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USD claims fifth Showdown Series victory with dramatic tie-breaking football catch

The University of South Dakota Coyotes won this year’s South Dakota Showdown, edging out the South Dakota State Jackrabbits in a tiebreaker. The deciding factor came down to what Sports Illustrated called "The Play of the Year."

Midco Sports Anchor Jay Elsen says the tiebreaker comes down to the head-to-head football game.

“This thing literally came down to one play, one second of one play," Elsen said.

The South Dakota Showcase Series is a point-based athletic and academic competition between USD and SDSU. Both schools ended the year with 13 points, invoking a tiebreaker for the first time ever.

USD Athletic Director David Herbster says it shows the level of competition being so evenly matched.

“This is one of those rivalries that is really above all else. It's unique," Herbster said.

USD has now won the showdown five times, equaling SDSU’s five wins.

Some major successes this year came in the form of the USD women’s basketball team making the NCAA's Sweet Sixteen for the first time in history.

SDSU teams showed impressive results with the women’s basketball team winning the Women’s National Invitation Tournament. The men’s SDSU basketball team won all 21 games in conference play, becoming the first team to go undefeated.

Herbster says both programs have something to be proud of.

“Talking about the level of sportsmanship, the level of respect that these two programs have," Herbster said. "As much as we want to beat each other in competition we also can appreciate what each one has accomplished, what each of us do and how our student athletes present themselves before, during and after competitions and that is what something like this is about.”

The Showdown Series will begin once again this coming fall. The football teams will take to the field in their first head-to-head competition in Brookings on October 8th.

Jordyn Henderson
USD Staff with the SD Showdown Series Trophy

Jordyn is a videographer with SDPB.