Saints blast DSU: Carroll College handles Blue Hawks in season finale
The nightmare is finally over.
The No. 3-ranked Carroll College, which ended DSU’s season last year with a 36-0 win, defeated the Blue Hawks 48-3 on Saturday at the Biesiot Activities Center.
Despite the loss, DSU head coach Hank Biesiot said his team played better than they have in their last couple of road games and had some fleeting moments of success on the field.
“I thought defensively we played well at times,” Biesiot said. “We had a couple stands and held them to field goals, but just didn’t get enough offensive consistency or first downs. We were close in the first quarter and came up a yard short or opened guys short of getting the first down. We just didn’t build anything first quarter offensively which we knew we had to.”
Defensively, the Blue Hawks held the high-scoring Saints to 10 points in the first quarter and a field goal in the third quarter.
But the story of the year for DSU has been not getting off to quick starts offensively. The Blue Hawks started the game with possession, but it was a quick four and out and gave the ball to Carroll.
With 10:25 left in the first quarter, junior running back Dustin Rinker ran into the endzone for the first touchdown of the game. The Saints scored 24 unanswered points, before Josh Borm connected for a 38-yard field goal for DSU’s lone score.
As Carroll faced a third-and-6 with less than two minutes left in the first half, junior quarterback Dakota Stonehouse was picked off by freshman Rob Sterling, who ran it back for 35 yards, to give DSU’s offense a chance to score before halftime. Freshman quarterback Kaler Ray connected downfield with freshman wide receiver Dalton Reid for a 38-yard catch to put the Blue Hawks on the 16-yard line. DSU wasn’t able to punch the ball in for a touchdown as Borm kicked the field goal to avoid the shutout.
Carroll’s defense completely shut the Blue Hawks down and let its own offense shine. Stonehouse went 13 of 21 for 162 yards with two touchdowns and an interception, while junior running back Dustin Rinker racked up 173 yards on 23 carries and a touchdown.
“We were excited about how we played,” Carroll head coach Mike Van Diest said. “I thought the first half we played very well, we had a turnover at the end of the first half, but offensively I thought we were able to move the ball especially run the football exactly like we wanted to. Defensively, I was very pleased with our performance and carrying it into the second half.”
DSU’s offense finished with 115 total yards compared to Carroll’s 476. Quarterbacks Ray and Thad Lane finished with a combined 7 of 23 for 71 yards passing, while Lane threw a pair of interceptions. The run game couldn’t get started either, accumulating 41 rushing yards between freshman fullback Jake Hardy (32) and junior running back Jesse Carney (25).
“Carroll is a good team, we knew that coming in. I’m proud of our defense played good especially the second half, they held them for almost a whole third quarter,” DSU senior left tackle Ryan Payne said. “Offense got some things going but I’m proud of our guys. They had some injuries but played through it and no one gave up the whole time.”
With the regular season over, Carroll finds out today who they will play for the first round of the NAIA playoffs. Van Diest said the coaches will find out during a conference call at 8 a.m. today.
While the physical and mental preparation should be easy for the Saints, the hard part for the team would be facing a completely new opponent.
“It’s do or die now so the intensity has to be higher, focus has to be higher and we’ll find out (today) who we get and we’ll start getting ready for them,” Stonehouse said.
Van Diest added: “There’s a lot of new teams in the top 20 this year, so there’s going to be some new faces and maybe somebody we haven’t played in the past so that’s always an unknown. But the way it is with how you get all the films downloaded on the internet, we’ll spend a lot of Sunday, Monday, Tuesday nights watching film as a staff and with players.”
This has been DSU’s worst season in program history, finishing 1-10, the first time the Blue Hawks only had a one-win season since 1966. But there is a ray of hope. Now officially out of the Frontier Conference, the Blue Hawks will become the sixth member of the North Star Athletic Association.
In the conference, DSU joins old rival University of Jamestown, which the Blue Hawks beat 27-7 on Oct. 5. With a new conference and a majority of the key players returning to the field, this is DSU’s chance to rebuild, gain confidence and get back on track.
“Going into that new conference is definitely going to help us returning,” sophomore outside linebacker Matt McCoy said. “It’ll be a scrap every game. There are some good teams in that conference and it’s very competitive, but we’ll see what happens. We got to work hard in the offseason to see if we can get a jump start on next season.”
CC 10 14 3 21 — 48
DSU 0 3 0 0 — 3
CC–Dustin Rinker 3 run (Connor Smith kick good)
CC–Smith 35 field goal
CC–Dylan Simac 32 pass from Dakota Stonehouse (Smith kick)
CC–Jared Mayernik 7 pass from Stonehouse (Smith kick)
DSU–Josh Borm 38 field goal
CC–Smith 32 field goal
CC–Mayernik 73 punt return (Smith kick)
CC–Jordan Pine 8 run (Smith kick)
CC–Shayne Durbin 38 INT return (Smith kick)
TEAM STATISTICS DSU CC
First downs 11 28
Rushes-yards 28-44 53-309
Passing yards 71 167
Comp.-Att.-Int. 7-23-2 14-23-1
Total yards 115 476
Fumbles-lost 1-1 0-0
Penalties-yards 3-25 7-81
Punts-Avg. 8-43 1-48
RUSHING: DSU, Hardy, 3-32, Jesse Carney 19-25. CC, Rinker, 26-128, Pine, 11-62, Mayernik 2-44, Anthony Clarke 3-40, Colter Rood 5-15, Stonehouse 2-11, Dylan Green 3-7, Mac Roche 1-2.
PASSING: DSU, Ray 3-13-0, 48, Lane 4-8-2, 23. CC, Stonehouse 13-21-1, 162, Roche 1-2-0, 5.
RECEIVING: DSU, Dalton Reid 1-38, JT Keith 3-30, Carney 1-4. CC, Dylan Simac 7-104, Clarke 4-38, Mayernik 1-7, Robert Sharps 1-5
TACKLES: DSU, Alex Huitzil 6, Jordan Moore 5, Antwan Smith 5, Robert Nalewaja 4, Robert Sterling 4. CC, Sean Blomquist 5, Durbin 3, Adam DeBruycker 2, TJ Crispin 2, Jeff Gueck 2, Sean Donahue 2, James Dowgin 2, Dawson Osborn 2.
SACKS: DSU, none. CC, Durbin 1, Osborn 1, Daniel Simmons 1.
INTERCEPTIONS: DSU, Sterling 1-35. CC, DeBruycker 1-38, Ryan Gregory 1-2.