DSU QB Velasquez eyes return for season finale
Dave Velasquez is tired of standing on the sidelines.
If Velasquez has his way, Dickinson State's senior quarterback will suit up and be the starter one last time Saturday afternoon when the Blue Hawks visit Carroll College in the season finale for both Frontier Conference teams at Nelson Stadium in Helena, Mont.
"Even if you're hurt, you've got to go out there, tape it up. You've got to go, you've got to grind it out," Velasquez said. "Dickinson has been pretty known for their tough guys, hard-nosed. We've got to keep that up."
Velasquez suffered a severely sprained left ankle in a 42-6 home loss to Carroll on Sept. 29.
He was a game-time decision last week when the Blue Hawks (2-8, 1-8 Frontier) visited Montana State-Northern. DSU head coach Hank Biesiot said the Blue Hawks would have used Velasquez if it would have been a close game. They lost 42-10.
This week has been more promising for the 6-foot-1, 230-pound second-year starter.
He has practiced all week and even threw a touchdown pass to cap the team's two-minute drill scenario in Wednesday's practice.
"It's funny," Biesiot said. "He's said more and he understands more since he missed a couple weeks."
In five games before his injury, Velasquez completed 49 of 119 passes for 591 yards passing with four touchdowns and three interceptions. He also rushed for three touchdowns.
He has been the team's most productive of three quarterbacks they've played this season as sophomore Matt Harkless and freshman Thad Lane have struggled settling into the position in Velasquez's absence.
While Velasquez is again being considered a game-time decision by Biesiot and DSU's coaching staff, the senior is clear about his hope to play in the final game of college career.
"The last game of the year, the last game with my boys, the last time I get to play college football," Velasquez said. "It's the only time I've got to go and we're going to make the best of it."