FAYETTE, IOWA (USF) – On a milestone day, the University of Sioux Falls Football Team (7-2, 7-2 NSIC) continued what has become their program’s legacy – winning.
With 331 yards rushing and a stingy defense that again put up points, the Cougars, which received votes in the most recent AFCA Coaches Poll for a second straight week, rolled to a fifth straight win in a 47-10 road win over Upper Iowa (2-7, 2-7 NSIC) at Harms-Eischied Stadium. As a result, USF recorded its 450th all-time win and picked up the 75th victory in 100 NCAA DII games.
“Today, we had the same recipe that we have been able to put together during this five-game run,” said USF Head Coach Jon Anderson, who earned his 23rd victory at USF. “We forced a few turnovers and kept the team we were up against in check. In addition, our guys took advantage of great field position and we were able to put up some early points. When things work, it is because all three phases (offense, defense, special teams) are working together. This group was ready and focused to today,” added Anderson, whose team will host No. 3 Minnesota State (9-0, 9-0 NSIC) on Saturday, Nov. 9 at Bob Young Field at 1 pm.
As for attaining win No. 450, Anderson, his staff and team are all proud of the markers they reached today.
“It is pretty amazing that we have 75 wins in our first 100 DII games and is a pro-gram wide celebration to get to 450. Around here, every win is important,” said Anderson of the three milestones reached today (450 wins all-time and 75 wins in 100 DII games).
Senior safety and team captain Tucker Stout, who had six tackles and an interception return for a TD (16 yards), noted the point of pride the win and the sustained success across 26 straight seasons means to not only him but also for his teammates.
“We talk about winning and keeping that culture of success going,” said Stout. “We think about all those guys before us. Guys like Luke Papilion and John Tidwell and so many others have set a high standard here. All those guys before us made us who we are. Our focus is to keep it going,” said Stout, a senior from Spokane, Wash.
USF rolls up 21 points in 2nd quarter to gain control
Against Upper Iowa, the Cougars picked up their fifth straight win by racking up 21 second quarter points and taking a 28-3 lead at halftime. Then, USF outscored the Peacocks, 19-7, in the second half to take a seventh straight victory against UIU.
In USF’s five-game winning streak, they have outscored opponents, 41-4-to-8.0 with a 454.0-to-217.4-yard total advantage. In that span, USF, which has outscored foes 207-to-40, has a 265.2-to-61.0 edge in rushing yards.
Against the Peacocks, USF rolled up 331 yards rushing on 49 attempts for 6.8 yards per carry. Redshirt sophomore Thuro Reisdorfer registered his fourth straight game of 100 yards as he rumbled for 157 yards on 16 carries and TD runs of 58 and 16 yards. He now has 119 carries for 863 yards with 12 rushing TDs and 15 overall. Aside from Reisdorfer, senior Winston Maxwell had a career-best game with 15 carries for a personal-best of 94 yards while redshirt freshman Ja’Tai Jenkins added nine carries for 64 yards and a 28-yard TD run. Jenkins has pushed his season total to 91 carries for 513 yards.
Senior quarterback Caden Walters added nine carries for 36 yards and completed 9-of-15 passes for 123 yards with two TDs. Senior Nate Johnson led the receiving corps with two catches for 47 yards and a 30-yard TD reception. He now has 599 yards receiving on the season with 37 catches and pushed his career yardage total over 1,000 yards (1,006) on 59 catches.
As for the defense, the Cougars scored nine points on defense and special teams. Stout had his second pick six in two weeks for a defense that allowed just 261 yards on 62 plays. USF, which was led by eight tackles by junior defensive tackle standout Joey Wehrkamp, had two more interceptions and has 17 on the season, which is the best since the Cougars had 20 in the NSIC title-winning season in 2016.
Scoring Summary –
After pinning Upper Iowa deep in their own territory on a season-long 61-yard punt from Thomas Chapin. The Cougars put up the first points of the game through the aerial game. First, Walters connected with Jermaine Broadnax on a 35-yard TD strike to the UIU 15. Then on the ensuing play, Walters found Ben Sokup on a 15-yard TD pass. For Sokup, it was his first TD reception of the season and the second of his career.
UIU answered on the ensuing drive with a 30-yard field goal by Jonah Argueta-Herrera as a drive stalled at the USF 13-yard line.
USF’s offense had a response as they subsequently drove 73 yards in five plays as Walters connected with Johnson on a 30-yard TD strike to open the second quarter (14:53). Johnson hauled in his sixth TD pass of the season.
Then Stout came up big on defense. After Ryan Nieman had an earlier interception, Stout had a second of the quarter and his 16-yard return helped USF to a 21-3 lead late in the first half.
The Cougars were not finished as Reisdorfer struck from long distance a little while later. Reisdorfer’s 58-yard TD run provided USF with a 28-3 lead over UIU with 1:19 to halftime. The play by Reisdorfer capped a three-play 80-yard drive when Reisdorfer had 73 of his 110 first-half yards on the ground. USF led, 28-3, at the break.
With a 28-yard TD run by Jenkins, the Cougars pushed their lead to 35-3 with 3:01 to play in the third quarter.
After that, USF added a safety for a 37-3 lead when UIU snapped the ball over the head of the punter in the end zone.
The lead drew to 44-3 at the 14:34 mark, when Reisdorfer added a 17-yard TD run. A little later with 9:14 to play, Daniel Esparza, who was 6-of-6 on extra points, converted a 23-yard field goal as USF pressed the lead to 47-3.
The Peacocks put up their first points since the first quarter on an 18-yard TD run from Jon Deprey with 6:27 left in the game. Deprey’s score culminated a 75-yard scoring drive in six plays.