Sam Houston wins FCS playoff shootout over South Dakota

(STATS) – The most productive offenses and quarterbacks in the FCS put on show-stopping performances in sixth-seeded Sam Houston State’s 54-42 win over South Dakota in the second round of the FCS playoffs Saturday.

Senior quarterbacks Jeremiah Briscoe of Sam Houston and Chris Streveler of South Dakota led the way as their offenses combined for 1,345 yards. Briscoe completed 28 of 43 passes for 505 yards and four touchdowns with one interception. Streveler, who was 33 of 54, had 571 yards of total offense, including a playoff-record 520 through the air, and accounted for all six USD touchdowns.

But the Bearkats (11-1) survived a second-half rally from South Dakota to advance to the quarterfinals. The Southland Conference power will host Kennesaw State (12-1), a 17-7 upset winner over No. 3 seed Jacksonville State, on Saturday (8:30 p.m. ET)..

“We just saw two of the best quarterbacks in the country, maybe any level, playing football today,” Sam Houston coach K.C. Keeler said, “and both guys had great days.”

Sam Houston entered the game first in the FCS in total offense (544.6 ypg) and scoring offense (45.9 ppg), while South Dakota was second in total offense (514.2 ypg) and fifth in scoring offense (37.8 ppg).

The Bearkats built a 41-14 halftime lead behind Briscoe’s four TD passes. But Streveler, who became the Missouri Valley Conference’s single-season record holder with 4,134 passing yards, kept the pressure on in the second half and brought the Coyotes within 44-42 with 10:45 left to play.

Briscoe opened Sam Houston’s next drive with three straight completions and Corey Avery rushed for a first down on 4-and-1 at the USD 5 before scoring from 1 yard out two plays later to give the Bearkats breathing room at 51-42.

Sam Houston wide receiver Davion Davis caught three touchdown passes and scored another on a run, combining with Nathan Stewart for 311 receiving yards. USD wide receiver Brandt Van Roekel caught 11 passes for a school-record 234 yards and a touchdown.

Sam Houston has reached at least the national quarterfinals for the sixth time in seven straight playoff appearances.