FARGO, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota State University fans are celebrating a second straight national football championship.
A few hundred fans gathered outside the Fargodome on Saturday night to welcome back the Bison, who defeated Sam Houston State 39-13 earlier in the day in Frisco, Texas, for the Football Championship Subdivision title.
The Forum newspaper (http://bit.ly/TTuoZE) reported that Kory Kunze, 34, was one of the first to arrive for the ceremony and had to brave the cold weather for more than two hours before the players arrived.
The lifelong Bison fan had no complaints.
"It's worth it," he said. "I love it. I grew up with them."
Bison quarterback and championship game MVP Brock Jensen took center stage along with the national trophy. Jensen scored three touchdowns and led the Bison to a second-half flurry that saw them outscore the Bearkats 29-3.
"What a season it's been," Jensen said.
Another person in the crowd, Nic Berry, 22, said his affection for the Bison grew out of his dislike for the University of North Dakota athletic teams. The two teams were bitter rivals, but have not played football against each other for many years.
"I wasn't always a Bison fan, but, all I knew was I hated the Fighting Sioux," Berry said. "I moved here three years ago, and I've just been with the team since. I didn't sit the entire game."
Many Bison fans were still in Frisco, Texas. An estimated 10,000 of them dressed in green and gold attended Saturday's game at FC Dallas Stadium.
Amanda Christopherson, 21, had a ticket to Frisco to watch her boyfriend and NDSU defensive end Kyle Emanuel play, but she got sick and couldn't make it. She mustered up the energy to surprise Emanuel at the rally with a sign that bore his name.
However, Christopherson planned to pass on the after-party.
"I'm going to bed after this," she said. "I'll pick him up later when he needs a ride."
Information from: The Forum, http://www.in-forum.com