SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KWSN) – The University of Sioux Falls (1-1, 1-1 NSIC) relied on the legs of freshman quarterback Luke Papilion to propel them to a 45-37 win over Northern State (1-1, 1-1) at Bob Young Field on Saturday night.
Northern State would get on the board first, taking advantage of a USF special teams miscue which put the Wolves at the Cougars 15-yard line. Six plays later the NSU converted on a 4th and goal from the one-yard line when quarterback Jared Jacobson took the ball into the end zone for a touchdown.
The Cougars answered with freshman quarterback Matt Young leading the offense on a ten play 70-yard drive which ended with a Bradley Hatfield field goal, making the score 7-3.
Offense was king in the second quarter as the two teams combined to score 35 points in just over eight minutes. The offensive explosion began when USF’s Nephi Garcia scampered into the end zone on a two-yard run giving the Cougars a 10-3 lead.
The Cougars other freshman quarterback Luke Papilion increased USF’s lead to 10 after busting a 42-yard touchdown run against the Wolves defense.
Northern State followed up with two touchdowns of their own at the end of the half. The first came off of a ten play 75-yard drive which ended with a 5-yard touchdown pass from Jared Jacobson to Cody Kraft. On the ensuing kickoff, the Cougars failed to field the kick and the Wolves took over possession at the Sioux Falls 16-yard line. Northern State then punched it into the end zone two plays later giving them a 21-17 lead.
Senior Wes Smith then took the following kickoff for USF and returned it 58 yards to the Northern State 39-yard line. A 32-yard Luke Papilion rush combined with a NSU personal foul gave the Cougars the ball on the four-yard line and Papilion finished off the drive with a two- yard touchdown run with 11 seconds left on the clock.
In the third quarter, Papilion led the Cougars on two drives of more than 70 yards. He capped these drives off with a four and one-yard run respectively giving the Cougars a 38-21 lead with just over six minutes remaining in the third quarter.
Just when it looked as though the Cougars had put the game away, Northern State answered with a 32-yard touchdown pass from Jared Jacobson to Taylor Houchin and a 28-yard field goal by Nathan Shaw making the score 38-30 in favor of USF.
Papilion led yet another long Cougar drive as he guided the offense on a seven play 75-yard drive, scoring his fifth and final touchdown of the game on a five-yard run with 4:55 remaining.
The Wolves made it an eight point game with 23 seconds left in the fourth quarter after a five-yard touchdown pass from Jacobson to John Hughes. However, they failed to recover the ensuing onside kick and the Cougars would run out the clock.
Freshman quarterback Luke Papilion stole the show as he rushed for 240 yards and scored five touchdowns.
USF also had an outstanding night from junior Nephi Garcia who rushed for 160 yards and one touchdown on 22 carries.
Sophomore linebacker Carter Ahlers would lead the Cougars on defense, registering 14 tackles including two tackles for loss. Senior Jonathan Talbot also had a great day as he recorded eight tackles and one sack for USF.
The Cougars will travel to Bismarck, N.D. next weekend to take on the U-Mary Marauders on Saturday September 21, with kickoff slated for 2:30 p.m.
Coutesy: University of Sioux Falls