It's been more than 115 years since North Dakota State and South Dakota State first battled on the gridiron. The North Dakota State and South Dakota State football rivalry, known as the "Dakota Marker," is arguably the rivalry with the highest stakes in the FCS.
Since 2004, when the Bison and the Jackrabbits each joined the FCS, the two programs play annually for the Dakota Marker trophy. The trophy is a 75-pound model replica of the quartzite monuments, first placed in the summers of 1891 and 1892, that marks the border between North Dakota and South Dakota along the Seventh Standard Parallel (45°56'07" N).
The winner of each year's regular-season game takes home the Dakota Marker trophy. Playoff meetings do not count toward the trophy series.
When North Dakota State and South Dakota State met in 2021, it marked the Dakota Marker's 112th all-time meeting. South Dakota State defeated North Dakota State 27-19 in a dominating fashion. The Bison hold a 63-44-5 head-to-head edge in the all-time series and a 10-8 series lead for the Dakota Marker trophy.
Here are five moments chronicling North Dakota State and South Dakota State’s decorated pasts.
2004 — The first Dakota Marker game
The first edition of the Dakota Marker did not disappoint. With both North Dakota State and South Dakota State new entrants at the FCS level, 2004’s meeting was for the only trophy either team was eligible for.
The battle for the inaugural Dakota Marker trophy came down to the wire. The Bison and Jackrabbits were in a back-and-forth affair. South Dakota State would come out on top 24-21, thanks to Brad Nelson’s 22-yard go-ahead touchdown pass with 39 seconds to go.
2008 — Going for the win
In 2008, the final play decided the winner of Dakota Marker. Trailing on the road in the fourth quarter, South Dakota State drove downfield to score a touchdown, leaving the Jackrabbits trailing by one.
Rather than kicking an extra point, South Dakota State went for the win with a two-point conversion. The risky call resulted in Ryan Berry finding Mike Steffen for the win 25-24, silencing the Fargodome crowd.
2014 — Playoff heroics
In the 2014 FCS quarterfinals, the Bison and Jackrabbits met in the FCS playoffs for the second time in history. What a meeting it was.
With 3:18 to play in the fourth quarter, South Dakota State ended a nine-play, 65-yard drive with a touchdown to go ahead 24-20.
Then North Dakota State, led by quarterback Carson Wentz, drove from its own 24-yard line to a first-and-goal chance at the South Dakota State seven-yard line. A false start penalty knocked the Bison back to the 12-yard line. The next play, Wentz found RJ Urzendowski in the back left corner of the end zone for what would become the game-winning touchdown.
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South Dakota State attempted to answer with a score of its own, but an interception from Bison Tre Dempsey secured North Dakota State’s 27-24 victory.
2016 — The Marker returns to Brookings
Entering 2016’s meeting, North Dakota State had won the last eight meetings of the rivalry. The Bison looked like their winning streak would extend another year until the final second.
With the fourth quarter in its waning seconds, South Dakota State had the ball on North Dakota State’s two-yard line. Yet, North Dakota State’s red zone defense had forced the Jackrabbits to go 0-3 in the red zone throughout the game.
The final red zone opportunity reversed South Dakota State’s fortunes, with Taryn Christion finding Jake Wieneke on a two-yard pass for the game-winning touchdown. The Dakota Marker headed back to Brookings, ending the six-year drought with a 19-17 win.
2019 — College GameDay gets a taste of the rivalry
College Gameday visited the Dakota Marker game in 2019 on the campus of South Dakota State. The matchup featured an undefeated, No. 1 ranked Bison team against a one-loss, No. 3 ranked Jackrabbit team. The hype for the game was immense; South Dakota State’s Dana J. Dykhouse Stadium saw its first sellout in its history.
The game was an instant classic. At the half, South Dakota State led 6-3. In the third quarter, North Dakota State would take the lead with two touchdowns, including a pass from Trey Lance.
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The game turned when a significant, season-ending injury knocked out Jackrabbit quarterback J’Bore Gibbs, forcing true freshman Keaton Heide into action. Heide played serviceably, running in for a game-tying touchdown that knotted the score at 16 apiece.
However, North Dakota State would emerge victorious 23-16 with a 71-yard touchdown run from Adam Cofield with 2:32 to play.
2022 — Battle for the FCS championship
No. 1 South Dakota State defeated No. 3 North Dakota State 45-21 to win the 2022 FCS championship. It's the first FCS title in Jackrabbit history.
With the win, FCS head coach of the year John Stiegelmeier won his first title in his 26th season as South Dakota State's head coach. Stieglemeier has also led the Jackrabbits to their first playoff win over North Dakota State and their first four-game winning streak over the Bison since 1947-1950.
All-time series history
|Jan. 8, 2023||South Dakota State*||45-21||Frisco, TX|
|Oct. 15, 2022||South Dakota State||23-21||Fargo, ND|
|Nov. 6, 2021||South Dakota State||27–19||Brookings, SD|
|Apr. 17, 2021||South Dakota State||27–17||Fargo, ND|
|Oct. 26, 2019||North Dakota State||23–16||Brookings, SD|
|Dec. 14, 2018||North Dakota State*||44–21||Fargo, ND|
|Sep. 29, 2018||North Dakota State||21–17||Fargo, ND|
|Nov. 4, 2017||South Dakota State||33–21||Brookings, SD|
|Dec. 10, 2016||North Dakota State*||36–10||Fargo, ND|
|Oct. 15, 2016||South Dakota State||19–17||Fargo, ND|
|Oct. 3, 2015||North Dakota State||28–7||Brookings, SD|
|Dec. 6, 2014||North Dakota State*||27–24||Fargo, ND|
|Nov. 1, 2014||North Dakota State||37–17||Fargo, ND|
|Sep. 28, 2013||North Dakota State||20–0||Brookings, SD|
|Dec. 1, 2012||North Dakota State*||28–3||Fargo, ND|
|Nov. 10, 2012||North Dakota State||20–17||Fargo, ND|
|Oct. 22, 2011||North Dakota State||38–14||Brookings, SD|
|Nov. 13, 2010||North Dakota State||31–24||Fargo, ND|
|Oct. 17, 2009||South Dakota State||28–13||Brookings, SD|
|Nov. 22, 2008||South Dakota State||25–24||Fargo, ND|
|Nov. 17, 2007||South Dakota State||29–24||Brookings, SD|
|Nov. 18, 2006||North Dakota State||41–28||Fargo, ND|
|Nov. 12, 2005||North Dakota State||41–17||Fargo, ND|
|Oct. 9, 2004||South Dakota State||24–21||Brookings, SD|
|Sep. 27, 2003||North Dakota State||24–0||Fargo, ND|
|Oct. 26, 2002||South Dakota State||25–20||Brookings, SD|
|Oct. 20, 2001||North Dakota State||45–38||Fargo, ND|
|Oct. 14, 2000||North Dakota State||21–3||Fargo, ND|
|Oct. 16, 1999||North Dakota State||28–7||Brookings, SD|
|Oct. 24, 1998||North Dakota State||35–32||Fargo, ND|
|Oct. 25, 1997||South Dakota State||34–27||Brookings, SD|
|Oct. 19, 1996||North Dakota State||31–7||Fargo, ND|
|Oct. 14, 1995||North Dakota State||26–17||Brookings, SD|
|Oct. 8, 1994||North Dakota State||52–39||Fargo, ND|
|Oct. 9, 1993||South Dakota State||42–30||Brookings, SD|
|Sep. 26, 1992||North Dakota State||47–10||Fargo, ND|
|Sep. 28, 1991||North Dakota State||35–0||Brookings, SD|
|Sep. 22, 1990||North Dakota State||40–28||Fargo, ND|
|Sep. 23, 1989||North Dakota State||33–12||Brookings, SD|
|Sep. 17, 1988||North Dakota State||55–26||Brookings, SD|
|Sep. 19, 1987||North Dakota State||43–7||Fargo, ND|
|Oct. 11, 1986||North Dakota State||49–7||Brookings, SD|
|Oct. 12, 1985||North Dakota State||41–7||Fargo, ND|
|Oct. 13, 1984||North Dakota State||55–30||Fargo, ND|
|Oct. 15, 1983||North Dakota State||24–12||Brookings, SD|
|Oct. 2, 1982||North Dakota State||10–3||Brookings, SD|
|Oct. 10, 1981||North Dakota State||48–24||Fargo, ND|
|Oct. 18, 1980||North Dakota State||23–16||Brookings, SD|
|Oct. 27, 1979||North Dakota State||38–14||Fargo, ND|
|Nov. 4, 1978||North Dakota State||28–26||Brookings, SD|
|Oct. 1, 1977||North Dakota State||27–14||Brookings, SD|
|Oct. 2, 1976||North Dakota State||13–0||Fargo, ND|
|Oct. 4, 1975||South Dakota State||13–8||Brookings, SD|
|Oct. 5, 1974||North Dakota State||28–0||Fargo, ND|
|Oct. 27, 1973||North Dakota State||24–14||Brookings, SD|
|Oct. 28, 1972||North Dakota State||34–16||Fargo, ND|
|Oct. 30, 1971||South Dakota State||20–13||Brookings, SD|
|Oct. 31, 1970||North Dakota State||35–0||Fargo, ND|
|Nov. 8, 1969||North Dakota State||20–13||Brookings, SD|
|Sep. 21, 1968||North Dakota State||21–3||Fargo, ND|
|Sep. 30, 1967||North Dakota State||34–14||Brookings, SD|
|Oct. 1, 1966||North Dakota State||35–6||Fargo, ND|
|Oct. 2, 1965||North Dakota State||41–13||Brookings, SD|
|Oct. 3, 1964||North Dakota State||20–13||Fargo, ND|
|Oct. 26, 1963||South Dakota State||40–25||Brookings, SD|
|Oct. 27, 1962||South Dakota State||17–6||Fargo, ND|
|Oct. 28, 1961||South Dakota State||41–12||Brookings, SD|
|Oct. 22, 1960||Tie||14–14||Fargo, ND|
|Oct. 24, 1959||North Dakota State||8–6||Brookings, SD|
|Oct. 25, 1958||North Dakota State||33–20||Fargo, ND|
|Oct. 26, 1957||South Dakota State||32–14||Brookings, SD|
|Oct. 27, 1956||North Dakota State||26–9||Fargo, ND|
|Oct. 22, 1955||South Dakota State||33–7||Brookings, SD|
|Oct. 16, 1954||South Dakota State||50–13||Fargo, ND|
|Oct. 24, 1953||South Dakota State||32–14||Brookings, SD|
|Oct. 11, 1952||North Dakota State||48–14||Fargo, ND|
|Oct. 20, 1951||Tie||7–7||Brookings, SD|
|Oct. 14, 1950||South Dakota State||60–0||Fargo, ND|
|Nov. 4, 1949||South Dakota State||33–13||Brookings, SD|
|Oct. 16, 1948||South Dakota State||7–6||Fargo, ND|
|Nov. 1, 1947||South Dakota State||7–0||Brookings, SD|
|Oct. 12, 1946||North Dakota State||6–0||Fargo, ND|
|Oct. 31, 1942||South Dakota State||14–0||Brookings, SD|
|Oct. 11, 1941||North Dakota State||25–0||Fargo, ND|
|Nov. 1, 1940||South Dakota State||7–0||Brookings, SD|
|Oct. 14, 1939||South Dakota State||6–0||Fargo, ND|
|Nov. 12, 1938||North Dakota State||13–6||Brookings, SD|
|Oct. 9, 1937||South Dakota State||13–6||Fargo, ND|
|Nov. 14, 1936||North Dakota State||7–0||Brookings, SD|
|Oct. 12, 1935||North Dakota State||7–6||Fargo, ND|
|Nov. 10, 1934||South Dakota State||38–0||Brookings, SD|
|Oct. 14, 1933||South Dakota State||13–7||Fargo, ND|
|Oct. 8, 1932||North Dakota State||12–6||Brookings, SD|
|Oct. 24, 1931||South Dakota State||7–0||Fargo, ND|
|Nov. 15, 1930||North Dakota State||24–0||Brookings, SD|
|Oct. 19, 1929||Tie||0–0||Fargo, ND|
|Nov. 10, 1928||South Dakota State||27–6||Brookings, SD|
|Oct. 15, 1927||South Dakota State||33–0||Fargo, ND|
|Oct. 16, 1926||South Dakota State||21–0||Brookings, SD|
|Oct. 17, 1925||Tie||3–3||Brookings, SD|
|Oct. 4, 1924||South Dakota State||14–0||Brookings, SD|
|Oct. 13, 1923||North Dakota State||14–13||Fargo, ND|
|Nov. 11, 1922||South Dakota State||13–0||Brookings, SD|
|Oct. 22, 1921||South Dakota State||54–0||Fargo, ND|
|Oct. 23, 1920||South Dakota State||28–7||Brookings, SD|
|Oct. 25, 1919||Tie||0–0||Fargo, ND|
|Nov. 16, 1917||South Dakota State||21–14||Brookings, SD|
|Nov. 13, 1915||South Dakota State||21–0||Watertown, SD|
|Nov. 30, 1912||South Dakota State||7–6||Brookings, SD|
|Oct. 28, 1911||South Dakota State||14–3||Brookings, SD|
|Nov. 30, 1909||South Dakota State||6–3||Fargo, ND|
|Nov. 30, 1908||North Dakota State||11–5||Brookings, SD|
|Nov. 30, 1907||South Dakota State||11–0||Fargo, ND|
|Nov. 30, 1903||North Dakota State||85–0||Fargo, ND|
*indicates an FCS playoff game