GRAND FORKS, N.D. -- Brady Leach kicked a go-ahead 46-yard field goal with 57 seconds remaining, atoning for an earlier miss, and North Dakota held on to defeat UC Davis 38-36 on Saturday.
The Aggies drove to the UND 30 with less than a minute remaining but a false-start penalty on third down and a delay-of-game penalty on fourth down left them facing fourth-and-14 from the 40. Jake Maier threw incomplete on fourth down and the Fighting Hawks held on for the homecoming win.
No. 12 UC Davis, which three weeks ago was ranked No. 4 in FCS, lost its third consecutive game and fell to 2-4 overall and 0-2 in the Big Sky Conference.
With UND leading 35-28 late in the fourth quarter, Leach missed a 37-yard field-goal attempt. The Aggies then drove the length of the field and on fourth-and-goal from the 2-yard line Maier hit Wes Preece for a touchdown and Khris Vaughn for a 2-point conversion and 36-35 lead.
North Dakota (3-2) responded by driving 36 yards in eight plays to set up Leach's winning field goal.
Maier passed for 312 yards and four touchdowns but was intercepted three times, twice by C.J. Siegel. Preece had five catches for 68 yards and three scores.
Saturday was the first time since the 2004 Division II playoffs that North Dakota played a fourth consecutive game against a ranked opponent.
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