FRISCO, Texas (KELO) — SDSU’s first appearance in the FCS National Championship was an instant classic. Unfortunately for the Jacks, they ended up on the wrong side of the result.
SDSU led by 4 with 21 seconds to play when Sam Houston quarterback Eric Schmid threaded the needle to Ife Adeyi for the eventual game-winning touchdown.
“I’m very proud of our program. I have been for decades. More proud today than ever. We had a chance to be national champs, and we fell short,” Head Coach John Stiegelmeier said after the game.
“This loss definitely hurts. It shows you that the game is truly a game of inches at the end of the day. To be so close but to come up short like that, that really hurts,” Senior Cornerback Don Gardner said.
The Jacks were that close to their first national title, and instead had to watch the Bearkats celebrate their own first championship.
“We were this close. We know what it takes to get here. We’ve been here, we watched them celebrate, raise the trophy, and like we know what it takes. We had 170 something practices to come up short one play,” Freshman Running Back Isaiah Davis said.
SDSU overcame an injury to starting quarterback Mark Gronowski that knocked him out in the 1st quarter. They then weathered a 75-minute lightning delay and fought back from a 10-point deficit in the 4th quarter. Isaiah Davis’ 85-yard TD gave them the lead, only to see the Bearkats break their hearts in the closing seconds.
“Coach did talk about it several times, it was who’s going to make more plays, and I guess today they made one more play than us, and we ended up with the loss,” Davis said.
“Football is a fickle game, so yeah, we can play better, but I hope the Jackrabbit fans are proud of our program,” Stiegelmeier said.
SDSU fell to Sam Houston 23-21, and finishes the season with an 8-2 record.