FRISCO, Texas – Carson Wentz got one more game as North Dakota's quarterback before the NFL draft — and another FCS title.
A potential first-round draft pick, Wentz passed for a touchdown and ran for two more scores in his first game since breaking his right wrist in mid-October, and the Bison won their unprecedented fifth consecutive FCS championship with a 37-10 victory Saturday over top-seeded Jacksonville State.
"I felt good. I felt good for the last couple weeks now. That kind of showed a little today," said Wentz, a two-time champion after Brock Jensen won three in a row for the Bison. "The rust people might have wanted to talk about it, that didn't show."
Five days after a CT scan showed his wrist was completely healed, Wentz was 16-for-29 for 197 yards with two interceptions. He accounted for two touchdowns in an 86-second span in the second quarter.
"So happy for Carson to come in and play the way he did," coach Chris Klieman said. "A lot of people may have questioned if he was going to be rusty. I didn't question it at all. I know what kind of competitor he is."
The Bison (13-2) won their 20th consecutive playoff game, including all five times they have made the trip from Fargo to Frisco for the title game at a professional soccer stadium. Fans clad in green and gold made up a majority of the stadium-record crowd of 21,836 — and stormed the field to celebrate once again.
Jacksonville State (13-2) was playing in the title game for the first time. It had won 12 games in a row since an overtime loss Sept. 12 at Auburn.
The Gamecocks were held to a season-low 204 total yards, 325 below their average and 181 under their previous season low. North Dakota State kept its four playoff opponents well below their season averages, but this was the most dominant.
"It was not our best day, of course," JSU coach John Grass said. "But take my hat off to North Dakota State. They played a great game."
Eli Jenkins, the dual-threat quarterback for the Gamecocks, finished 7-for-20 for 57 yards with two interceptions, and ran 15 times for 88 yards and their only touchdown.
There were seven turnovers in the game, including three consecutive plays early in the fourth quarter that ended Jacksonville State's hopes.
Jenkins fumbled at the end of a run before Easton Stick, a redshirt freshman who had won all eight games starting in place of Wentz, threw an interception on his first play in the game. But Jacksonville State gave it right back when Jenkins threw an interception, leading to a 1-yard TD keeper by Wentz for a 34-10 lead.
Northwest Missouri State last month won its fifth NCAA Division II championship, matching the record number of titles North Dakota State won at that level before moving up to Division I in 2004. But the Bearcats' titles have come since 1998, and only once have they won consecutive championships — 1998 and 1999.
Mount Union this season won its NCAA-best 12th title in Division III since 1993, but its longest streak was three in a row. The most consecutive titles at that level were four by Augustana of Illinois (1983-86).
But none can match the Bison's streak of five in a row.