October 30, 2010

Football struggles at South Dakota

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VERMILLION, S.D. – Sophomore wide receiver Jace Davis continued to shine for the Northern Colorado football team, even though the scoreboard was not in the Bears favor. Northern Colorado lost a 34-6 decision at South Dakota on Saturday to fall to 2-7 on the year.

Davis caught seven passes for 185 yards, the second-straight game he's had over 100 yards receiving to give him over 1,000 yards for his career. In 19 games played he has 1,033 reception yards and eight touchdowns.

Another bright spot on a rough day for the Bears was sophomore linebacker Cameron Friend with a career-best 10 tackles. Senior safety Max Hewitt was also in double figures with a season-best 11 stops, including a sack. Friend surpasses his previous career-best total of six tackles from last year in the opener at Kansas.

"Obviously we didn't come and do what we had planned on doing," said Head Coach Scott Downing. "My hats off to (South Dakota). They got us in a hole early and we couldn't get out of it. We struggled getting off the field on defense, they made some big plays and I thought their quarterback did a good job of putting the ball on the money. Those were some great throws because we had some pretty tight coverage on the receivers. I'm disappointed we allowed so many yards rushing. Quite frankly, we're usually better against the run than that."

Northern Colorado had just 45 offensive plays in the game, netting 47 rushing yards and 288 passing yards for a total of 335. South Dakota, in 79 plays, tallied 203 rushing yards and 276 passing yards.

On the opening kickoff, Dominic Gunn fumbled the ball, setting up South Dakota's first touchdown just 12 seconds into the game. The Coyotes then went with an onside kick, recovering at their own 41-yard line. On the next play, quarterback Dante Warren hit Will Powell for 47 yards and two plays later running back Chris Ganious punched the ball in for the 14-0 USD advantage.

On the final play of the first quarter, Hewitt had just his second sack of his career, hitting the Coyotes for a nine-yard loss. After getting to the seven-yard line, USD had to settle for a 27-yard field goal for the 17-0 lead with 14:21 to play in the half.

With 6:06 to play in the first half, South Dakota added another touchdown, going 73 yards in 11 plays for the 24-0 lead.

On the first drive of the third quarter, USD added three to its tally with a 23-yard field goal to lead 27-0 and with 9:32 to play in the fourth a touchdown extended the lead to 34-0.

Davis caught his sixth pass of the day for a touchdown from junior quarterback Dylan Orms with 8:55 to play. The two-point conversion attempt was no good for the 34-6 score.

The Bears return to Nottingham Field next Saturday for the final home game of the year against Northern Arizona. Kickoff is slated for 1:35 pm and prior to the game the seniors on the roster will be honored.