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Jeff Kolpack, Published December 12 2010

Bison notebook: Sigers shines in loss

CHENEY, Wash. – Take away the loss and it was a special day for North Dakota State redshirt freshman Mike Sigers. He blocked two field goals and returned a kickoff 94 yards for a touchdown.

It wasn’t enough – Eastern Washington defeated the Bison 38-31 in overtime in the Division I Football Championship quarterfinals. In the history of playoff football, it’s debatable whether any Bison player had ever had that kind of a day.

“When you get into the playoffs, anything can happen,” Sigers said. “Both teams are apparently very good on special teams and I’m pretty sure both teams came in trying to make plays to get to the next round.”

Sigers’ kickoff return came on the second half kickoff to tie it at 17-17. The lead lasted all of 13 seconds. Eastern’s Jesse Hoffman returned the ensuing kickoff 88 yards for a touchdown.

“That was huge,” said EWU head coach Beau Baldwin. “We were not doing a lot on offense.”

Sigers’ sprint was the first NDSU kickoff return for a score since Shamen Washington did it against Mississippi Valley State in 2007. His two blocks put him in the Bison record book.

It tied a single-game record held by Greg Bentson in 1972 against Mankato State. It was Sigers’ fourth blocked kick this season, which tied the record set by Al Nowak in 1970.

“It was an unusual portion of the game,” said NDSU head coach Craig Bohl. “There were blocked field goals on both sides and you rarely see a kickoff return, so Mike did some great things for us and made a great contribution.”

Sigers’ first blocked field goal came at a time when NDSU was in danger of getting blown out in the first half. The Eagles led 14-3.

The kick was recovered near midfield and NDSU promptly went 56 yards to pull within 14-10. The big play in the drive was a 20-yard toss from quarterback Brock Jensen to tight end Landon Smith on second-and-11 that reached the 30.

D.J. McNorton scored from the

1-yard line and the Bison were back in the game.

Sigers had blocked punts this season against Kansas and Southern Illinois.

EWU’s Jones gets loose

in first half; Bison tighten

Southeast Missouri State head coach Tony Samuel told Bohl earlier this week that Eastern Washington running back Taiwan Jones was one of the fastest backs that he had seen. The Bison can relate.

Jones had 203 of his 230 rushing yards in the first half.

“His performance was great once again,” Baldwin said. “You can practice all you want and prepare by watching film, but until you go against him live, you don’t understand the angles you need to take.”

NDSU corralled Jones in the second half, however, and eventually knocked him out of the game in the fourth quarter. Baldwin said the hope is an injury to his foot is a bad bruise. Jones will have an X-ray today.

“We’re hoping for the best,” Baldwin said.

Eastern defeated Southeast Missouri last week in the second round.

“I thought he was much more elusive today,” Bohl said of Jones.

Etc. etc. etc.

McNorton had 124 yards on 29 carries and went over 100 yards for the ninth time in his last 11 games. … Bison cornerback Marcus Williams’ 5-yard interception return for a touchdown was the fourth time NDSU did that this season. … Cornerback Josh Gatlin had an interception bringing his season total to five. … EWU was 8 of 15 on fourth down heading into its last drive in regulation.


Forum reporter Jeff Kolpack can be heard on the Saturday Morning Sports Show,

9-11 a.m. on WDAY-AM (970).

He can be reached at (701) 241-5546.

Kolpack’s NDSU media blog can be found

at www.areavoices.com/bisonmedia