Eagles soar over UND

FOOTBALL UND falls to Eastern Washington on Saturday in the Alerus Center.

UND Senior wide receiver Greg Hardin is tackled during Saturday’s football game. Photo by Keisuke Yoshimura.

As the cold weather spoiled some of UND’s Homecoming activities Saturday, so did the Eastern Washington Eagles as they handed North Dakota a 35-14 loss at the Alerus Center on Saturday afternoon.

The No. 6 ranked Eagles improved to 2-0 in the Big Sky Conference (4-2 overall) while the Green and White sank to 1-2 in the BSC (2-4 overall).

EWU was the fourth straight nationally-ranked opponent to take on UND at home. Following Saturday’s contest, EWU also was UND’s fourth-straight loss to such a team.

“I saw this one as a winnable game,” UND coach Chris Mussman said. “But as this season progresses, we continue to snatch momentum away from ourselves.”

Turnovers proved to be costly for the Green and White as their offense performed at the same level as the Eagles — EWU finishing the match with 408 total yards of offense while UND ended with 406.

North Dakota struck first on the scoreboard late in the first quarter off a 25-yard field goal by kicker Zeb Miller.

The Eagles took a 21-6 lead into the third quarter, and the Green and White fought to strike back in the game after junior running back Adam Shaugabay scored on a one-yard touchdown rush halfway into the quarter to cut UND’s deficit to 21-14.

North Dakota’s defense forced a three-and-out against the Eagles, and UND regained possession, trailing by just seven points. Facing a third down and 22 yard-to-go situation, UND quarterback Joe Mollberg’s pass was intercepted by EWU senior lineman Ronnie Hamlin, who returned it 77 yards for the score to give Eastern Washington the 28-14 advantage. This ended any North Dakota momentum.

The interception was one of four North Dakota turnovers in the game, as the Eagles’ defense forced three fumbles against the Green and White.

Aside from the interception, Mollberg had a career game as he completed 33 of 45 passes for a season high 355 passing yards.

Receiver Jameer Jackson hauled in a career high 10 passes for 110 receiving yards to lead all North Dakota receivers in the game.

Kenny Golladay picked up 125 receiving yards off of nine receptions, while All-American Greg Hardin surpassed the 3,000 career receiving yard mark after a 14 yard catch in the first quarter. Hardin became the second UND player to accomplish the feat; however, he is the first to do so not in postseason play. Hardin went on to finish the contest with six catches for 50 yards.

North Dakota amassed most of its offensive yards in the air, as senior running back Jake Miller was solid for the Green and White on the ground after he picked up 33 yards off nine attempts to lead all backs in the match.

Next weekend, UND will host Sacramento State. Kick-off is set for 2:30 pm at the Alerus Center.

David Butz is a staff writer for The Dakota Student. He can be reached at [email protected]