CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- Pat Grace threw two touchdown passes and ran for two scores to lead Northern Iowa to a 34-20 win over South Dakota State in a Missouri Valley Football Conference game on Saturday.
Grace was 12 for 20 for 200 yards in the conference opener for the balanced Panthers (2-1, 1-0), who finished with 233 yards rushing. Grace threw for one score and ran for one as UNI took a 14-3 lead into the half.
SDSU (2-2, 2-1) jumped out to an early lead on a 42-yard field goal by Peter Reifenrath with 10:32 left in the first quarter. Reifenrath later kicked a 21-yard field goal.
The Panthers went ahead to stay on Grace's first TD pass, an 18-yarder to Johnny Gray with 2:35 left in the first quarter. Gray, who caught six passes for 77 yards, added a 19-yard touchdown early in the fourth quarter.
The Panthers extended their lead to 14-3 on Grace's 3-yard run with just 14 seconds left in the first half.
UNI responded to Reifenrath's 21-yard field goal to open the second half with a 33-yard pass from Grace to Ryan Mahaffey to go up 21-6. Grace ran for 84 yards and added a 4-yard TD run to make it 34-13 with 7:05 to play.
The Jackrabbits were held to just 15 yards on the ground. Quarterback Ryan Berry provided most of the offense, completing 32 of 53 passes for 375 yards and a touchdown, that an 8-yarder to Glen Fox.
Kyle Minett had SDSU's other touchdown on a 5-yard run late in the game.
JaRon Harris had eight catches for 120 yards and Fox caught six passes for 102 yards.