalys Beanum.
Indiana State scored its lone touchdown of the game on a 25-yard pass from Cade Chambers to Harry Van Dyne with 9:43 remaining in the second quarter, but the Jackrabbits turned to the passing game for a pair of scores to close out the first half for a 35-7 advantage. Gronowski connected with Jadon Janke on an 11-yard scoring strike and later directed the offense in the final minute of the half by completing 6-of-7 pass attempts for 61 yards, the last two yards coming on a touchdown pass to tight end Mike Morgan.
It was more of the same in the third quarter as the Jackrabbits put two more touchdowns on the board. Tucker Kraft continued his comeback from injury by scoring on a 21-yard catch and run from Gronowski on the opening drive of the half, marking his second touchdown in as many games.
Amar Johnson, who led SDSU in the rushing department with 75 yards on 10 carries, capped the scoring with a 2-yard touchdown run later in the third quarter.
Gronowski ended the day 22-of-28 passing and connected with eight different receivers for 233 yards. Jaxon Janke tallied five catches for 82 yards, with Kraft adding five catches for 59 yards. Fellow tight end Zach Heins contributed four receptions for 38 yards.
For Indiana State, Chambers completed 11-of-24 passes for 114 yards, with Dante Hendix leading the Sycamores with four catches for 41 yards. Justin Dinka paced the ground game with 52 yards on 16 carries.
Jason Freeman led a Jackrabbit defense, which limited Indiana State to 260 yards of total offense, with 10 tackles. Saiveon Williamson contributed five stops.
The Jackrabbits close out the road portion of their regular season schedule Nov. 5 at Northern Iowa. Kickoff is slated for 4 p.m. at the UNI-Dome in Cedar Falls, Iowa.
SDSU leads the all-time series, 10-2, and has won the last eight meetings
The Jackrabbits improved to 63-40-5 in 108 Hobo Day games
SDSU’s eight-game winning streak is its longest in the Division I era (since 2004), surpassing previous seven-game streaks in 2006, 2017 and the 2020-21 spring season
The Jackrabbits have scored on their first possession of the second half in each of the last four games
SDSU has scored a season-high 49 points in each of its last two games
Indiana State was 3-of-15 on third downs, while the Jackrabbits converted 6-of-10 third-down plays
The Jackrabbits have intercepted a pass in all nine games this season
Jaxon Janke moved into sixth place in career receiving yards at SDSU with 2,467, passing Jason Schneider (2,404 yards from 2011-14)
Jadon Janke took over sole possession of ninth place in career receiving touchdowns for the Jackrabbits with 18, breaking a tie with Rusty Lenners (17 TDs from 1993-96)
Reece Winkelman moved into sole possession of fourth place in tackles for loss by a Jackrabbit with 39, surpassing Zach Carter’s 38 from 1994-98
Saturday’s attendance of 19,041 marks the third largest in stadium history
The South Dakota State Jackrabbits entered Saturday’s contest against Indiana State as the number one team in the FCS and they played like it.
After jumping out to a 21-0 lead behind two Isaiah Davis touchdowns, the Jackrabbits would walk into the half time locker room with a 35-7 advantage.
Mark Gronowski was terrific completing 22 of his 28 passes for 223 yards and 3 scores. Jadon Janke hauled in an 11 yard touchdown, Mike Morgan caught a 2 yard TD pass while Tucker Kraft scored for the second straight week on a 21 yard touchdown reception.
The defense was their usual self holding the Sycamores to 260 total yards of offense and a dismal 3-15 on 3rd down conversions.
SDSU will take on Northern Iowa next Saturday in Cedar Falls.