Tigers junior Terrance West carried the ball 22 times for 99 yards, caught five passes for 39 yards and scored one touchdown to add to his FCS record of 42 this season and his career mark of 86.
But Towson’s bid for the university’s first Division I national crown in any sport was denied by a Bison squad that finished a 15-0 campaign, extended its win streak to 24 consecutive games and joined Appalachian State as the only programs to capture three straight FCS titles.
“I have to give credit to Coach [Craig] Bohl, his program, his players, his staff, and North Dakota State’s fans,” Towson Coach Rob Ambrose said. “They are undefeated for a reason.”
Statistically, the Tigers (13-3) outplayed North Dakota State. They had more total yards (373-345), more first downs (21-16) and longer possession (33 minutes 38 seconds to 26:22).
But those numbers masked Towson’s mistakes.
Deadlocked at 7-7, Towson attempted to take the lead late in the second quarter with D.J. Soven lining up for a 41-yard field goal. But his try was blocked by North Dakota State’s Colton Heagle, and Kyle Emanuel scooped up the loose ball and returned it 59 yards to the Tigers 5-yard line.
One play later, wide receiver Ryan Smith scored on an end-around to give the Bison a 14-7 lead with 4 minutes 43 seconds left in the half.
Ambrose called it “[a] legitimate 10-point swing. . . . We made a mistake and they made us pay for it.”
And late in the third quarter, backup quarterback and occasional punter Connor Frazier flubbed a rugby kick from the Towson end zone that skipped out of bounds at the Tigers 31.
The Bison went the 31 yards in seven plays, scoring Sam Ojuri’s one-yard run early in the fourth quarter to cap the scoring.
— Baltimore Sun