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NDSU wins thriller over James Madison for 8th national championship since 2011

Marshall, Minnesota native Trey Lance didn't throw an interception all season.

Minnesota native Trey Lance (Marshall) completed his perfect redshirt freshman season by leading North Dakota State University (16-0) to its latest title in a dynasty that dates back a full decade.

Lance, the Walter Payton Award winner, which goes to the FCS offensive player of the year, rushed for 166 yards to lead the No. 1 Bison to a 28-20 win over No. 2 James Madison on Saturday in Frisco, Texas. It's NDSU's eighth national championship since 2011 and third straight. 

But the victory didn't come easy. Leading 28-20 with 8 seconds to play and James Madison at the NDSU 2-yard line, Jimmy Hendricks, a Minnesotan from Bemidji, intercepted a pass in the front left corner of the end zone to secure NDSU's championship. 

Prior to that, the play of the day came on the first play of the fourth quarter, as Lance turned a third-and-23 into an incredible scramble, sprinting up the middle of the field and outrunning defenders to the end zone for a 44-yard touchdown that gave NDSU a 28-13 lead. 

Bison championships during the dynasty: 

  • 2011
  • 2012
  • 2013
  • 2014
  • 2015
  • 2017
  • 2018
  • 2019

Lance wasn't asked to do much with his arm, completing 6-of-10 passes for 72 yards. Most importantly, he didn't have any turnovers, completing a season in which he threw for 28 touchdowns and zero interceptions. 

The other game-changing play came with under four minutes to play in the second quarter, as the Bison lined up for a field goal and ran a fake, with the holder, Hendricks, racing to the left for a 20-yard touchdown to give the Bison a 21-10 lead. 

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