BROOKINGS, S.D. (SDSU) — The South Dakota State offense scored two 65-yard touchdowns in the second half to overcome the defense, 23-18, in the Jackrabbits’ annual Spring Game Saturday afternoon at the Sanford-Jackrabbit Athletic Complex.
With the defense spotted an 18-0 lead to begin the game, the Jackrabbit offense needed only three plays to get on the board. On the first play from scrimmage, Isaiah Davis tossed a halfback pass to Jaxon Janke for a 40-yard gain. Two plays later, redshirt freshman running back Derrick Johnson scored on a 23-yard run.
For the remainder of the first half the Jackrabbit defense pitched a shutout on the strength of three sacks and the first of two interceptions by Jalen B. Lee.
The Jackrabbit offense again found the end zone on its third possession of the second half as Chase Mason connected with Grahm Goering down the left hash for a 65-yard touchdown to pull to within 18-14.
With nine minutes to play in the game, the offense drew to within 18-17 on a 43-yard field goal by Hunter Dustman.
The winning touchdown was scored about two and a half minutes later as Angel Johnson ran left, then cut back down the middle of the field for a 65-yard touchdown run. The two-point attempt failed.
Angel Johnson finished the game with 81 yards on 11 carries. Starting quarterback Mark Gronowski completed 5-of-7 passes for 38 yards, with Mason going 3-for-5 for 79 yards. Mike Morgan caught four passes for 29 yards.
The Jackrabbit defense limited the offense to 12 carries of one yard or less on the afternoon. Safeties Cale Reeder and Max Polischuk tallied three tackles each, while defensive ends Blake Peterson and Quinton Hicks also were credited with three stops apiece.
The Jackrabbits are scheduled to open the 2023 season by hosting Western Oregon on Aug. 31.