FARGO, N.D. (AP) — Easton Stick threw for one touchdown and ran for another, leading defending FCS champion North Dakota State to a 38-7 win over FCS newcomer North Alabama on Saturday.
The Bison (2-0) and the Lions (2-1), who are transitioning to the Big South Conference, had met once before, a 35-7 NDSU win in the 1985 Division II title game. North Dakota State won five D-II titles before moving up, North Alabama won three.
Stick had an 18-yard connection with Darrius Shepherd in the second quarter to help the Bison to a 17-0 halftime lead and scored on a 6-yard run in the third quarter. The Bison held North Alabama to 66 yards in the first half, 13 on the ground, thanks to four sacks.
In the fourth quarter Jabril Cox had a 43-yard pick-6 and backup quarterback Trey Lance raced 44-yards for a touchdown. After the Cox touchdown kicker Cam Pedersen converted his 191st extra point, tying him with his predecessor, Adam Keller, for the school record. However, after Lance’s first score in his first collegiate action, freshman Jake Reinholz converted the PAT kick.
Bruce Anderson scored NDSU’s first touchdown, a 1-yard plunge after a bad snap on a North Alabama punt attempt set the Bison up on the 3.
Dexter Boykin hauled in a 23-yard touchdown pass from Chris Weaver with 1:34 to play as the Lions avoided being shut out for the first time since 2010.