MINOT, N.D. – Boyer Bouman connected on a 34-yard touchdown pass to Daniel Davis with 25 seconds left in the game to lift Southwest Minnesota State to a thrilling 21-17 victory over Minot State on Saturday at Herb Parker Stadium in Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference football.
SMSU, which improves to 2-3 overall with its second straight victory, started the game-winning drive at its own 13-yard line and included a fourth-and-long conversion early in the drive.
SMSU dominated statistically with more than 420 yards of offense and 23 first downs, while MISU was limited to less than 300 yards and 11 first downs. The SMSU defense held MISU to just one first down in the opening half.
Official game statistics will be posted later Saturday night.
SMSU controlled the first 19 minutes of the game as MISU was held to just six plays and no first downs in the opening quarter.
The MISU defense came through for the game's first points on SMSU's third possession. Facing third and short near midfield, Bouman was intercepted by Isaiah Bigby at the MISU 48-yard line and he returned for a touchdown to give the Beavers a 7-0 lead with 10:58 left in the second quarter.
Following an SMSU punt, the Mustang defense made its first big play of the game as Onte Burn recovered a Beaver fumble at the MISU 20-yard line. The Mustangs took advantage of the turnover and five plays later Duce Reynolds plowed across the goal line for a 1-yard touchdown to tie the game at 7 with 4:26 remaining in the half.
MISU picked up its lone first down of the half on its next drive, but the SMSU defense forced a punt and took over with 1:05 left at its own 27-yard line. The Mustangs moved the ball to the Beavers 49-yard line and called timeout with three seconds on the clock. Out of the timeout, Paul Herrera—who played one series earlier in the game—entered and tossed a Hail Mary pass into the end zone that Dakota Jaeschke came down with for a dramatic half-ending touchdown. Skyler Crew's PAT was good and SMSU took a 14-7 lead into halftime.
SMSU maintained the seven-point lead into the fourth quarter before MISU's Jose Luis Moreno booted a 42-yard field goal with 12:02 left in the game to make the score 14-10.
The Mustangs later in the game attempted to build on the lead but were forced to punt with less than seven minutes remaining in the game.
Bouman's punt pinned the Beavers inside their own 5-yard line, but several big plays and a defensive pass interference call moved the ball down to the SMSU 33-yard line. Ben Bolinske then found Lavante Bushnel for a 33-yard touchdown pass with 3:40 remaining to put MISU in front at 17-14.
SMSU then put together the game-winning drive covering 87 yards on 11 plays. One of the key plays was a fourth down conversion pass from Bouman to Luke Narveson for 17 yards on fourth-and-16 moving the ball to the SMSU 39-yard line. Bouman would later find Davis for a first down reception and two more completions to Jalen Coleman before finding Davis open for the game-winning touchdown.
Southwest Minnesota State returns home next Saturday, Oct. 12, to face Bemidji State University for homecoming with kickoff slated for 3 p.m. at the Schwan Region Event Center.