Going into the game against the North Dakota Fighting Hawks on Saturday, Nov. 10, the Vikings knew they were in for a tough matchup.
North Dakota functions as an independent team with no conference affiliation, but they had kept several teams to 15 points or less going into their game against Portland State, so the Vikings came prepared for a clash of defenses.
While the Vikings did manage to perform admirably on the defensive side, they floundered with their offense, managing to score only one touchdown and a 25-yard field goal for the entirety of the game.
“It was a defensive struggle, and we couldn’t get enough points,” head coach Bruce Barnum said, “I feel bad, because our defense played valiantly.”
Leading 10-7 in the fourth quarter, freshman quarterback Davis Alexander threw a pass that was picked off by the Fighting Hawks’ Lenny Nelson, who turned the interception into a 58-yard touchdown, giving North Dakota a lead that never ended up being recaptured by PSU.
Following a late field goal by North Dakota that widened their lead to 17-10, the Vikings failed to put together a responding touchdown in the final few minutes of the game, walking away with a devastating loss in a game that was a grind from open to close.
The Vikings will take to the field for their final regular season game of the year on Friday, Nov. 16 against Eastern Washington University—the current second-place team in the Big Sky Conference—at Hillsboro Stadium in Hillsboro, Oregon.