GRAND FORKS, ND – The Vincent Dancy era began for Mississippi Valley State football team on Thursday night, but a slow start, an imbalance in the running attack and a couple of costly turnovers did in the Delta Devils as it dropped its season opener 35-7 against North Dakota at the indoors Alerus Center.
Facing an early 21-0 deficit, Mississippi Valley State got the board with an eight-play, 70-yard drive that was capped by a Demarcus Frazier 29-yard touchdown reception from Christopher Fowler with 1:37 remaining in the second quarter.
The Fighting Hawks, who are a Division I independent team in the FCS, responded with a third-quarter score on a 16-yard Luke Fielder touchdown from Nate Ketteringham. In the fourth quarter, junior running back James Johannesson added a seven-yard rushing touchdown with 7:50 left. The junior added 225 yards and three touchdowns through the air, completing 19 passes on just 30 attempts. Ketteringham’s 40-yard strike to Travis Toivonen capped off the opening drive of the game and gave North Dakota the lead for good.
Fowler completed 22-of-39 passes for 263 yards with one touchdown and did not throw an interception. The sophomore from Apache Junction, AZ finished with a strong quarterback rating of 121.5, but was hampered by pressure as he took seven sacks on the night. Senior wide receiver Steven McIntosh reeled in seven catches for 103 yards.
On defense, junior linebacker Tracey Thompkins made a team-leading 13 tackles.