Text By Joe Kerlin
Photo by J. Alan Paul Photography
NDSU will soon have to purchase more shelving to showoff all of their awards. Throughout the school’s history, NDSU football has won 10 championships. We looked low and high and were able to round up the ten rings and trophies so you can take a trip down memory lane and relive all of these championships.
To understand the importance of the first NCAA Championship in Bison football history, you have to understand where the program had come from. The season prior was the Bison’s first winning record in eight years and the perfect record achieved in ’65 capped the programs comeback. The Darrell Mudra-led Bison defeated Grambling College, 20-7 in the Pecan Bowl to cap their perfect 11-0 season.
After losing in the Pecan Bowl the year before, the Bison returned to the title game and defeated Arkansas State, 23-14. Paul Hatchett ran for 106 yards and a touchdown becoming the first Bison in program history to rush for over 1,000 yards in a season. ’69 was more of the same as the Bison beat Montana, 30-3 in the Camellia Bowl. Legendary head coach, Rod Erhardt, led the Bison to back-to-back National Championships for the first time and eventually ended his career at NDSU with a 61-7-1 record.
The Bison defeated Central State, 41-21 for their first championship in 14 years. The offense pounced early scoring 21 points in the first quarter led by touchdowns from freshman quarterback Jeff Bentrim and freshman running back Chad Stark. It was the beginning of a special run for the Bison.
After falling a yard short of repeating as champions in ’84, the Bison took care of business in ’85, defeating North Alabama, 35-7 in the Palm Bowl. The following season, quarterback, Jeff Bentrim, capped his incredible career as a Bison by defeating rival South Dakota, 27-7, in the championship. It was a perfect way to end the Bentrim-era that witnessed the Bison go to four championship games, coming-out victorious in three of them.
Jeff Bentrim Tyrone Braxton added a 84-yard punt return for a touchdown as the Bison rolled rival South Dakota, 27-7.
“The Decade of the Bison” as it was called was topped off with the Bison winning their fourth Division II championship in six years. The Bison defeated Portland State by a score of 35-21. Running back Tony Satter ran for 151 yards and two touchdowns with the most memorable one coming on a 70-yard sprint in the second quarter.
The success from the 80s carried over into the 90s and the Bison crushed Indiana (Pa.) 51-11, finishing with a record of 14-0 to kickoff the new decade. Tony Satter was at it again for the Bison running for 174 yards on just twelve carries. It was the last championship for the legendary coach, Rocky Hager.