Gates leads Indiana State past Jacks
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. — Darrius Gates scored a school-record five touchdowns to lead Indiana State to a 41-30 victory over South Dakota State in Missouri Valley Football Conference action Saturday afternoon at Memorial Stadium.
The Sycamores improved to 5-3 overall and 3-2 in league play, remaining undefeated at home. SDSU, which saw its three-game winning streak end, dropped to 3-5 overall and 3-3 in the MVFC.
Indiana State moved the ball at will in the first 20 minutes of the game, scoring on each of their first three drives. The Sycamores took the opening kickoff and drove 89 yards on 12 plays, capped by a 4-yard touchdown run by Darrius Gates.
Gates added another 4-yard touchdown run midway through the first quarter, but ISU missed the extra point to keep the score at 13-0. ISU's second scoring drive covered 86 yards in only seven plays.
The Jackrabbits got on the board on the opening snap of the second quarter as Peter Reifenrath connected on a 30-yard field goal.
ISU extended the lead to 20-3 on Gates' third touchdown of the game, a 16-yard pass from Ronnie Fouch in the far left corner of the end zone with 13 minutes and 24 seconds to play in the second quarter.
SDSU countered with touchdowns on back-to-back drives. Kyle Minett finished off a five-play, 54-yard drive with a 7-yard touchdown run and Colin Cochart hauled in an 11-yard touchdown pass from Thomas O'Brien with 1:05 to play in the first half. Taking over at its own 46 after recovering a bad exchange, SDSU converted four third-down attempts on its second touchdown drive to pull to within 20-17.
After recovering another fumble on a bad exchange, the Jackrabbits took over at the ISU 24 with 40 seconds left. SDSU moved the ball to the Sycamore 17, but couldn't capitalize as O'Brien's pass was tipped at the goal line and intercepted.
Gates found the end zone for a fourth time on the Sycamores' first drive of the second half, scoring on a 14-yard screen pass from Fouch. Gates' school-record 14th touchdown season capped another long ISU drive, which covered 86 yards on five plays. A 63-yard pass from Fouch to Justin Hilton set up the score.
The Sycamores forced another turnover on the next Jackrabbit possession as O'Brien sacked and fumbled, giving ISU the ball at the Jackrabbit 34. Five plays later, Ben Obaseki - normally a defensive lineman - scored on a 1-yard run that gave the Sycamores a 34-17 lead with 8:44 to play in the third quarter.
SDSU came back with a 10-play, 60-yard scoring drive as Minett scored from two yards out with 4:45 to play in the third.
Gates' fifth touchdown of the day, an 11-yard run early in the fourth quarter, gave Indiana State a 41-24 lead. His record-setting touchdown came after gaining 19 yards on third-and-11 on the previous play.
Just over a minute later, Minett tied a career high with his third touchdown of the day, a 1-yard run on a drive in which he became the first SDSU running back in program history to rush for 1,000 yards in three consecutive seasons. A Walter Payton Award candidate, Minett also crossed the 4,000-yard mark in career rushing during the day.
Minett finished the game with 149 yards on 29 carries. O'Brien finished the game 20-of-41 passing for 169 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions. Tyrel Kool led the receiving corps with seven catches for 54 yards.
Indiana State ended the day with an even 500 yards of total offense, compared to 339 by the Jackrabbits. Gates totaled 197 all-purpose yards, gaining 143 yards on 23 carries and catching three balls for 39 yards. Bryant Kent led the Sycamores with six catches for 103 yards, while Fouch was an efficient 17-of-24 passing for 284 yards and two scores.
Corey Jeske led the Jackrabbit defense with 14 tackles, with Mike Lien and Anthony Wise adding 11 and 10 stops, respectively. For Indiana State, Larry Carter was the top tackler with 12 stops. Calvin Burnett added 10 tackles, an interception and broke up a pass.
SDSU returns home to face Missouri State on Nov. 6. Kickoff is slated for 1 p.m. at Coughlin-Alumni Stadium.
NOTES: SDSU leads the all-time series, 2-1 ... the Jackrabbits dropped to 16-6 against Missouri Valley Football Conference opponents since joining the league in 2008 ... the 41 points by Indiana State was the most scored against the Jackrabbits by an MVFC opponent ... SDSU has been outscored 46-7 in the first quarter this season) ... SDSU is 0-5 this season when trailing at half ... Minett topped the 100-yard mark for the seventh consecutive game and finished the day at 1,022 yards for the season and 4,091 for his career... the sack of O'Brien in the third quarter was the first allowed by the Jackrabbits in 11 halves of football and only fourth this season ... attendance was announced at 5,347