In the third quarter, while Southern Illinois was on the 2-yard line, Salukis quarterback Nic Baker handed the ball to running back Javon Williams Jr. in what appeared to be an end-around play. Williams looked to throw the ball and cut back, finding a space between the tacklers.
It looked like he had some space to dive into the end zone but was immediately met by two Jackrabbit defenders. Williams got spun around in the air and fumbled the ball. South Dakota State cornerback Malik Lofton recovered the ball and returned it about 98 yards to the end zone for a touchdown.
South Dakota State was up 28-14 going into the fourth quarter after Lofton’s score.
Surprisingly, two touchdowns were not insurmountable for Southern Illinois.
Baker threw two touchdown passes in the fourth quarter, and Donovan Spencer ran for a 63-yard touchdown to force overtime. In the extra period, Southern Illinois scored on a 10-yard run by Donovan Spencer.
South Dakota State scored and tried to end the game with a two-point conversion. The Jackrabbits did not convert and the Salukis survived, 42-41.
Southern Illinois moved to 5-1 on the season, and South Dakota State fell to 4-1.