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Bison roll past San Diego to earn a spot in the FCS quarterfinals

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North Dakota State quarterback Easton Stick breaks free for a 51-yard touchdown run against the University of San Diego during the FCS playoffs at the Fargodome on Saturday, Dec. 2, 2017. David Samson / The Forum2 / 2

FARGO - The second trip to North Dakota went about the same as the first one for the University of San Diego. North Dakota State stuck a stifling defense on the Toreros and the game was over before the fourth quarter rolled around.

NDSU rushed for 301 yards and took a 38-3 victory in the second round of the FCS playoffs Saturday afternoon, Dec. 2, at Gate City Bank Field at the Fargodome. The Bison, 11-1, will host Wofford College (S.C.) next weekend.

San Diego, winners of the Pioneer League who lost 45-7 in this game last year, finished 10-3.

NDSU scored touchdowns the first two times it had the ball in the third quarter to put away the Toreros. Both scores featured the explosiveness of the Bison running backs.

Sophomore Ty Brooks bolted through a seam to score from 23 yards out to make it 24-0. It was Bruce Anderson’s turn the following series when he took a screen pass and darted 48 yards for a score.

The Bison led 31-0.

NDSU played the fourth quarter mostly with backups.

The first half was a tale of two different quarters for the Bison offense, who were sharp in the first and had troubles in the second. NDSU scored the first three times it had the ball to take a quick 17-0 lead.

Quarterback Easton Stick completed his first five passes, with one of them a 19-yard touchdown strike to running back Seth Wilson to make it 7-0. Stick did the job with his legs on NDSU’s next possession, going 51 yards for the touchdown.

After Bison safety Robbie Grimsley stole the ball from San Diego receiver Michael Bandy for a fumble recovery, the Bison settled for a 47-yard field goal by Cam Pedersen and it was 17-0.

NDSU was threatening to blow it open early in the second quarter driving to the USD 35-yard line. But on second-and-1, Stick was stripped from behind by defensive end Jonathan Petersen and the Toreros recovered the fumble.

The Bison offense finished the half getting just one first down the last three times it had the ball.

Still, it was a three-possession lead going into halftime.