Mistakes plague DSU in 28-13 loss to Montana Western
DILLON, Mont. -- It was a day of bad mistakes and missed opportunities for the Dickinson State football team.
Montana Western freshman quarterback Kenney Bradley, making his first career start, threw three touchdown passes and the Bulldogs' defense kept DSU off balance en route to a 28-13 Frontier Conference victory Saturday afternoon.
"We're just not finishing," DSU head coach Hank Biesiot said.
The Blue Hawks (0-2, 0-2 Frontier) committed five turnovers, including one on a pitch to running back Myren Moore in the end zone just 46 seconds into the fourth quarter that was recovered by Western junior linebacker Blake Cohlhepp for a back-breaking touchdown.
It was the only DSU turnover that directly led to Western points.
Most of the others were back-breakers when the Blue Hawks appeared to be threatening, or at least had a chance to put points on the scoreboard.
Senior running back Presley Straub fumbled at the Western 34-yard line in the first quarter, backup quarterback Matt Harkless turned it over on a fumble at the Western 6-yard line on an argued call -- DSU coaches felt the ground caused Harkless to fumble -- and senior quarterback Dave Velasquez had a fourth-down heave to the end zone at the end of the second quarter picked off by Jesse McCloud.
"We've just got to make a few more plays and hold onto a few more balls," Biesiot said. "In some ways we didn't pass protect as well as we did last week. We've just got to get the ball back."
Western's offense, led by Bradley, dictated the tempo much of the afternoon.
The Bulldogs (1-1, 1-1 Frontier) caught a break when Rashad Peniston battled DSU sophomore cornerback Shawn Alder for a 32-yard touchdown pass.
On the play, Alder looked to have come up with an interception before Peniston grabbed the football out of his hands for the score that put Western ahead 7-6.
Later in the half, Bradley found Kennan Hoohuli on a much easier 32-yard TD strike that gave the Bulldogs a 14-6 halftime lead.
A 30-yard run by Junior Mataafa on a fake punt set up Bradley's 17-yard TD pass to Tyrell Braun that gave Western a 21-6 lead with 10:57 left in the third quarter.
"The fake punt was big for them in the game," Biesiot said.
Bradley finished 23 of 40 for 247 and had two interceptions. He was starting in place of senior Jeff Logan, who was injured in Western's season-opening loss to Southern Oregon.
Both of DSU's touchdowns were scored on fourth downs.
The Blue Hawks got on the board first, marching 67 yards on 13 plays with Velasquez plunging in from the 1-yard line -- in reality about the 1-foot line -- to give them a 6-0 lead following Western's block of Chad Bryant's extra-point attempt.
DSU pulled within striking distance, 21-13, on Myren Moore's 14-yard TD run on a fourth-and-1 to cap an 11-play, 80-yard, 6-minute drive with 4:53 left in the third quarter.
The Blue Hawks got a glimmer of hope midway through the fourth quarter when freshman safety Jaylen Sokoloski intercepted the first pass of his career and brought it back into Western territory.
DSU marched down to the 4-yard line, where its drive stalled and ended on a pair of Velasquez incomplete passes into the end zone.
The Blue Hawks didn't have a play longer than Velasquez's 19-yard pass to Tanner Leak on the team's opening drive.
"We're going to try and hit big plays," Biesiot said. "We've given up some big plays. We've got to make some or hit some ourselves."
Notes: The loss kept Biesiot at 255 career victories while St. Francis head coach Kevin Donley remained at 256 career wins after his team lost to St. Ambrose 15-14. Both coaches are trying to get to 257 career victories, which would be an NAIA record. ... It was Western's first victory over DSU, which won their only previous meeting 13-7 in 1964. ... Senior tight end Nate Zachmann injured his shoulder and isn't expected to play when DSU hosts Montana State-Northern at 1 p.m. next Saturday. ... DSU junior linebacker Cord Berg recovered a fumble, intercepted a Bradley pass and had seven tackles.
DSU 6 0 7 0 -- 13
UMW 7 7 7 7 -- 28
DSU-Dave Velasquez 1 run (kick blocked), 3:25.
UMW-Rashad Peniston 32 pass from Kenney Bradley (Mackenzie Crossley kick), 1:12.
UMW-Kennan Hoohuli 32 pass from Bradley (Crossley kick), 8:04.
UMW-Tyrell Braun 18 pass from Bradley (Crossley kick), 10:57.
DSU-Myren Moore 14 run (Chad Bryant kick), 4:53.
UMW-Blake Cohlhepp fumble recovery in end zone (Crossley kick), 14:14.
TEAM STATISTICS DSU UMW
First downs 20 25
Rushes-yards 50-193 36-211
Passing yards 137 247
Comp.-Att.-Int. 15-32-2 23-40-2
Total yards 330 458
Fumbles-lost 3-3 1-1
Penalties-yards 6-75 11-93
Punts-Avg. 4-35.5 4-36.8
RUSHING: DSU, M. Moore 16-78, Presley Straub 15-52, Matt Harkless 5-22, Kyle Stanton 6-21, Velasquez 7-15, Jordan Moore 1-5. UMW, Braun 18-95, Dylan Kramer 13-56, Junior Matafa 1-30, Matt Lickfold 2-8, Bradley 1-2, Team 1-20.
PASSING: DSU, Velasquez 15-31-2 137, Harkless 0-1-0 0. UMW, Bradley 23-40-2 247.
RECEIVING: DSU, Tanner Leak 8-86, Nate Zachmann 2-19, J.T. Keith 1-13, Cody Clausen 1-11, Jimmy Smith 1-8, Stanton 1-1, Straub 1-(minus-1). MW, Peniston 9-84, Jordan Pastras 5-47, Lickfold 4-37, Josh Lords 2-19, Hoohuli 1-32, Braun 1-17, A.J. Smith 1-11.
TACKLES: DSU, Mike Fisher 10, Nolan Schwartz 8, Cord Berg 7, Jay Grosz 6, Jaylen Sokoloski 6, Kyle Watson 5, Colton Hill 5, Sam Herauf 4, Straub 3, Colten Johnston 3, Shawn Alder 2, Matt McCoy 2, Bo Brooks 2, Cameron Hughes 2, Matt Seibert 2, Dalmin Gibson 1, Clausen 1, Meyer Bohn 1, James Stanton 1. UMW, Jackson Lang 9, Ryan Otto 8, Kasey Griffith 8, Will Fields 8, Jesse McCloud 6, Pat Hergeshimer 5, Joe Coker 5, Dakota Wainwright 5, Kalani McLaughlin 5, Dakota Pineda 4, Matt Crispo 4, Isaac Anderson 3, Kelly Houle 3.
INTERCEPTIONS: DSU, Berg, Sokoloski. UMW, McCloud, Wainwright.