Ketteringham injured, UND surges past Drake

Chris Harris, DLJ Sports
North Dakota's James Johannesson prepares to take the handoff from quarterback Nate Ketteringham during the first half against Drake during a NCAA football game Saturday, Aug. 31, 2019, in Grand Forks.

GRAND FORKS — With the offense stagnant and starting quarterback Nate Ketteringham sidelined after an apparent knee injury, North Dakota needed the proverbial spark. In came Andrew Zimmerman to light it.

Zimmerman threw two second half touchdown passes and helped power the Fighting Hawks past Drake 47-7 for the program’s 33rd straight season home opening win Saturday, Aug. 31.

“I’ve always been prepared,” Zimmerman said about coming in and replacing Ketteringham. “That’s always been my approach in high school, junior college and now it’s kind of been the same. …. So when it’s my time, I’m ready to go.”

After managing just 12 points and 129 yards of total offense in the first half, Ketteringham went out with an injury on a defensive pass interference on Drake’s Collin Seymour on the Fighting Hawks opening drive of the third quarter. Zimmerman, the 6-foot-2 senior from Monroe, Washington, immediately led UND (1-0) to the end zone after connecting with Travis Toivonen for a 19-yard gain to the Bulldogs’ 1-yard line. James Johannesson scored two plays later that put the Fighting Hawks up 19-0 after Brady Leach’s extra point.

On UND’s next possession, Zimmerman found Garett Maag for a 28-yard touchdown and on the Fighting Hawks’ ensuing possession, Zimmerman completed three straight passes, the latter two to Noah Wanzek that covered 34 yards that set up a Cam Mckinney 4-yard blast into the end zone that put the game out of reach.

Zimmerman completed 7 of 9 passes for 132 yards.

“He’s an experienced player. He’s a senior so it was a play we were going to call so just stuck with it,” said UND head coach Bubba Schweigert on having Zimmerman throw right from jump street. “He made a number of good plays for us in the second so we’re really proud of Andrew.

“I was tell my guys that you’re one play away so they always have to be ready and he was ready tonight.”

Ketteringham did throw a touchdown of his own before the injury, a first quarter toss to Wanzek who finished with nine catches and 86 yards. The Fighting Hawks finished with 431 yards of total offense while holding the Bulldogs to just 129.

“I’m pleased with the win. That was a team that we a lot of respect for, we knew they were going to play hard and not go away. It was a really good team win. We had a lot of guys to contribute, we played a lot of guys and we’re pleased with the result,” Schweigert said.

Ian Corwin’s 10-yard touchdown pass to Devin Cates in the third quarter kept the Bulldogs (0-1) from going scoreless.

Chris Harris can be reached at and on Twitter: @ChrisHarris_DLJ

Drake at North Dakota box score

Drake    0 0 7 0  — 7

UND      10 2 21 14  — 47

First Quarter

UND — Leach FG 37, 9:05.

UND  — Wanzek 5 pass from Ketteringham (Leach kick), 6:07.

Second Quarter

UND — Safety, 11:13.

Third Quarter

UND — Johannesson 1 run (Leach kick), 10:45.

UND — Maag 28 pass from Zimmerman (Leach kick), 9:09.

UND — McKinney 4 run (Leach kick), 4:26.

DU — Cates 10 pass from Corwin (Kennedy kick), 1:12.

Fourth Quarter

UND — Toivonen 35 pass from Zimmerman (Leach kick), 13:13.

UND  — Grover 5 run (Leach kick), 1:48.