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Seventh heaven: Bison remain FCS champs

FRISCO, Texas (STATS) - It was always about more than going back-to-back and winning the FCS national championship for a record seventh time this season.

From the start, the 2018 edition to the North Dakota State dynasty sought nothing less than a perfect season.

In completing that mission Saturday with a 38-24 victory over Eastern Washington in the championship game at Toyota Stadium, the Bison staked their claim to being one of the best teams in FCS history.

NDSU (15-0) was No. 1-ranked since the preseason and never relented behind a 24-member senior class which was the largest in program history. One of the veteran leaders, fifth-year senior Easton Stick, accounted for 319 total yards and five touchdowns to help the Bison break what had been a tie with Georgia Southern for the most titles in FCS history.

"This has been an absolute dynasty. No ifs, ends or buts, I think this has been the greatest run in college football," coach Chris Klieman said.

Added Stick, "There's some crazy expectations at this program. We wouldn't want it any other way."

One of the best visuals was captured midway through the second quarter. Stick raced around left end and inside the pylon for his second of three touchdown runs. Not far behind making his way along the sideline, Klieman channeled Tiger Woods with an underarm first pump into the air.

Stick, in completing his career with a 49-3 record as a starter, set the FCS record for wins by a quarterback. He had been tied with former NDSU great Brock Jensen, whose 48th and final victory capped the 2013 title season, when the Bison also went 15-0 as one of now five unbeaten, untied teams to claim FCS national titles.

Klieman, coaching in his final game before heading off to Kansas State, won his fourth national title in five seasons to tie Youngstown State's Jim Tressel for the most in FCS history.

"We wanted to be perfect this year," Klieman said. "We knew it was going to be hard, but if we attacked every day and held each other to a high standard, we could do that."

North Dakota State never trailed while clinching its 15th all-time national title (three College Division and five Division II crowns preceded FCS seventh heaven). The Missouri Valley Conference champ had to hold on late, though, after Eastern Washington pulled within 31-24 on a quick-strike drive, capped by quarterback Eric Barriere's 5-yard touchdown run with 2:19 left.

But after NDSU recovered an onside kick and with the Eagles (12-3) seeking to force a punt on 3rd-and-7, Stick faked a handoff and went off right tackle when the defense anticipated the other way, sprinting off to a 46-yard touchdown and glory with 1:16 to go.

"It wasn't a fantastic 60 minutes," EWU coach Aaron Best said. "But I thought, like I said, we more than held our own for a lengthy period of time. We came in aggressively. We played aggressive. We coached aggressive. And we'll leave here aggressive."

NDSU led 17-10 at halftime before the game briefly turned wild in the third quarter. In the first 4 minutes, 12 seconds, there were three turnovers and three touchdowns yet only two of the miscues led to scores. Stick sandwiched 23- and 78-yard touchdown passes to Darrius Shepherd around Eastern Washington running back Sam McPherson's 75-yard scoring run to push the advantage to 31-17. Shepherd, the game's most outstanding player, finished with five receptions for 125 yards.

In the first half, North Dakota State scored on its first three possessions, including Stick on 10- and 4-yard runs. But Eastern Washington, the No. 3 seed from the Big Sky Conference, pulled within 17-10 shortly before halftime. Holder Gunner Talklington sold a fake field goal before flipping the ball to tight end Jayce Gilder for a 2-yard touchdown with just 27 seconds left.

NDSU held the ball for 40 minutes, 5 minutes, but even more like Bison clockwork, they knew how to put away another win - and another national championship.

"You say 112-8," in the last eight seasons, Klieman said, "I mean, ' Holy cow.' That's something that movies are made out of, dreams are made out of, books are written on."

Copyright 2019 by AP. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of AP is strictly prohibited.

Scoring Summary
4th Quarter
No scoring this quarter
Point After TD 1:16
36-C.Pedersen extra point is good.
plays
yds
pos
24
38
Touchdown 1:25
12-E.Stick runs 46 yards for a touchdown.
5
plays
70
yds
00:54
pos
24
37
Point After TD 2:19
37-R.Alcobendas extra point is good.
plays
yds
pos
24
31
Touchdown 2:28
3-E.Barriere scrambles runs 5 yards for a touchdown.
4
plays
80
yds
00:57
pos
23
31
3rd Quarter
No scoring this quarter
Point After TD 10:44
36-C.Pedersen extra point is good.
plays
yds
pos
17
31
Touchdown 10:56
12-E.Stick complete to 20-D.Shepherd. 20-D.Shepherd runs 78 yards for a touchdown.
3
plays
65
yds
00:44
pos
17
30
Point After TD 11:40
37-R.Alcobendas extra point is good.
plays
yds
pos
17
24
Touchdown 11:52
20-S.McPherson runs 75 yards for a touchdown.
2
plays
65
yds
00:00
pos
16
24
Point After TD 11:52
36-C.Pedersen extra point is good.
plays
yds
pos
10
24
Touchdown 12:02
12-E.Stick complete to 20-D.Shepherd. 20-D.Shepherd runs 23 yards for a touchdown.
3
plays
25
yds
00:49
pos
10
23
2nd Quarter
No scoring this quarter
Point After TD 0:27
37-R.Alcobendas extra point is good.
plays
yds
pos
10
17
Touchdown 0:32
15-G.Talkington complete to 89-J.Gilder. 89-J.Gilder runs 2 yards for a touchdown.
9
plays
59
yds
02:44
pos
9
17
Point After TD 8:00
36-C.Pedersen extra point is good.
plays
yds
pos
3
17
Touchdown 8:07
12-E.Stick runs 4 yards for a touchdown.
11
plays
65
yds
05:48
pos
3
16
Field Goal 14:30
37-R.Alcobendas 40 yards Field Goal is Good.
10
plays
38
yds
01:30
pos
3
10
1st Quarter
No scoring this quarter
Point After TD 1:47
36-C.Pedersen extra point is good.
plays
yds
pos
0
10
Touchdown 1:52
12-E.Stick runs 10 yards for a touchdown.
4
plays
68
yds
01:54
pos
0
9
Field Goal 7:08
36-C.Pedersen 36 yards Field Goal is Good.
15
plays
67
yds
07:52
pos
0
3
Team Stats
1st Downs 15 23
Rushing 7 14
Passing 8 8
Penalty 0 1
3rd Down Conv 3-12 11-17
4th Down Conv 2-3 0-0
Total Net Yards 332 481
Total Plays 59 73
Avg Gain 5.6 6.6
Net Yards Rushing 157 290
Rush Attempts 33 54
Avg Rush Yards 4.8 5.4
Net Yards Passing 175 191
Comp. - Att. 14-26 13-19
Yards Per Pass 6.7 10.1
Sacked - Yards Lost 4-25 1-7
Penalties - Yards 8-60 8-61
Touchdowns 3 5
Rushing TDs 2 3
Passing TDs 1 2
Other 0 0
Turnovers 3 2
Fumbles - Lost 2-1 1-0
Int. Thrown 2 2
Punts - Avg 5-45.2 3-38.3
Return Yards 65 59
Punts - Returns 1-0 0-0
Kickoffs - Returns 2-49 3-31
Int. - Returns 2-16 2-28
Kicking 4/4 6/7
Extra Points 3/3 5/5
Field Goals 1/1 1/2
Safeties 0 0
1234T
E. Washington 12-3 0107724
N. Dakota St. 15-0 10714738
175 PASS YDS 191
157 RUSH YDS 290
332 TOTAL YDS 481
Passing CP/ATT YDS TD INT
E. Barriere 3 QB
IN-GAME COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
52% 198 0 2 102.5
SEASON COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
61.1% 2450 24 9 146.9
E. Barriere 13/25 198 0 2
G. Talkington 15 QB
IN-GAME COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
100% 2 1 0 446.8
SEASON COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
50% 62 1 0 120.9
G. Talkington 1/1 2 1 0
J. Williams 2 WR
IN-GAME COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
0% 0 0 0 0.0
SEASON COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
100% 36 0 0 402.4
J. Williams 0/0 0 0 0
Rushing ATT YDS TD LG
S. McPherson 20 RB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
18 158 1
SEASON ATT YDS TD
204 1510 13
S. McPherson 18 158 1 75
A. Custer Jr. 28 RB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
2 11 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
97 625 8
A. Custer Jr. 2 11 0 7
E. Barriere 3 QB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
9 10 1
SEASON ATT YDS TD
99 613 8
E. Barriere 9 10 1 12
J. Williams 2 WR
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
1 -1 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
1 -1 0
J. Williams 1 -1 0 -1
D. Merritt 44 RB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
1 -2 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
44 346 3
D. Merritt 1 -2 0 -2
D. Dorton 87 WR
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
1 -9 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
2 -3 0
D. Dorton 1 -9 0 0
G. Talkington 15 QB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
1 -10 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
2 -10 0
G. Talkington 1 -10 0 -10
Receiving REC YDS TD LG
Ns. Webster 5 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
4 92 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
84 1379 11
Ns. Webster 4 92 0 39
J. Gilder 89 TE
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
3 37 1
SEASON REC YDS TD
20 237 7
J. Gilder 3 37 1 21
T. Limu-Jones 10 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
1 34 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
7 116 0
T. Limu-Jones 1 34 0 34
T. Grady 11 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
2 19 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
20 304 2
T. Grady 2 19 0 12
J. Williams 2 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
1 9 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
25 317 0
J. Williams 1 9 0 9
J. Edwards IV 88 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
1 8 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
14 198 4
J. Edwards IV 1 8 0 8
D. Dorton 87 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
1 1 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
6 50 2
D. Dorton 1 1 0 1
H. Belk 85 TE
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
0 0 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
15 288 3
H. Belk 0 0 0 0
A. Boston 9 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
0 0 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
43 531 4
A. Boston 0 0 0 0
A. Custer Jr. 28 RB
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
1 0 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
17 93 0
A. Custer Jr. 1 0 0 0
Defense T-A SACK INT
C. Ojoh 58 LB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
11-0 0 1.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
11-0 0 1.0
C. Ojoh 11-0 1.0 0
K. Kupp 40 LB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
9-2 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
9-2 0 0.0
K. Kupp 9-2 0.0 0
C. Criner 25 DB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
6-0 1 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
6-0 1 0.0
C. Criner 6-0 0.0 1
C. Karstetter 33 DB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
4-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
4-0 0 0.0
C. Karstetter 4-0 0.0 0
T. Prunty 22 DB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
4-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
4-0 0 0.0
T. Prunty 4-0 0.0 0
J. Lewis 1 DB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
4-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
4-1 0 0.0
J. Lewis 4-1 0.0 0
D. Tucker 18 DB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
3-0 1 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
3-0 1 0.0
D. Tucker 3-0 0.0 1
D. Hayes 23 DB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
3-3 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
3-3 0 0.0
D. Hayes 3-3 0.0 0
N. Foerstel 92 DL
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
3-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
3-1 0 0.0
N. Foerstel 3-1 0.0 0
D. Ledbetter 57 DL
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
2-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
2-1 0 0.0
D. Ledbetter 2-1 0.0 0
J. Townsend 49 DL
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
2-2 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
2-2 0 0.0
J. Townsend 2-2 0.0 0
A. Katzenberger 36 LB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
2-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
2-0 0 0.0
A. Katzenberger 2-0 0.0 0
C. Davis 60 DL
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
2-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
2-0 0 0.0
C. Davis 2-0 0.0 0
M. Johnson 94 DL
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
2-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
2-0 0 0.0
M. Johnson 2-0 0.0 0
R. Mataia Jr. 55 DL
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
R. Mataia Jr. 1-0 0.0 0
K. Johnson 27 DB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
K. Johnson 1-0 0.0 0
K. Moore 72 DL
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
K. Moore 1-0 0.0 0
Nz. Webster 6 DB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
Nz. Webster 1-0 0.0 0
J. Jordan 91 DL
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
0-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
0-1 0 0.0
J. Jordan 0-1 0.0 0
Kicking FG LG XP PTS
R. Alcobendas 37 K
IN-GAME FG XP
1/1 3/3
SEASON FG XP
16/16 71/72
R. Alcobendas 1/1 40 3/3 6
Punting NO AVG IN20 LG
R. Alcobendas 37 K
IN-GAME NO AVG IN20
5 45.2 1
SEASON NO AVG IN20
57 44.9 1
R. Alcobendas 5 45.2 1 58
Kickoff Returns NO AVG LG TD
D. Merritt 44 RB
IN-GAME NO AVG LG TD
2 24.5 31 0
SEASON NO AVG LG TD
21 22.4 31 0
D. Merritt 2 24.5 31 0
Punt Returns NO AVG LG TD
S. McPherson 20 RB
IN-GAME NO AVG LG TD
1 0.0 0 0
SEASON NO AVG LG TD
1 0.0 0 0
S. McPherson 1 0.0 0 0
Passing CP/ATT YDS TD INT
E. Stick 12 QB
IN-GAME COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
68.4% 198 2 2 169.6
SEASON COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
62.3% 2752 28 7 172.4
E. Stick 13/19 198 2 2
Rushing ATT YDS TD LG
E. Stick 12 QB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
18 121 3
SEASON ATT YDS TD
117 677 17
E. Stick 18 121 3 46
T. Brooks 28 RB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
9 82 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
104 737 5
T. Brooks 9 82 0 50
L. Dunn 10 RB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
19 61 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
160 880 12
L. Dunn 19 61 0 9
S. Wilson 22 RB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
4 20 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
21 221 0
S. Wilson 4 20 0 9
D. Williams 4 RB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
1 5 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
1 5 0
D. Williams 1 5 0 5
A. Cofield 18 RB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
1 3 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
82 563 6
A. Cofield 1 3 0 3
Receiving REC YDS TD LG
D. Shepherd 20 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
5 125 2
SEASON REC YDS TD
62 1065 9
D. Shepherd 5 125 2 78
D. Freeman 83 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
3 26 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
23 389 1
D. Freeman 3 26 0 13
N. Jenson 85 TE
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
3 24 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
17 287 2
N. Jenson 3 24 0 12
L. Dunn 10 RB
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
2 23 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
12 150 3
L. Dunn 2 23 0 20
B. Ellefson 82 TE
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
0 0 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
14 194 8
B. Ellefson 0 0 0 0
Defense T-A SACK INT
R. Grimsley 5 S
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
6-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
6-0 0 0.0
R. Grimsley 6-0 0.0 0
G. Menard 96 DE
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
5-2 0 1.5
SEASON T-A INT SACK
5-2 0 1.5
G. Menard 5-2 1.5 0
M. Bridges 9 CB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
4-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
4-0 0 0.0
M. Bridges 4-0 0.0 0
D. Tuszka 91 DE
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
4-0 0 1.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
4-0 0 1.0
D. Tuszka 4-0 1.0 0
L. Jordheim 45 LB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
4-0 1 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
4-0 1 0.0
L. Jordheim 4-0 0.0 1
D. Marlette 48 LB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
3-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
3-1 0 0.0
D. Marlette 3-1 0.0 0
S. Jones 94 DE
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
3-0 0 1.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
3-0 0 1.0
S. Jones 3-0 1.0 0
J. Allison 21 CB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
2-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
2-0 0 0.0
J. Allison 2-0 0.0 0
J. Hendricks 6 S
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
2-0 1 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
2-0 1 0.0
J. Hendricks 2-0 0.0 1
Ja. Cox 42 LB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
2-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
2-1 0 0.0
Ja. Cox 2-1 0.0 0
J. Hayes 14 CB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
2-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
2-0 0 0.0
J. Hayes 2-0 0.0 0
J. Wimbush 23 S
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-3 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-3 0 0.0
J. Wimbush 1-3 0.0 0
Ja. Cox 49 LB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
Ja. Cox 1-0 0.0 0
M. Tutsie 25 S
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
M. Tutsie 1-0 0.0 0
C. Karcz 53 DT
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
C. Karcz 1-0 0.0 0
A. Steidl 63 DT
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-1 0 0.0
A. Steidl 1-1 0.0 0
S. Waege 99 DE
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
0-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
0-1 0 0.0
S. Waege 0-1 0.0 0
J. Darnell 92 DT
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
0-1 0 0.5
SEASON T-A INT SACK
0-1 0 0.5
J. Darnell 0-1 0.5 0
Kicking FG LG XP PTS
C. Pedersen 36 K
IN-GAME FG XP
1/2 5/5
SEASON FG XP
9/15 80/80
C. Pedersen 1/2 36 5/5 8
Punting NO AVG IN20 LG
G. Wegner 38 P
IN-GAME NO AVG IN20
3 38.3 1
SEASON NO AVG IN20
59 43.0 1
G. Wegner 3 38.3 1 42
Kickoff Returns NO AVG LG TD
D. Williams 4 RB
IN-GAME NO AVG LG TD
2 15.5 16 0
SEASON NO AVG LG TD
2 15.5 16 0
D. Williams 2 15.5 16 0
S. Jones 94 DE
IN-GAME NO AVG LG TD
1 0.0 0 0
SEASON NO AVG LG TD
1 0.0 0 0
S. Jones 1 0.0 0 0
Punt Returns NO AVG LG TD
1st POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
6:55 NDST 35 2:57 12 13 Punt
1:47 NDST 35 1:30 10 55 FG
2nd POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
8:00 NDST 35 1:05 7 25 Punt
5:27 NDST 39 0:10 2 -47 INT
3:16 EWASH 41 2:44 9 59 TD
3rd POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
0:27 NDST 35 0:00 3 51 INT
14:21 EWASH 22 0:59 4 53 Fumble
11:52 NDST 35 0:00 2 65 TD
10:44 NDST 35 1:09 5 8 Punt
5:02 EWASH 13 1:30 4 13 Punt
0:30 EWASH 42 0:21 4 -6 Punt
4th POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
3:25 EWASH 20 0:57 4 80 TD
1:16 NDST 35 0:54 5 10 Downs
1st POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
15:00 EWASH 35 7:52 15 60 FG
3:46 NDST 32 1:54 4 68 TD
2nd POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
13:55 EWASH 35 5:48 11 65 TD
6:48 NDST 20 1:15 4 -2 Punt
4:48 NDST 14 1:27 3 3 Punt
0:27 EWASH 35 0:00 2 -1 Halftime
3rd POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
14:37 EWASH 14 0:00 1 14 INT
12:51 EWASH 25 0:49 3 25 TD
11:40 EWASH 35 0:44 3 65 TD
8:42 NDST 29 2:52 6 16 Punt
3:23 NDST 29 2:30 7 9 INT
4th POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
13:44 NDST 6 9:32 19 88 FG Miss
2:19 EWASH 35 0:54 5 49 TD
0:12 EWASH 26 0:00 1 -1