CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Taryn Christion passed for 341 yards and two touchdowns, Pierre Strong Jr. had 188 yards rushing and three touchdowns, and South Dakota State beat Southern Illinois 57-38 on Saturday.
South Dakota State, ranked sixth in the FCS coaches' poll, scored on two 50-plus yard plays at the end of the first half for a 30-17 lead. Strong capped a two-play drive with a 72-yard touchdown run and Christion completed a pass to Cade Johnson for a one-play, 56-yard scoring drive. South Dakota State also scored on a blocked punt in the second quarter.
Southern Illinois pulled to 30-24 on the first possession of the second half on Matt DeSomer's 10-yard run, but the Jackrabbits had three touchdowns in the third quarter.
Christion, who went over the 300-yard mark for the 14th career time, topped the 12,000-yard mark for total offense on his TD pass to Johnson. Strong, a redshirt freshman, had his second straight 100-yard game for South Dakota State (7-2, 5-2 Missouri Valley Conference).
DeSomer had scoring runs of 1, 1, 10 and 10 yards for Southern Illinois (2-8, 1-6). He rushed for 66 yards and passed for 184. He topped Paul McIntosh's school record of three rushing TDs for a quarterback, and had the most rushing TDs by a Saluki player since Arkee Whitlock in 2006. D.J. Davis rushed for 201 yards and Anthony Knighton had two sacks, giving him 8.5 on the season -- the most by a Saluki since James Cloud's 8.5 in 2007.
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