Flagstaff, AR (SportsNetwork.com) - South Dakota State junior running back Zach Zenner rushed for 249 yards and two touchdowns on 30 carries as the Jackrabbits raced away from Northern Arizona, 26-7, in the first round of the FCS playoffs Saturday night.
Zenner, second in rushing yards in the FCS during the regular season, scored on 87- and 34-yard runs, and South Dakota State (9-4) advanced to the second round next Saturday at third-seeded Eastern Washington.
Northern Arizona head coach Jerome Souers missed the game due to complications that arose from necessary back surgery. Defensive coordinator Andy Thompson was named interim coach and led the Lumberjacks from the sidelines.
As expected, it was a battle of the running backs. Northern Arizona's Zach Bauman punched home a 6-yard touchdown with just under 10 minutes to play in the second quarter, and South Dakota State's Zenner dashed 87 yards for a touchdown at the 3:14 mark.
Each tailback was over the 100-yard mark at halftime with the score knotted at 7-7. But Bauman's day went downhill from there.
The senior took a 1-yard loss in his team's own end zone for a safety in the third quarter, giving the Jackrabbits a 9-7 lead.
Bauman didn't gain any additional yards for the rest of the game. He finished the game with 101 yards on 22 carries.
Zenner's second touchdown increased South Dakota State's lead to 16-7 with 6:49 left in the third quarter.