DICKINSON- The Blue Hawk football team returned home, after nearly a month away, for a North Star Athletic Association competition against the Presentation College Saints. The Saints are coming off their first conference victory against Dakota State on Monday. The game which was delayed due to weather, moved to a neutral site, and came down to the wire. A late special teams blunder by Dakota State gave the game to the Saints. Heading into the game against the Blue Hawks the Saints held a 2-2 record.
As for the Blue Hawks, three straight road games produced an overall record of 3-1, 2-0 in conference play. The Blue Hawks' most recent game was a blow-out 52-7 victory over the Mayville Comets.
The Blue Hawks jumped out early, marching down the field and striking for a touchdown on the first possession of the game. The nine-play possession was capped by a Kartsten Mack 20-yard touchdown. But, the Saints responded, their second drive got them in the end zone, taking a lead due to a DSU missed extra point. The Blue Hawks defensively adjusted and played stout for the remainder of the first half.
In the second quarter the defense was able to help out the offense forcing a turnover, interception by Matt VandeBossche. Karsten Mack was able to punch in another two touchdowns in the second quarter. Cody Johnson was able to add another three points for the Blue Hawks by knocking in a 36-yard field goal. Mack was able to put up three touchdowns and totaling for 130 yards all in the first half.
In the third quarter the Saints came out on their opening drive and were stopped short of the end zone, settling for a field goal. The Blue Hawks were able to tack on a touchdown through the air when Hayden Gibson connected with Chase Anderson for 20 yards. The defense for DSU was able to keep pace in the second half with Cain Boschee picking up an interception. That is Boschee's third interception of the year which ranks third in all of NAIA.
Special teams were able to rally and build momentum for the Blue Hawks. Two long kick returns by Dylan Skabo provided the offense with excellent field position, a punt from Seth Moerkerke pinned the Saints inside their own one-yard line, and a scoop-and-score fumble recovery on a kick off by Trenton Rohr all pilled it on for the Blue Hawks.
In the fourth quarter Presentation was able to punch in another touchdown with a 3-yard run from William Braswell. But, the effort was not nearly enough to mount a comeback, the Blue Hawks were able to coast out the remainder of the game, finishing 40-17 in DSU's favor.
For the Blue Hawks Hayden Gibson was able to complete seventeen passes to seven different receivers, totaling for 219 yards on the afternoon. On the receiving end Seth Ewoniuk caught six passes for 88 yards. Mack led the charge on the ground with his three touchdowns and 160 yards. Four sacks on the defensive end paired with the two interceptions from the VandeBossche and Boschee's interceptions kept the Saints' offense in check all game, only tallying 323 yards. The win brings the Blue Hawks to 4-1 on the season and 3-0 against NSAA opponents.
The Blue Hawks will be back in action next Saturday as they take on Valley City State University. DSU took down the Vikings in their second game of the year, winning 30-21 in Valley City. The Vikings come west to Dickinson after their loss this week against Waldorf 39-35. VCSU sits at 2-3 on the year, 1-2 in conference play. The game against the Vikings will be the second of this three game home stand, which will be capped off against Waldorf on Homecoming October 14.