Sam Houston State wins FCS title on TD pass with 16 seconds left

·2 min read
during the second half of the NCAA college FCS Football Championship in Frisco, Texas, Sunday May 16, 2021. Sam Houston State defeated South Dakota State 23-21. (AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth)
Sam Houston State beat South Dakota State to win the FCS title. (AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth)

Sam Houston State won the delayed 2020 FCS national title in the last minute.

The Bearkats got a game-winning TD with 16 seconds left when Eric Schmid found Ife Adeyi for what turned out to be a 23-21 win.

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Sam Houston State needed the late TD after South Dakota State made a comeback of its own. The Jackrabbits were down 17-7 and scored 14 consecutive points in the fourth quarter to take a four-point lead.

That comeback came without freshman QB Mark Gronowski. The SDSU starter suffered a left leg injury in the first series of the game and didn't return. 

Sam Houston State's final drive included two fourth-down conversions and took over five minutes. 

WR Jequez Ezzard was once again the star for Sam Houston State. He caught two touchdown passes and had a punt return TD called back at the end of the first quarter because of a block in the back. Ezzard finished the game with 10 catches for 108 yards. 

The game was played in Frisco, Texas, and delayed midway through the second quarter because of lightning. Thunderstorms pelted the Dallas-Fort Worth metro area all Sunday and also delayed the PGA Tour event in McKinney. The lengthy lightning delay led officials to institute a three-minute halftime once the game was resumed. 

Rain wreaked havoc before the lightning delay. The slippery conditions led to some miscues that included bobbled snaps, fumbles, and a bad hold on a field goal attempt. While the rain stopped once the game resumed, the field was still soggy from the precipitation that had pelted the field most of the day.

Sam Houston State finishes the season at 10-0 while South Dakota State ends the season at 8-2. The FCS season was officially postponed to the spring late in the summer because of the coronavirus pandemic, though some teams still elected to play games in the fall. 

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