Former Mustang nabs All-America honors

Former Mounds View High School football standout Billy Turner has had quite a three-year run as a member of the North Dakota State University football team. Last year he helped the Bison win a national championship, this year they're one win away from a repeat and Turner recently picked some up some impressive honors.

Turner, a 6-foot-6, 300-pound junior left tackle, was named All-America by two different publications.

The Associated Press and the Sports Network both selected Turner to their Football Championship Subdivision All-America first teams. Turner has started all 14 games this season and all but one in his three seasons in Fargo.

North Dakota State has advanced to the FCS title game for the second consecutive season and will play for the national title on Jan. 5 at 12 p.m. in Frisco, Texas, against Sam Houston State.

The Bison enter the game 13-1 and ranked No. 1 in the nation. Their only loss came on Oct. 13 against Indiana State. Since then, NDSU has rattled off eight straight victories, including five against ranked opponents. They reached the championship game by beating Georgia Southern 23-20 on Dec. 14 at the FargoDome.

NDSU trailed by four points in the fourth quarter before scoring the game-winning touchdown with 3:05 left to play. It was the Bison's second national semifinal win over Georgia Southern in as many years.

The Bison will also face a familiar foe in the finals in Sam Houston State. The Bearkats were ranked No. 1 in the nation when it lost 17-6 to fourth-ranked NDSU in the national final last season.

Sam Houston State secured a berth in this season's championship game by rallying to beat Eastern Washington 45-42 in the semifinals.

Brian Meyers can be reached at bmeyers@lillienews.com.

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