North Dakota edges Illinois State 22-21 on Gaven Ziebarth's TD in closing seconds


Illinois State Redbirds vs. North Dakota Fighting Hawks: Full Highlights

Illinois State Redbirds vs. North Dakota Fighting Hawks: Full Highlights

GRAND FORKS, N.D. -- — Gaven Ziebarth rushed for two touchdowns, including a go-ahead 1-yarder with 25 seconds remaining, and North Dakota beat Illinois State 22-21 on Saturday in a battle of teams seeking a seventh win for a possible spot in the FCS playoffs.

North Dakota (7-4, 5-3 Missouri Valley Conference) hopes to follow last season's 7-5 squad into the playoffs for the fourth time in the last five seasons.

Illinois State scored two touchdowns in the fourth quarter — but had a point-after attempt blocked and a two-point conversion denied — to take a 21-16 lead with 4:53 remaining. North Dakota answered the second touchdown with an 11-play, 76-yard drive that chewed up over four minutes.

Tommy Schuster had completions of 13, 17 — both to Bo Belquist — and 15 yards on North Dakota's final drive. Schuster also had an 11-yard run to set up Ziebarth's 1-yard scoring run up the middle.

Ziebarth finished with 16 carries for 74 yards. He was stuffed on the final two-point try.

Schuster was 14 of 22 for 169 yards with one touchdown and one interception. Six North Dakota players finished with just one catch, and Belquist had a team-high eight grabs for 72 yards.

Illinois State (6-5, 4-4), which had won two in a row, was led by Mason Blakemore with 22 carries for 101 yards and two touchdowns. Tommy Rittenhouse was 21-of-33 passing for 241 yards with a touchdown.


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