FARGO, N.D. – Khalid Abdullah had 180 yards rushing, added 51 yards receiving and a touchdown and James Madison put an end to North Dakota State’s 22-game postseason win streak with a 27-17 upset in the FCS semifinals Saturday night.
So instead of NDSU vying for an unprecedented sixth consecutive national championship, James Madison (13-1) will advance to the Jan. 7 FCS title game in Frisco, Texas, with hopes of winning its second title and first since 2004.
The Dukes await the winner of Youngstown State and Eastern Washington, who play Saturday night in Cheney, Wash.
After NDSU defensive end Brad Ambrosius was called offside on a fourth-and-19, the Dukes took a 20-17 lead on a 45-yard field goal from Tyler Gray with 11:46 to go.
A 25-yard touchdown pass from Bryan Schor to John Miller with 6:59 left made it 27-17.
James Madison, the No. 4 seed, outgained the top-seeded Bison 301-164 total yards in the first half. Abdullah had 175 of those yards and his 10-yard touchdown reception gave JMU a 17-0 lead midway through the second quarter. Schor threw for 242 yards and three touchdowns.
Chase Morlock and King Frazier sandwiched scoring runs around a 45-yard field goal by Sam Pederson as North Dakota State (2-2) made it 17-all with 5:53 left in the third quarter.
The Bison were held to a season-low 132 yards rushing. Easton Stick was 19-of-38 passing for 216 yards with an interception.
For the Bison it was their first their first postseason defeat since 2010, when they lost to eventual national champions Eastern Washington 38-31 in overtime.
Meanwhile, the Dukes are the first Colonial Athletic Association school to make the national championship since Towson in 2013. In 2004, James Madison defeated Montana 31-21 for their only title.