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Mountaineers pummel Blue Hawks with ease

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sports Dickinson, 58602
Dickinson North Dakota 1815 1st Street West 58602

LA GRANDE Ore. — The season has been a nightmare for the Dickinson State football team and they can’t wake up.

Eastern Oregon University dominated the Blue Hawks 57-3 in a Frontier Conference game on Saturday afternoon, which sent the team home on a 20-hour bus drive back to North Dakota with a loss.

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The Mountaineers didn’t take long to score on their first possession. Sophomore receiver Jace Billingsley returned the opening kickoff 92 yards for a touchdown. EOU posted 37 unanswered points before DSU could respond with its only score of the game, a 26-yard field goal by junior kicker/receiver Josh Borm in the second quarter.

“They ran the opening kickoff back and it was downhill from there in the first half,” DSU head coach Hank Biesiot said.

In their past four games, the Blue Hawks have scored only 31 points and allowed 178 points.

DSU only had eight first downs, 142 total yards and lost two of three fumbles. EOU’s defense had a successful night — not just stopping the overall offense, but completely shutting down DSU’s quarterbacks. Freshman quarterback Kaler Ray went 1 of 5 for four yards with an interception and two fumbles, while sophomore quarterback Thad Lane went 2 of 9 for 19 yards and an interception.

“Their defense was solid,” Biesiot said. “We just didn’t execute and we dropped a couple balls that I thought we should have caught. We just couldn’t get anything going.”

EOU’s run game caused the most damage Saturday. Senior running back Chris McGinnis-Parker had his second 200-plus rushing effort in a row. He finished with 219 yards on 15 carries with three TDs, while junior running back Mahonri Bostrom rushed for 105 yards on 10 carries. Out of the Mountaineers’ 616 total yards, 445 were rushing.

DSU came into the game missing key players on offense and defense and may have lost another during Saturday’s game. Senior left guard Nick Yelton, who injured his knee last week against Rocky Mountain College, hurt the other and is listed as questionable.

“He’s one of our veterans and one of two guys with any experience on the line,” Biesiot said, referring to senior left tackle Ryan Payne. “It would be a big loss, but we have some time to try and prepare somebody else … Try to get home and regroup.”

It’s been a tough road for the Blue Hawks this year, but some relief is ahead. The team is on its bye week before closing out the season with a home game against the Frontier Conference’s No. 1 Carroll College on Nov. 16. Biesiot said his team will use this time to prepare for Carroll, but also to get physically healthy and mentally relaxed.

“We haven’t had an open date,” Biesiot said. “It’s been a long grind and we need to bounce back physically and mentally and at the same time get ready for the team next week.”

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