BROOKINGS, S.D. - The South Dakota State defense came up with three interceptions en route to a 42-32 victory over the Jackrabbit offense in the team's annual Spring Game Saturday afternoon at a windy Coughlin-Alumni Stadium.
The victory was the fifth in a row for the Jackrabbit defense, which was awarded six points for each interception under a scoring system designed to reward big plays. The defense also recorded 12 tackles for loss, including five sacks, in the contest.
Sophomore quarterback Austin Sumner led the offense to a touchdown on the opening drive of the game. Taking advantage of a short field, Sumner completed a 15-yard pass to redshirt freshman tight end Cam Jones on the second play of the drive to set up first and goal. Sumner capped the six-play, 30-yard drive by completing a fourth-down pass from a yard out to Jason Schneider in the back right corner of the end zone.
R.C Kilgore came up with the first interception, scooping up an Eric Kline pass off the hands of a receiver. David Godley intercepted Sumner on the final play of the first half. Junior college transfer Austin Scott-Knowlton recorded the third and final interception of the afternoon, picking off a Tyler Finnes pass early in the second half.
The offense put together two scoring drives in the second half. Kline led the first drive by completing a pair of passes for 30 yards, including a 22-yarder to Trevor Wesley on third-and-9 to keep the drive alive. The offense then used a fortuitous bounce to score as redshirt freshman running back Reginald Gandy was stripped of the football at the goal line, but offensive lineman Dylan Seiter fell on the loose ball in the end zone.
The other scoring drive came on the next possession as Justin Syrovatka connected on a 44-yard field goal.
Sumner, the reigning Missouri Valley Football Conference Freshman of the Year, ended the day 11-of-22 passing for 104 yards. Kline was 6-of-10 for 55 yards and Finnes completed 5-of-9 passes for 27 yards. Wesley led the receivers with three catches for 31 yards, with Aaron Rollin adding three receptions for 27 yards.
Gandy led the running game with 15 carries for 61 yards and added two receptions for 27 yards. Zach Zenner carried 10 times for 49 yards.
The Jackrabbits will open fall camp Aug. 6, with the season opener slated for Sept. 1 at Kansas.