Watch this JMU receiver make a HELMET CATCH in the FCS Championship

There was no ESPN2 sideline reporter with a microphone waiting for James Madison coach Mike Houston Saturday as he came off Toyota Stadium's grass following the first half of the FCS championship game.

Stick, the game's Most Outstanding Player, stuck to his word, and the following celebration was a familiar sight for fans in Frisco: North Dakota State has won six of the last seven FCS national championships, making North Texas somewhat of a second home. James Madison rushes for over 200 yards a game, but NDSU is over 280.

This recent history sets up a power-laden title matchup that has the chance to redefine the FCS hierarchy moving forward.

The Bison limited James Madison to 241 yards on 62 plays, allowing one touchdown.

Despite taking over in prime position at the NDSU 28-yard line, after two drives by junior running back Marcus Marshall, Schor was hit by a defenseman as his arm moved through the zone, which deflected the ball off one of his linesman and into the hands of NDSU's senior tackle Nate Tanguay, who returned the interception for 11 yards to the NDSU 29-yard line. "Obviously they have the respect of the entire country, but I can promise you our kids are confident and motivated and are going to be ready to play tomorrow". The Dukes' Simeyon Robinson blocked Cam Pedersen's 38-yard field goal attempt and they got the ball at the 27 with 4:37 remaining. It led to a 32-yard Pedersen field goal and it was 17-3.

"If you're going to win at this level, you have to have the guy who can make the plays in clutch moments", Houston said.


"They made the plays and we made too many mistakes". They had (only) 53 yards rushing in the first half. It came on the first play of a JMU drive that began with 39 seconds left in the first half and the Dukes trailing by two touchdowns. James Madison got another, 21-yard field goal from Ratke to make the score 17-6 at halftime. The Bison then ran out the final 58 seconds.

James Madison scored on its first possession of the third quarter to close within 17-13.

JMU senior quarterback Bryan Schor says, "This is the reason why we play football".

"We compare him to (South Dakota State wide receiver) Jake Wieneke", Bridges said of Stapleton. The Dukes also finished 14-1 with the loss. The Bison's first drive notably showcased the return of junior running back Lance Dunn - arguably NDSU's most lethal offensive threat, who hadn't played since October 21. "We felt like we'd get that look from them".

The Bison continued to prevent big plays, rough up Schor (four sacks, twice as many scrambles), and keep JMU from moving the ball much on the ground. Anderson carried the ball 18 times for 63 yards with a 3-yard touchdown, while Lance Dunn returned from a midseason injury to gain 50 yards on 13 carries. To add insult to injury, a fight broke out after the play and JMU was taxed with a 15-yard penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct.


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