Midgets roll Braves
On Charles Splichal's first pass of the game, the Dickinson junior quarterback was intercepted by Mandan's Weston Hartman, who returned it 83 yards for a touchdown.
After the opening score, Splichal and the rest of the Dickinson offense didn't have any trouble carving up Mandan's defense.
Dickinson scored 35 unanswered points in the first half en route to a 42-7 West Region win over Mandan on Friday at the Biesiot Activities Center.
"The first drive we were moving the ball nice and Charles made a mistake," Dickinson head coach John Tuchscherer said. "But I liked the fact that our guys responded through that and shut them out for the rest of the football game."
Splichal added: "We just bounced right back. Mistakes, you just have to go over them."
The Midgets posted 276 total yards on 37 plays in the first half and a total of 330. Dickinson had nearly even passing and rushing yards. The Midgets had 180 rushing yards and 150 passing.
Splichal, who is making his first varsity start after sitting out the opening three weeks with a concussion, went 9 of 13 for 150 yards and two touchdowns. He also ran for 40 yards on nine carries and one touchdown.
Throughout the game, Splichal found three different receivers and have three different running backs. Dickinson's leading the receiving core was senior Levi Jordheim with two catches for 72 yards, while running back Michael Cherwinski had a team high 88 yards on 15 carries.
"Our offensive line did a good job holding them, our receivers making plays and there's not really much more you could ask for," Splichal said.
Dylan Skabo, a senior wide receiver, helped Dickinson ripped the Braves in the first half. Skabo caught a pair of touchdown passes from Splichal for 16 and 35 yards, respectively. He also had a 60-yard punt return for a TD.
The opening touchdown was the lone Mandan score of the game. The Braves showed offensive bright spots moving down the field, but in crunch time the Midgets' defense stood their ground.
"We all worked together at the team," said Dickinson senior linebacker William Schwindt, who had a team-high three unassisted tackles. "We were able to stop them and not let them score. We dug our heels in the ground and held them."
Dickinson held Mandan to 124 yards in the first half and a total of 113. The bright spot about the Braves' offense only had a lone interception returned for a touchdown.
"Through the course of the year, we've had new players in new positions and we are struggling to find our niche," Mandan head coach John Sheldon said. "We have a lot of young kids working hard. Our kids are working as hard as they can and I appreciate that effort."
The two scores to open each half were from both on interception. Dickinson's Michael McChesney scored on an 18-yard pick for a touchdown in third quarter. McChesney had a total of 32 yards on four carries including a six-yard touchdown in the second quarter.
Though the Midgets celebrated a win on Friday, Dickinson is going back to work on Monday preparing for No. 4-ranked Minot High at 6 p.m. next Friday.
"We've had two tough weeks and guys responded well this week," Tuchscherer said. "We are going to go back on the road next week and play another tough team. I'm proud of guys, they played hard and now we just have to get ready for next week."
Mandan 7 0 0 0 -- 7
Dickinson 14 21 7 0 -- 42
M-Weston Hartman 83 interception return (Payton Schafer kick), 9:33
D-Charles Splichal 16 pass to Dylan Skabo (Tony Kostelecky kick), 6:27
D-Splichal 4 run (Kostelecky kick), :01
D-Michael McChesney 6 run (Kostelecky kick), 8:29
D-Splichal 35 pass to Skabo (Kostelecky kick), 5:05
D-Skabo 60 punt return (Kostelecky kick), :36
D-McChesney 17 interception return (Kostelecky kick), 10:10
RUSHING: M, Trevor Leingang 9-32, Dmitri Tausend 8-19, Nick Miller 1-5. D, Michael Cherwinski 15-88, Charles Splichal 9-40, Michael McChesney 4-32, Dylan Skabo 1-5, William Schwindt 2-5.
PASSING: M, Leingang 3-11-1, 30; Jake Carlson 2-5-0, 6. D, Splichal 9-13-1, 150; Tanner Davidson 0-1-0, 0.
RECEIVING: M, Cam Christopherson 2-19, Tyler Gangl 1-11. D, Levi Jordheim 2-72, Skabo 5-53, Ben Twist 2-25.