NORMAL, Ill. — Easton Stick ran for two touchdowns and North Dakota State overcame Illinois State and a snowstorm to beat the Redbirds 20-7 on Saturday to win their third outright Missouri Valley Football Conference championship.
Stick ran 10 yards for the game’s first score in the third quarter and Bruce Anderson added a 1-yard touchdown later in the period that came four plays Jabril Cox intercepted Jake Kolbe and returned it 32 yards to the Redbirds 25.
James Robinson ran in from 11 yards out with 3:21 left in the game for Illinois State (6-5, 4-4) to cut the lead to 13-7 but on the Bison’s ensuing drive, Stick ran 56 yards to the Illinois State 12 and was stripped of the ball but Anderson recovered on the 1 and Stick scored on the next play.
The Bison, who wrapped up an automatic FCS playoff bid with the victory, have won or shared seven straight conference titles. Their other two outright championships came in 2012 and 2013.
The game began under overcast skies. A rainstorm turned into a blizzard in a matter of minutes late in the first half.