The NSIC was fit to be tied.
Both the North and South divisions wound up in ties for first place after Saturday's regular-season finales in the 16-team conference. The North landed in a three-team deadlock (Bemidji State, Minnesota Duluth and Northern State) while two teams (Augustana and Minnesota State Mankato) shared the top spot in the South.
Bemidji State 41, Northern State 24: The Beavers scored the final 23 points, rallying past the Wolves to forge the three-team tie for first place in the North. Sophomore quarterback Jordan Hein completed 20 of 39 passes for 363 yards and three TDs and also ran for a score for the Beavers. His 20-yard scoring run in the third quarter broke a 24-all tie. Bemidji State overcame having two blocked punts returned for TDs.
Minnesota Duluth 36, Minot State (N.D.) 10: The 19th-ranked Bulldogs took a while to get going but scored the game's final four TDs to beat the Beavers. Senior Jonathan Harden ran for two scores in the second half while sophomore Nate Ricci ran for one TD and caught another. Harden finished with three TDs, the only three times he carried the ball. The Bulldogs trailed 10-8 at halftime.
MSU, Mankato 42, Wayne State (Neb.) 14: The No. 5-rated Mavericks scored the game's first five TDs and rolled past the Wildcats. Junior quarterback Ricky Lloyd completed 18 of 26 passes for 261 yards and three TDs, all in the first half. He also scored on a 64-yard run in the third quarter.
Augustana 76, Concordia 21: The No. 22-ranked Auggies weren't about to let a share of the South title slip through their hands. Augustana set school records for points (76) and total offense (751 yards) in a game in routing the Golden Bears. Junior quarterback Trey Heid completed 24 of 32 passes for a career-high 479 yards and five TDs. He also ran for 81 yards and a score, finishing with 560 yards of total offense.
Sioux Falls (S.D.) 69, Upper Iowa 20: The No. 17-rated Cougars scored all of their points in the first three quarters, 45 coming in the first half, in cruising past the Peacocks. Sioux Falls scored nearly every way imaginable, including two interception returns to go along with a punt and kickoff return. Junior quarterback Luke Papilion completed 18 of 32 passes for 331 yards and three TDs.
St. Cloud State 42, Mary (N.D.) 7: The Huskies scored 28 points in the fourth quarter to pull away from the Marauders. Junior quarterback Nate Meyer ran for two TDs and threw for another score in the fourth quarter. He also threw a touchdown pass in the first quarter.
MSU Moorhead 59, Minnesota-Crookston 21: Zayne Medhaug rushed for 119 yards on 18 carries and three TDs as the Dragons ran for 396 yards and seven scores in defeating the Golden Eagles.
Southwest Minnesota State 33, Winona State 28: Davontay Stevens carried the ball 34 times for 184 yards and two TDs as the Mustangs held off the Warriors.