The Sam Houston State Bearkats used a late touchdown pass to clinch their first-ever football championship with a win over South Dakota State.
The Lone Star State is home to Sam Houston State University, who are also the winners of the 2021 FCS National Championship. The Bearkats used a late touchdown pass with just seconds left on the clock to escape the South Dakota State Jackrabbits, 23-21, and capture their first-ever national championship in school history.
The win is even more special for Bearkats head coach K.C. Keeler, who is now the only coach in FCS history to win a title at multiple schools, having accomplished the same feat with the Delaware Fightin’ Blue Hens in 2003.
The Jackrabbits were unable to overcome the loss of quarterback Mark Gronowski early in the game and the unforgiving rain conditions of Frisco. Backup quarterback Keaton Heide only threw for 79 yards and an interception. Running back Isaiah Davis, on the other hand, had an impressive game, rushing for 178 yards and three touchdowns.
Bearkats quarterback Eric Schmid performed well, completing 20 of 37 passes for 209 yards and three touchdowns, including the game-winner to Ife Adeyi, who had five catches for 73 yards on the day. Ramo Jefferson was the Bearkats’ leading rusher with 96 yards on 16 carries.
Sam Houston State has reached the NCAA FCS Championship twice before, only to cede victory to North Dakota State during the Bison’s dynastic run of five consecutive national championships. However, this time, the third appearance proved to be the charm as the Bearkats can now take the trophy back to Huntsville and celebrate.