FLAGSTAFF, Ariz.—Zach Bouman ran for 151 yards, Kyren Poe passed for 154 yards and No. 22 Northern Arizona held off a late South Dakota rally to earn a 22-16 win in the Lumberjacks' home opener at Walkup Skydome. It was the first-ever meeting between the two programs.
Both Bouman and Poe accounted for touchdowns. Bouman's 3-yard run towards the end of the first half gave NAU a 13-0 halftime lead. Poe's 14-yard touchdown pass to Dejzon Walker on the Lumberjacks' opening possession of the second half made it 19-0.
The Coyotes earned 226 of their 284 yards of offense on their final three possessions. Miles Bergner's 24-yard field goal with 14:14 left in the game made it 19-3. A 2-yard touchdown run by quarterback Josh Vander Maten made it 22-9 with 8:35 to go. Vander Maten's 6-yard strike to Nick Meyer made it a six-point game with 2:54 left.
A 63-yard pass to Terrance Terry set up the Coyotes' first touchdown. A 54-yard bomb to Meyer set up the second. Vander Maten finished with 200 yards passing and led the team with 63 yards rushing.
USD's onside kick attempt at the 2:54 mark sailed out of bounds and Bouman salted the game away with five consecutive carries for 31 yards.
South Dakota didn't record a first down until its first possession of the third quarter and had the ball for less than 12 minutes in the first half. The first score of the game came on Anders Battle's 49-yard interception return with 2:52 left in the first quarter.
Despite no first downs from its offense, the USD defense held serve on Northern Arizona's first six offensive possessions. Tyler Starr had a strip sack and Keyen Lage recovered the fumble to halt one NAU drive. Tevin Foster's first quarter interception stopped another. Starr had two sacks in the game and moved into second place on USD's all-time list with 22 (all solo). He trails just A.J. Schable, who had 27 sacks from 2002-05.
South Dakota begins Missouri Valley Conference play next Saturday at Western Illinois. Northern Arizona (2-1) hosts Montana to open Big Sky play.