Christion leads S. Dakota St. past Indiana St. 24-7

BROOKINGS, S.D. (AP) South Dakota State stuck freshman Taryn Christion in at quarterback Saturday and he didn’t miss a beat, leading his team to a 24-7 Missouri Valley Football Conference win over Indiana State.

Christion passed for a touchdown and ran for another for the eighth-ranked Jackrabbits (4-1, 1-1 MVFC).

Christion started in place of injured Zach Lujan, who was available for emergency duty only. Christion and the Jacks’ defense made sure Lujan wasn’t needed.

”The team voted him the guy who had the greatest impact on the game,” SDSU coach John Stiegelmeier said. ”It was just a tremendous performance for a true freshman.”

Christion passed for 221 yards and ran for 99. That was the most rushing yards by an SDSU quarterback since 2006. He was 15-for-24 passing and carried the ball 16 times.

As a team, the Jacks ran up 428 yards.

Jake Wieneke led SDSU receivers with five catches for 90 yards.

The 19th-ranked Sycamores (3-2, 1-1) were held to just 428 total yards and 86 yards on the ground.

”We knew their quarterback was a good player. A big key for us was getting pressure on the quarterback,” said defensive end J.R. Plote, who had two over SDSU’s six sacks.

Indiana State’s defense came up big at the goal line to stop SDSU’s initial drive short of the end zone. Christion’s first drive took 15 plays and covered 74 yards before stalling.

The Jackrabbits broke a scoreless tie with 12:05 to play in the second quarter. Christion scored on a 10-yard run and Jay Carlson added the PAT for a 7-0 lead.

The efficient drive began on the SDSU 10 and included just one third-down conversion when Christion hit Dallas Goedert for 11 yards on third-and-8.

Christion added to the lead with his first career TD pass to Wieneke, a 34-yarder that made it 14-0 with 2:08 left in the half.

The Sycamores finally got on the scoreboard late in the third quarter when Gary Owens caught a 43-yard pass from Matt Adam and Eric Heidorn added the PAT.

Carlson booted a 21-yard field goal with 14:51 to play, then hit a short onside kick that SDSU recovered on the Indiana State 36. Six plays later, Kyle Paris scored on a 1-yard run to make it 24-7 with 12:26 left.

Indiana State quarterback Matt Adam was 17-for-30 for 198 yards. Owens had three catches for 61 yards.

Lemont Booker led the Sycamores with 67 yards rushing on 15 carries.

”They were the answer tonight,” Stiegelmeier said of his defense. ”I’m really proud of our defense.”