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College football: Cottage Grove’s Perry gets third national title with NDSU

North Dakota State defensive tackle Leevon Perry, a former Saint Agnes standout from Cottage Grove, helped the Bison win a historic third-consecutive NCAA Division I FCS championship this year. (Photo courtesy of North Dakota State University)

Leevon Perry did not let injury slow him down in helping North Dakota State winning a historic third-consecutive NCAA Division I FCS championship.

A former Saint Agnes standout from Cottage Grove, Perry, delivered a 7-yard fumble recovery during the semifinals against New Hampshire for the Bison. His first career touchdown came a little more than 13 months after a season-ending knee injury in 2012.

“It’s a dream come true for a big man,” Perry said about the touchdown.

The star 6-4 defensive tackle rebounded well from the injury for the 2013 season, helping the Bison go unbeaten (15-0) and complete their three-peat, including their most recent title against Towson on Jan. 4.

A blocked field goal by Colten Heagle for the Bison swung a 7-7 game in NDSU’s favor. The Bison never looked back in a 35-7 rout for the national title.

NDSU masterfully shut down Towson 35-7 in the championship game on Jan. 4, containing star running back Terrence West who put up Barry Sanders-like numbers during the season. Perry had a sack in the game.

On the year, Perry had 19 tackles and five sacks in aiding a defense that ranked at the top of the FCS, a unit that never allowed more than 23 points in a game all season.

“It feels good,” Perry said about the third-straight title.

Long before Jan. 4, the Bison had grabbed the national spotlight, by a major FBS upset and ESPN College Gameday visit to Fargo.

Perry graduated in December and will now look to prepare for the NFL Combine in hopes to pursue a career in the league. Perry also plans to get a master’s degree to follow up his bachelor’s degree in Family Science.

-Matthew Davis