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Press Photo by Royal McGregor Dickinson State sophomore running back Zach Sandau dives for the endzone during the first quarter in a nonconference game against the University of Jamestown on Saturday at the Biesiot Activities Center. Sandau came up one yard short, but the Blue Hawks' Jesse Carney scored on the next play. DSU defeated the Jimmies 27-7.

Blue Hawks fly past Jimmies

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Blue Hawks fly past Jimmies
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Behind the walls of the Dickinson State football locker room, people passing by could hear elated cheers, singing and banging.

The emotion tucked within the locker room best sums up how the team felt after winning its first game of the season. The Blue Hawks defeated the University of Jamestown 27-7 Saturday afternoon in front of a proud homecoming crowd.

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"It's nice to get a win, they're certainly very deserving we talked about their attitude they're practicing hard glad we showed some results in their effort," DSU head coach Hank Biesiot said.

Quarterback Kaler Ray added: "It's definitely something this team needed, definitely something our coaches needed, something the town needed. We're real excited about it here."

The Blue Hawks looked like a completely different team compared to last week against Southern Oregon. Both sides of the ball oozed confidence, especially the offense which looked the most balanced it had all season.

Although the team still favored its run game, the passing game was much improved. Ray connected with junior receiver JT Keith for an impressive 31 yard touchdown with a defenseman draped over him in the first quarter.

Ray finished the game with respectable statistics, going 5 of 10 for 137 yards, his first 100 yards passing game of the season. Keith, Ray's favorite target for the day, had three catches for 111 yards and a touchdown. Despite the unfavorable windy conditions, Ray's three connections to Keith throughout the game were all for double-digit yardage.

"It's hard to throw the ball especially into the wind like that, but we were spot on we should have taken a few more chances down the field," Biesiot said. "The long thing was working for us so we kind of stuck with that. The conditions and the score kind of dictated that we wanted to keep the clock running, not throwing shorter stuff."

To open the game, Jamestown had an impressive 14-play drive down the field, which started at its own 25-yard line. The Jimmies were unable to capitalize on their field position and turned the ball over on downs. The turnover on downs eventually lead to DSU's first touchdown of the game.

"We did a great job on the first drive of the game, getting in good field position to the wind and feeling good about ourselves," Jamestown head coach Shawn Frank said. "We had a couple opportunities to get off the field on third down on the drive (DSU) scored on.

"One of the things that worried us going in was the length of receivers against our smaller corners. They threw a couple of deep-post routes and they got over the top of us a little bit. We ran good coverage, it's just they made a play, they went up and got it, their quarterback made a good throw and as a result the same thing happened."

For both teams, the running game was impressive. For the Jimmies, the second half of the game was all about the run, with quarterback Beau Eriksson handing the ball off exclusively to D'Marco Smith, who finished with 21 carries for 108 yards and a touchdown.

DSU junior running back Jesse Carney continued to turn heads with his outstanding ability to run bigger than his 5-foot-10 frame. Carney -- who had 152 yards on 37 carries and three touchdowns -- was a work horse and carried a heavier load than usual due, because running back Myren Moore was sidelined with a sprained ankle from last week's game.

"I'll tell you the truth, it was my O-line and my receivers blocking so I had the easy job of picking the hole to go through," Carney said.

Biesiot added: "He's a good inside runner so I was confident he could (perform)... He's getting a feel for some of the plays in our offense and improving week by week. Just looking forward to getting Myren back, we like to use both guys and we'd like them both to get 20 carries."

With the win out of the way, DSU is back to business and focusing on next week's game at Carroll College, a tough Frontier Conference opponent. Hopefully the team's confidence and mentality can transition against the Saints.

"The conference we're in with teams winning and losing, we're not going to knock ourselves out of any game before we play it," Keith said. "We just need to use our confidence and use the momentum to get a good practice every single day this week and stay focused."

Biesiot added: "We're playing an outstanding Carroll team next week they're very basic and we're going to try and improve on some of the things that we got going to today and not change anything. We know what they're going to do, they know what exactly what we're going to do so just try and match up and see what happens."

UJ 0 0 0 7 -- 7

DSU 13 7 7 0 -- 27

First Quarter

DSU- Jesse Carney 1 run (Josh Borm kick blocked)

DSU- JT Keith 31 pass from Kaler Ray

Second Quarter

DSU- Carney 1 run (Borm kick good)

Third Quarter

DSU- Carney 9 run (Borm kick good)

Fourth Quarter

UJ- D'Marco Smith 4 run (Jordan Lynch kick good)

TEAM STATISTICS DSU UJ

First downs 13 19

Rushes-yards 47-163 43-179

Passing yards 137 90

Comp.-Att.-Int. 5-10-0 11-30-2

Total yards 300 269

Fumbles-lost 1-0 0-0

Penalties-yards 3-30 4-30

Punts-Avg. 5-38 8-33

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING: DSU, Carney 37-152, Jake Hardy 4-14, Ray 6-(-3). UJ, smith 21-102, Chris Johnson 11-72, Beau Eriksson 10-4.

PASSING: DSU, Ray 5-10-0 137. UJ, Eriksson 11-30-2 90.

RECEIVING: DSU, Keith 3-111, Zach Sandau 1-14, Wyatt Mirich 1-12. UJ, Xavier Munoz 5-64, Casey Glenn 3-10, Michael Sena 2-9.

DEFENSIVE STATISTICS

TACKLES: DSU, Quincy Mason 8, Drew Johnson 4, Brady Harkless 4, Colton Hill 4. UJ, Jarelle Miller 4, Jeremy Cole 4, Dillion Kelly 3, JT Petsch 3.

SACKS: DSU, Harkless 1.5, Matt McCoy 0.5, Wyatt McEntire-Mette 0.5, Brock Wigert 0.5. UJ, Steve David 1, Ram Flores 1.

INTERCEPTIONS: DSU, Jordan Moore 1-21, Shawn Alder 1-0. UJ, none.

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Meaghan MacDonald
Meaghan is the sports reporter for the Dickinson Press, focusing primarily on Dickinson State athletics and rodeo. After graduating from James Madison University (Va.) in May 2013, she moved from New Jersey to North Dakota to start pursuing her career in sports journalism. 
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