South Dakota State scores on wild fumble recovery for TD, lets lead slip away

South Dakota State and Southern Illinois mixed it up in a wild play during their Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) game Saturday.,

South Dakota State and Southern Illinois mixed it up in a wild play during their Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) game Saturday.

In the third quarter, while Southern Illinois was on the 2-yard line, Salukis quarterback Nic Baker handed the ball to running back Javon Williams Jr. in what appeared to be an end-around play. Williams looked to throw the ball and cut back, finding a space between the tacklers.

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South Dakota State had the lead going into the 4th quarter.

South Dakota State had the lead going into the 4th quarter.
(Photo by C. Morgan Engel/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)

It looked like he had some space to dive into the end zone but was immediately met by two Jackrabbit defenders. Williams got spun around in the air and fumbled the ball. South Dakota State cornerback Malik Lofton recovered the ball and returned it about 98 yards to the end zone for a touchdown.

South Dakota State was up 28-14 going into the fourth quarter after Lofton’s score.

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South Dakota State Jackrabbits quarterback Keaton Heide.

South Dakota State Jackrabbits quarterback Keaton Heide.
(Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports)

Surprisingly, two touchdowns were not insurmountable for Southern Illinois.

Baker threw two touchdown passes in the fourth quarter, and Donovan Spencer ran for a 63-yard touchdown to force overtime. In the extra period, Southern Illinois scored on a 10-yard run by Donovan Spencer.

South Dakota State scored and tried to end the game with a two-point conversion. The Jackrabbits did not convert and the Salukis survived, 42-41.

Nic Baker kept the Salukis in the game.

Nic Baker kept the Salukis in the game.
(Scott Sewell-USA TODAY Sports)

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Southern Illinois moved to 5-1 on the season, and South Dakota State fell to 4-1.

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