FARGO, N.D. – Brock Jensen scored on a 5-yard quarterback draw on fourth down with 3 minutes left to rally North Dakota State to a 23-20 victory over Georgia Southern Friday night in the FCS semifinals.
The defending champion Bison (13-1) advanced to the championship game Jan. 5 in Frisco, Texas, against the winner of today’s semifinal between Sam Houston State and Eastern Washington.
“I am little bit out of words,” North Dakota State head coach Craig Bohl said. “That’s probably one of the most draining games I’ve ever been a part of.”
Georgia Southern coach Jeff Monken, whose team lost to NDSU in last year’s semifinals, had to be consoled by four Eagles players after they finished interviews in the postgame press conference. Monken sobbed and then left the room for a few minutes before taking questions.
“I apologize for losing my composure there,” Monken said. “It hurts, it hurts bad.”
Jensen’s run came on a fourth-and-3 play and it followed three timeouts, the first one by NDSU and the last two by Georgia Southern. Jensen said the play was called during the first timeout.
Jensen’s run capped a 59-yard drive that was aided by a roughing-the-passer penalty on the Eagles. The drive started at the Bison 41 after a 15-yard penalty on Georgia Southern (10-4) for a late hit.
The Bison survived a furious rally when Carlton Littlejohn blocked a 50-yard field-goal attempt with 34 seconds left by Drew Ruggles, who was recently recruited off the school soccer team.