DICKINSON, ND- The Dickinson State University Blue Hawks football team defeated the Trojans of Dakota State University, 31-12, in a conference showdown on Saturday October 22nd, at the Biesiot Activities Center. The game was the final regular season game at home for the Blue Hawks.
On the first position of the game, the Blue Hawk defense forced their first turnover of the game with an interception by senior cornerback Robert Sterling. Sterling would finish the game with two interceptions. After a back and forth defensive battle in the first quarter, the Blue Hawks found points with a Cody Johnson 42 yard field goal with six and a half minutes left in the quarter. The Blue Hawks led after the first quarter by a score of 3-0.
The defensive battle continued in the second quarter, with both offenses struggling to reach the end zone. The Trojans scored their first points on a 34 yard field goal by Nic Behrens just two minutes into the second quarter. At the seven minute mark in the second quarter, the Blue Hawk defense forced a fumble that was recovered by Mitch Mehrer, marking their second take away of the game. The Trojans found three more points on another 34 yard field goal by Behrens with twenty-six seconds left in the half. The Trojans led at half 6-3.
On the first possession of the second half the Blue Hawk offense found the end zone after a 35 yard run by Jed Fike, giving him his first touchdown of the afternoon. After a successful PAT by Johnson the Blue Hawks would lead 10-6 with 10:35 left in the third quarter.
On the ensuing possession the Blue Hawk defense forced their second fumble of the game which was recovered by Drew Johnson, giving them their third take away of the game. After the turnover, Kaler Ray found the end zone on an 8 yard run. With a Cody Johnson successful extra point, the Blue Hawks would take a 17-6 lead with 9:05 left in the third quarter.
Again on the ensuing possession, Tino Mafi would cause the fourth take away for the Blue Hawk defense with an interception, his first of the season. After the interception, Fike would find the end zone for a second time on a 17 yard run, giving the Blue Hawks their third offensive score of the contest. A good extra point from Johnson gave Dickinson State University a 24-6 lead over the Trojans with 5:56 remaining in the third quarter.
At the 3:40 mark of the third quarter, the Blue Hawk defense would get their fifth take away of the game on a fumble recovery by Mehrer, his second of the game. Two plays later Ray would find the end zone for a second time on a 39 yard touchdown run. Another successful extra point by Johnson would give the Blue Hawks a 31-6 lead heading into the fourth quarter.
In the fourth quarter Robert Johnson scored on a 2 yard touchdown run, giving the Trojans their only touchdown of the afternoon. After a missed two point conversion, the Blue Hawks would lead the Trojans 31-12. The Dickinson State Blue Hawks would go on to win the contest 31-12.
Dickinson State finished the game with 16 first downs, 137 rushing yards, and 154 passing yards for a total of 291 offensive yards.
Dakota State finished with 22 first downs, 163 rushing yards, and 123 passing yards for a total of 286 yards offensively.
Kaler Ray led the Blue Hawks on the ground, rushing for 57 yards on seven carries with two touchdowns. Jed Fike followed suit rushing for 51 yards on fourteen carries with two touchdowns also. Karsten Mack Jr. rushed for 53 yards on nine carries.
Hayden Gibson was 14-22 through the air, with 127 yards passing, and no interceptions.
Hunter Moore led the Blue Hawk defense with 11 total tackles, 4.5 of them coming behind the line of scrimmage. Mafi had a total of 10 tackles, with an interception. Drew Johnson recorded 9 tackles with one fumble recovery. Mehrer had 4 tackles, 1 sack, 1 tackle for loss and 2 fumble recoveries.
Robert Johnson led the Trojans with 146 yards on 32 carries. Giles was 20-32 passing, with 123 yards and 3 interceptions. Austin Opdahl and Preston Nordling caught 5 passes for 29 yards each.
Thomas Romack recorded 9 tackles for the Trojans defense.
Dickinson State University will travel to Spearfish, South Dakota next week competing in a non-conference game against Black Hills State University. The game will be played at Lyle Hare Stadium at 4:00 PM (MDT) Saturday, October 29th.