(FARGO, ND) — A high-scoring affair Saturday afternoon at the FargoDome saw the NDSU Bison come out on top, despite a dominant second quarter by Northern Iowa. The Bison outscored the Panthers 21-10 in the second half, en route to a 34-20 victory in front of more than 18,500 fans.
The Bison built a 10-0 lead with 3:37 to go in the first quarter off a 27-yard field goal by Jake Reinholz, capping off a quick two-minute, 40-yard drive. The field goal was exactly four minutes after the Bison got their first score of the day, a 85-yard pass from Quincy Patterson to Christian Watson, a drive that took only the single scoring plan and 11 seconds.
Northern Iowa pulled to within three points early in the second quarter on a 44-yard pass from quarterback Theo Day to Isaiah Weston. They would tie it less than eight minutes later on a 33-yard field goal by Matthew Cook.
But, the Bison struck again with just 23 seconds to go, when Reinholz again found a spot between the goal posts, capping off a nine-play, 71-yard drive.
Back-to-back touchdowns in the second half’s first six minutes put the Bison up 27-10, a lead that Northern Iowa would only pull to 10 points on a five yard run by Dom Williams with 7:39 to go in the third quarter.
Patterson put the dagger in the game with 51 seconds expired in the fourth quarter when he scampered four yards for a touchdown run, pushing the Bison ahead 34-17.
Cook wrapped up the scoring with 9:08 to go with a 44-yard field goal.
Patterson finished 11-of-21 passing, with two touchdowns and 182 yards in the air; he also rushed for 60 yards and two touchdowns.
Watson had five receptions for 163 yards and one receiving touchdown. The other touchdown was a receiving touchdown by Noah Gindorff.
The Bison (5-0, 2-0 MVFC) will travel to Normal, Ill., for a showdown with the Redbirds of Illinois State next Saturday at 2 p.m.