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Etzold: Jimmies not resting on Hawks

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Blue Hawks Dickinson, 58602
Dickinson North Dakota 1815 1st Street West 58602

Dickinson State's uncharacteristic 0-3 start is not about to fool Jamestown College football coach Bud Etzold, or his team, if he has anything to say about it.

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The Blue Hawks lost two games on the road to open the season, then surprisingly lost at home to Valley City State last Saturday on the final play of the game.

Still, Etzold said he's warned his team repeatedly about ignoring DSU's record, and he's confident they've gotten the message.

"Three years ago, (DSU) started the season 0-3, then ran the table and won the conference," Etzold said. "Hopefully our guys have no illusions about them not being a good football team. Like I told them, the worst thing you could do in a million years is to think that any Dickinson State team is not going to be tough to beat.

"Our first two games have gone right down to the wire and I expect nothing different (Saturday)."

The Jimmies won their opener in overtime on the road, then last week's home debut went down to the final play in a 20-17 loss to Wisconsin-Stout.

The Blue Hawks were blown out by Rocky Mountain (Mont.) to open the season, before losing to Concordia 37-13, but it was closer than the final margin, said Etzold, who was at the game in Moorhead, Minn.

"They're a typical Dickinson State team. Big, tough, physical," Etzold said. "They're like a wounded bear coming in here to play out of desperation. We expect a real, hardcore, tough game. That's their nature."

The Blue Hawks are breaking in a new quarterback (Dave Velasquez) and star tight end Derek Pauley is also gone. They have three new starters in the defensive secondary, so it's not surprising they're still working out some kinks.

But they have a track record of success and it starts at the top with head coach Hank Biesiot, who Etzold coached under for nine seasons. The Jimmies' head coach was also a player at DSU when Biesiot joined the Hawks staff.

"I hate it. Hank and I are close friends, but it is a great honor and privilege to be standing on the same field as a head coach with Hank Biesiot," Etzold said. "Hank is a mentor to me and obviously I have great affection for that school.

"There are special feelings there, but make no mistake about my desire to win this game. If we're fortunate enough to win there is a part of me that will feel bad for him. But I'd much rather win and feel bad for him, than lose and feel bad for me."

Selvig is the sports editor of The Jamestown Sun, which is owned by Forum Communications Co.

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