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Bison receiver Shepherd hits rare 'home run' against James Madison defense

07 January 2018

When North Dakota State faced a fourth down and needed to run out the final four seconds of its 17-13 win over James Madison in the FCS championship game Saturday, there was quarterback Easton Stick ready to get the job done.

JMU running back Marcus Marshall rushed for 30 yards and a score. That means you can watch a live stream via WatchESPN if you have a cable log-in, but if you don't have cable or can't get to a TV, you can watch the game online, on your phone or on another streaming device by signing up for one of the following cable-free, live-TV streaming services.

The Dukes' sloppiest half of the season only got worse as the clock neared halftime. Despite snapping the ball just eight more times, North Dakota State managed a 15-minute advantage in time of possession, chewing up 37:41 in its 70 snaps compared to just 22:19 in 62 plays for James Madison. Despite the encouraging field position, Schor whiffed on three pass attempts and JMU was forced to settle for a field goal booted in by redshirt freshman Ethan Ratke.

Meanwhile, the Bison have run wild with a deep running back corps that's withstood injuries, led by 1,186-yard rusher Bruce Anderson. Those proved to be the game-winning points and the final touchdown the Bison could muster against a stingy JMU defense.

JMU - Kyre Hawkins had 10 tackles.

"The demeanor of the team is the same as past year", redshirt senior offensive lineman Aaron Stinnie said. Bison quarterback Stick then hit receiver Darrius Shepherd for a 50-yard touchdown in the second quarter, followed up with a Cam Pedersen 32-yard field goal to make it 17-3 NDSU. Marshall then paraded through a stack off defenders to slip into the end zone and narrow the deficit to 17-13.

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"I have a tremendous amount of respect for how JMU does it - how they play defense, how they run the football", Klieman added. "There has been so much adversity that has made us so much stronger as a team. I just felt like this team had what it took to beat that North Dakota State team, and we were confident coming out of that half". "That's what it came down to. the plays were there".

Schor, last season's CAA Offensive Player of the Year, is completing 66 percent of his passes and has 26 touchdown passes to 12 interceptions. In JMU's first drive of the fourth quarter, Alls dropped a wide-open pass downfield which preceded a drive-ending sack of Schor.

"Most important things to us was don't flinch", said NDSU cornerback Marquise Bridges on the fake punt.

Kelly, by the way, was his team's second-leading rusher with the 24 yards. "That's their thing. I promise you, they wanted this match-up". As Pedersen jolted toward the ball for a 38-yard attempt, Robinson leaped and knocked the ball into the ground to keep the score at 17-13.

A scrambling Schor, under heavy pressure and off balance, heaved it in the end zone and the ball fell incomplete.

The Dukes entered the season as the No. 1 team in the land.

Bison receiver Shepherd hits rare 'home run' against James Madison defense