A dominant performance on the ground helps propel the Herd into the quarterfinals
NDSU is moving on to the FCS playoffs after dismantling Eastern Washington on Saturday 42-20. The Bison ran for a staggering 422 yards against the Eagles, with Dominic Gonnella leading the way going for 163 yards on 20 carries.
Despite the final score, Eastern Washington looked like the better team for the first 25 minutes of the game. The Eagles soared to an early two-touchdown lead and looked primed to head into halftime with a lead as the second half wined down.
One Hunter Luepke touchdown, a missed Eastern Washington field goal, and a Noah Gindorff touchdown in the final minute of the second quarter later, and the Bison took a one-point lead into the second half and never trailed again.
In true freshman Cam Miller’s first start as a Bison, he was asked to throw just 11 passes, completing six of them, two for scores (both to Gindorff). 57 of the Herd’s 68 offensive play calls were run plays. It was one of those instances where everybody, including everyone on the Eastern Washington sideline, knew what the Bison were going to call, but the Eagles could not do anything about it.
A nearly eight minute touchdown drive to start the fourth quarter all but sealed the game for the Bison.
Up next for the Bison is another familiar playoff foe in Sam Houston State. In a rare road playoff game for the Bison, they will head to Texas next Sunday to take on the Cougars for the fifth time in the playoffs in the past decade. The winner of Sunday’s quarterfinal matchup will go on to take the winner of the James Madison and UND the following weekend.