Fargo, ND – For the first time in school history, North Dakota State is headed to the FCS semifinals.
While stifling Lehigh's high-powered offense, the Bison prevailed, 24-0, in the quarterfinals before 18,111 at the FargoDome on Saturday.
Second-seeded North Dakota State (12-1) will host the No. 3 seed, Georgia Southern (11-2), next weekend for the right to go to the FCS championship game.
One of the FCS' top passing attacks entering the contest, Lehigh and record- breaking quarterback Chris Lum were limited to 355 yards of total offense and was shut out for the first time since Week 2 of the 2010 season.
It was also North Dakota State's first shutout since 2006, and the first since making the transition from Division II.
The Mountain Hawks engineered 12 drives in the game, but could never capitalize, including a late third-quarter red zone trip that was curtailed by an interception in the end zone from North Dakota State's Preston Evans.
Evans' interception also set up the lone scoring drive of the second half, as the Bison drove 80 yards before scoring on a one-yard touchdown plunge from Brock Jensen with 7:23 left in the fourth quarter.
It was the first time anyone had found the end zone since North Dakota State built up a 17-0 lead, all in the second quarter.
After a scoreless first quarter, North Dakota State took a 7-0 lead at 10:34 of the second quarter, on a 38-yard acrobatic touchdown catch by Warren Holloway, capitalizing on a short punt by Lehigh.
On their next possession, the Bison drove 97 yards over the course of 11 plays and 5:33, finally getting a touchdown on a quarterback sneak by Brock Jensen with 2:10 remaining.
North Dakota State added a field goal just before halftime, as Ryan Jastram converted on a 31-yard attempt, after an interception by Christian Dudzik gave the Bison solid field position at Lehigh's 26-yard line.
The Mountain Hawks played without All-America junior wide receiver Ryan Spadola, who was serving a one-game suspension from the NCAA.
While Jensen accounted for all three touchdowns, running backs Sam Ojuri (136 yards) and D.J. McNorton (52 yards) helped the Bison control the clock and keep the offense on the field. Holloway had a career-high eight receptions for 96 yards.