Easton Stick threw for one touchdown and ran for another, leading defending FCS champion North Dakota State to a 38-7 win over FCS newcomer North Alabama on Saturday at Fargo. N.D.
The Bison (2-0) and the Lions (2-1), who are transitioning to the Big South Conference, had met once before, a 35-7 NDSU win in the 1985 Division II title game. North Dakota State won five D-II titles before moving up, North Alabama won three.
Stick had an 18-yard connection with Darrius Shepherd in the second quarter to help the Bison to a 17-0 halftime lead and scored on a 6-yard run in the third quarter. The Bison held North Alabama to 66 yards in the first half, 13 on the ground, thanks to four sacks.
WESTERN ILLINOIS 31, MONTANA 27: Sean McGuire threw for three touchdowns and Eric Carrera's late interception preserved the lead as Western Illinois edged Montana at Macomb.
The Leathernecks (1-2) were trailing 27-17 late in the fourth quarter when Steve McShane took a punt return 58 yards for a score, cutting it to 27-24. Zach Muniz recovered a Montana fumble on the next exchange, setting up an 11-yard scoring pass from McGuire to McShane six plays later, giving Western Illinois a 31-27 lead with 2:39 to play. Carrera's interception of Dalton Sneed ended Montana's final drive.
YOUNGSTOWN STATE 42, VALPARAISO 7: Montgomery VanGorder threw for 202 yards and three touchdowns and Tevin McCaster ran for 141 yards and two scores as Youngstown State broke into the win column in its final nonconference game, knocking off Valparaiso at Youngstown, Ohio.
McCaster came into the game needing just 27 rushing yards to reach 2,000 for his career. He finished with 25 carries and scored on a pair of one-yard runs. McCaster's two scoring runs gave Youngstown State a 21-7 lead at intermission and VanGorder added an 11-yard scoring pass to Kendric Mallory and an eight-yard strike to Darius Shackleford, both in the third quarter.
MISSOURI STATE 40, NORTHERN ARIZONA 8: Jason Randall rushed for a career-high 181 yards and a pair of touchdowns as Missouri State survived a turnover-plagued game with a defeat of Northern Arizona, scoring half its points off turnovers.
Randall, who had 20 carries, scored on a 47-yard burst up the middle on the third play of the game. The Bears scored in every quarter, led 23-6 by the half and piled up 297 yards on the ground. Peyton Huslig threw for 144 yards and a score. He completed 11 of 28 passes and was intercepted four times.