Courtesy SUU Athletics
Southern Utah running back Jay Green scored three touchdowns in the T'Birds' 47-21 win over North Dakota on Saturday.

CEDAR CITY, Utah (AP) — Jay Green scored on three short runs and Southern Utah ran its win streak to five straight, pulling away from North Dakota in the second half to secure a 47-21 Big Sky Conference victory Saturday night.

“We’re trying to get better each and every week, and I thought we took a step forward, especially on offense,” SUU head coach Demario Warren said. “We were trying to put four quarters together and I thought we did that.”

Southern Utah (7-2, 5-1) is tied with Weber State and Northern Arizona atop the conference standings with two games remaining, but owns a win over the Wildcats and host the Lumberjacks in the season finale. Southern Utah now is 13-1 at home over the last three seasons.

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James Felila capped a 14-play, 75-yard opening drive with a 1-yard run to give Southern Utah a 7-0 lead. After forcing the Hawks to punt on their opening drive the Thunderbirds marched 89 yards in seven plays, with Green punching in from the 1.

“Going in we knew they had a pretty good run defense and we stressed being able to pass the ball, that was a huge key,” said SUU quarterback Patrick Tyler, who completed 30 passes to 11 different receivers and threw for 310 yards and two touchdowns.

Keaton Studsrud got North Dakota (3-7, 2-5) within a touchdown, 27-21 to start the second half, but no closer.