The last entry in the Bison post season Pick Six test.
In case you want a refresher on the earlier variations, here they are:
If you like one of the other ones or this one the most, let me know!
Every championship game has been special. Each of the seven has been great, in one way or another. Whether you consider today's to be the best of the seven or not, is fully up to you to decide. I wouldn't argue with you if you said it was and I wouldn't argue with you if you said it wasn't. Each has been special, and today was no exception.
Except that it set the university apart in a way that none of the previous six had. So I'm going to try to capture historical greatness in six segments.
With all the well deserved talk about the senior class, it was a non senior that gets to lead off. With Bruce Anderson out and Lance Dunn playing but injured, it was next year's lead back that lead the way for the horses. Ty Brooks got most of his 82 yards on a 50 yard run. That one run was the final sign of the year of what will be capable of happening on any given play next Fall & Winter. So while not historic in it's own right, it was a necessary piece of the puzzle today.
The company that shares a name with the next guy on the list has a motto - "who we are."
Well, who Levi Jordheim is, is a guy that until today had never had an interception. 49 games played, a big goose egg in the picks line. Game 50 and he snagged the ball out of the air like he had been a ball hawk all along, like he was Jabril Cox in disguise. He didn't return it for a touchdown. He didn't actually get any yards on a return but man was it a pretty play from a guy that hadn't shined like that before!
Another senior that has been good but not always flashy came up big today. Big because he was singularly responsible for one of the three turnovers that Code Green managed. I'm talking about the strip sack & recovery by Stanley Jones early in the third quarter when both teams decided to go nuts. It was a single play but without it, the Eagles offense may have been able to keep it even closer than it got. It was the kind of play that is required to win in the biggest games.
I'm just going to tip you off, it's all about the seniors from here on out, because those guy's deserve five of the six top spots from the game.
The next one to get in the mix was one of the future pros from the group - Greg Menard. A sack and a half in his last game was a great way to finish his time playing for NDSU. After missing last season it was apropos that he would be one of the best of the day.
Some questioned whether the Bison offense would be able to manage in the playoffs with Darrius Shepherd as the primary target and so few throws going to other guys. It's an understatement to say that it worked out just fine. 125 yards and two scores, one of which was especially impressive as he had to navigate the sideline, pylon and defenders while bringing in the ball. I've seen enough players who were paid to play that game that could make that kind of catch so credit where it's due. He was great today, in a typically limited role!
How could it be anyone other than the golden boy of the game?
Easton Stick may have had his worst game of the year throwing the ball but even that was decent, and the running was magnificent! He followed the legend that is Carson Wentz and with today's game, Stick set himself up to be every bit the local legend that Brock Jensen is and for many of the same reasons. It was as good of a finale as anyone could have seen coming, as good as it could have been all things considered. Much like his coach, he left giant shoes to fill by whoever wins the job next August.
So there you go, the six best parts of the historic championship. In case you didn't notice, there are horn bars for all seven championships and I decided to finish it the way the voice of the Bison finishes games, with a slight twist to keep with the theme. I don't know if I was wordy enough, but then again, how many words would it take to encapsulate what happened today? More, but a lot more. I think I did okay, but you be the judge.
It's been a fun season and even though there are myriad questions about the 19 team, I'll be back & it'll be fun too! Until then, be safe & smart!
(and share your thoughts on the various Pick Six forms! Thanks!)