Published: Sun, January 07, 2018
Sports | By Brett Lawson

NDSU ends JMU 26-game winning streak for sixth FCS Championship

NDSU ends JMU 26-game winning streak for sixth FCS Championship

"I just felt like this team had what it took to beat that North Dakota State team", Houston said. Now returning after a one-year interruption, the Bison will find suburban Dallas a bit more crowded.

(Frisco) - North Dakota State edged James Madison, 17-13, to win the FCS football championship on Saturday.

"I put the blame on myself, I thought we should have gone safe on that", he said. They own the No. 2 scoring defense in the FCS, and are No. 1 in yards allowed per game. JMU now has the 2nd longest winning streak, now at 26 in a row. The Bison won a record 33 consecutive games between 2012 and 2014.

"To his credit, he's an experienced veteran quarterback", James Madison coach Mike Houston said, "and you've got to have guys go out and perform like that to win a national championship". "The experience of the national championship last year helped us come out and compete this year". Late in the first quarter, for example, punt returner D'Angelo Amos returned a kick 37 yards to the North Dakota State 14-yard line. Asked what he could take from that game, Bison coach Chris Klieman said, "Nothing, really".

Under center for the Bison will be Easton Stick (39 total touchdowns, 62.4 completion percentage). In JMU's first drive of the fourth quarter, Alls dropped a wide-open pass downfield which preceded a drive-ending sack of Schor. That difference could likely be Bison quarterback Easton Stick who's a risky runner. Both teams pound the ground. The Dukes kept on rolling despite being particularly hard-hit on their offensive line. The junior will get his first national title game start of his career despite leading the Bison to Frisco in 2015. They had (only) 53 yards rushing in the first half.

"That's just the nature of football".

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"You have to keep waiting for that moment and keep believing that you are going to make that play", Shepherd said. "Nobody wants that. I hope we're at our best, I hope JMU is at their best".

The Dukes entered the season as the No. 1 team in the land.

Thanks in part to the three-week break between the semifinals and finals, some of those injured players could see action Saturday.

"What I love about my teammates this year is something that I've loved since I got to JMU", senior quarterback Bryan Schor said. The Bison's first drive notably showcased the return of junior running back Lance Dunn - arguably NDSU's most lethal offensive threat, who hadn't played since October 21.

One person happy to be taking in Bison fans is Robert Verich, an owner and general manager of Tight Ends Sports Bar and Grill, a 450-seat watering hole in Plano with 42 TVs and 118 employees. "This is about this group of seniors and their opportunity to finish it the way they've always wanted to".

NDSU 7 JMU 3 - Ethan Ratke drills a 31-yard field goal with 3:48 left in the first quarter. They made the plays when they had to and we didn't. "Imagine having a week where you can double your income for everybody".

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