K-State Wins Season Opener

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Manhattan, Kan. – Going into Saturday’s game the biggest uncertainty was at kicker, but for the first half that was the only sure thing for the Wildcats.

South Dakota came into Manhattan and after K-State waited to get things going, the Coyotes decided to take advantage. After two empty possessions the Coyotes were able to storm down the field and grab a field goal after Alex Barnes fumbled for the first time in the game. K-State would answer with Blake Lynch’s first career field goal to tie things up.

The tie did not last for long as South Dakota marched down the field going 74 yards and capping the scoring drive off with a two yard touchdown carry by quarterback Austin Simmons.

K-State would go onto see a total of four Blake Lynch field goals in the 1st half, highlighted by a 44 yard field goal as time ran down in the second quarter. South Dakota was undeterred by Kansas State taking their first lead of the game and wasted no time by marching down the field in under a minute to score on a seven yard touchdown pass by Simmons to Dakari Allen. On the very next possession, Delton threw his first interception of the season and South Dakota returned it for a touchdown.

Once the second half got underway, Kansas State kept battling, but couldn’t get any offense going. Skylar Thompson had started the game, but after a few unsuccessful drives, Alex Delton came in to relieve him. Delton held down the fort at quarterback for Kansas State until the third possession in quarter number three. Things remained the same as the halftime score after a scoreless third quarter, 24-12 in favor of the Coyotes.

South Dakota wrapped up their first drive of the fourth quarter with a punt when Isaiah Zuber gave Kansas State their first energizing play of the game. The Kansas State defense forced a punt and Zuber found space, giving KSU an 85 yard punt return for a touchdown and bringing the Wildcats within five points of South Dakota.

Kansas State would complete their comeback over the course of the two crucial drives of the game. Out of the punt return, K-State would force a punt on just five plays by South Dakota and then marched down the field for 64 yards on seven plays when Thompson found Zuber in the back of the endzone for the go-ahead score. Leading 25-24, Bill Snyder  would elect to go for two and it paid off as Alex Barnes dove towards the goal line to get the score and put Kansas State up by a field goal.

The WIldcats would get the ball back from the Coyotes and looked to be headed towards putting the game on ice. Kansas State had 3rd & inches at the South Dakota 21 when they took a costly delay of game penalty, moving them back five yards. Barnes took the ensuing carry for Kansas State and would cough the ball up for his third time on the day. South Dakota started moving down the field, getting into Wildcat territory.

South Dakota took a false start penalty and were moved back to the KSU 34 yardline, Kansas State broke free and forced pressure and tipped the pass, but still with three seconds on the clock. Mason Lorber came on to attempt a 51 yard field goal after missing a 47 yard attempt earlier in the game. With the wind blowing into him, Lorber’s kick never had a chance and Kansas State was able to survive and get to 1-0.

Up Next: Kansas State will host Mississippi State next Saturday the 8th, for an 11 AM kickoff at Bill Snyder Family Stadium. Mississippi State hosted Stephen F. Austin this weekend and cruised to a comfortable 63-6 victory over the Lumberjacks. Bulldog starting quarterback Nick Fitzgerald was suspended for this game, but will return for the game in Manhattan. Fitzgerald’s replacement, Keytaon Thompson would account for seven Bulldog touchdowns, five coming in the air. Powercat Gameday will start at 7 AM next weekend for the 11 AM kick, both Powercat Gameday and KSU vs. Mississippi State can be heard on 1350 KMAN and 101.5 KROCK.

Box Score
Team        1    2     3    4    FINAL
SoDak     10  14    0    0        24
K-State     3    9     0   15       27

Passing: South Dakota: Simmons-24/56, 257 yards, 1 touchdown
Kansas State: Delton-5/14, 91 yards, 1 INT; Thompson-8/14, 61 yards, 1 touchdown, 1 INT

Rushing: South Dakota: Henry-58 yards, 10 carries; Klett-15 yards, 3 carries; Brooks-4 yards, 2 carries; Simmons-0 yards, 6 carries
Kansas State: Barnes-103 yards, 21 carries; Delton-78 yards, 12 carries; Thompson-58 yards, 11 carries; Warmack-17 yards, 3 carries

Receiving: South Dakota: Falck-140 yards, 11 receptions; Allen-42 yards, 4 receptions; Baker-32 yards, 4 receptions; Crawford-20 yards, 1 reception; Herrmann-18 yards, 3 receptions; Samson-5 yards, 1 recpetion
Kansas State: Zuber-68 yards, 5 receptions; Schoen-54 yards, 3 receptions; Reuter-12 yards, 2 receptions; Warmack-9 yards, 1 reception; Barnes-9 yards, 2 receptions

Kicking: South Dakota: Lorber 1/3 field goals, long 27, 3/3 XP
Kansas State: Lynch 4/4 field goals, long 44, 1/1 XP

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