Reeling Titans look for a victoryThe injury bug has stung Dickinson Trinity more than once this season, but head coach Randy Gordon will be the first to say that’s not an excuse.
By: Royal McGregor, The Dickinson Press
The injury bug has stung Dickinson Trinity more than once this season, but head coach Randy Gordon will be the first to say that’s not an excuse.
Trinity looks to salvage the final two games of its regular season, beginning with a Class 2A, West Region game against Belcourt at 3 p.m. today at the Badlands Activities Center.
“We’ve had a lot of injuries and I don’t like to make excuses,” Gordon said. “A lot of our offensive line has taken a pretty good shot. I’m saying that’s not an excuse, but it’s a reason.”
Gordon’s message to not look past any team in the West Region proved prophetic last week, when the titans fell to then-winless Bismarck St. Mary’s 39-13.
The Titans (2-4, 1-3 West Region) find themselves facing a team with a similar record today in the Braves (1-5, 0-4 West).
“It’s true, you can’t look past any team,” senior lineman Camron Berry said. “We didn’t come out and play like we were supposed to. We didn’t win.”
The Titans have had trouble finding consistency all season. Gordon thought beating Rugby 28-14 on Sept. 23 was a step in the right direction.
“I think we just need a win,” Gordon said. “I thought our win against Rugby was going to get us going for a lot of things.”
That bounce back for the remainder for the season hasn’t happened yet, but Gordon believes his team is ready.
“We’re still looking to rebound,” he said. “We’re looking for an up. We’re looking for a lift. I think we are much better team than we showed last week.”
There is pressure to win the rest of the games this season just so the Titans have at least a chance of reaching the playoffs. However, junior running back Brendin Steiner sees today’s game as no different than any other.
“There’s always pressure to win,” he said. “We strive to be the best team we can. It hasn’t happened lately, but this week we’ve really gotten real with ourselves and we want to win out.”
One of those key players lost due to injuries is senior running back Mason Schiff, who took the bulk of the running load earlier this season.
Other players who have been out are lineman Parker Pavlicek, who has been out due to complications from Crohn’s disease, and fellow lineman Joe Golik, who is taking time away from the team after the death of his father.
Replacing Schiff as the featured running back is Steiner, who has been put into a unique situation. He had limited experience running behind Schiff and got his first taste of being the featuring back last week and had 128 yards rushing and two touchdowns on 18 carries.
“I think, for him, it’s having that game and half under his belt,” Gordon said. “First half of the season, he didn’t get as many reps as he should have. He’s going to get better all the time.”
Steiner knew he had big shoes to fill once Schiff went down against Minot Ryan on Sept. 16.
“It’s was a pretty big blow losing Mason,” Steiner said. “I had some big shoes to fill. I’m just fighting for every yard.”
Trinity also has to replace former defense coordinator Jerry Holinka, who has resigned from his position. Assistant coaches Gregg Bertelsen and Andrew DesRosier have taken on a new set of responsibilities.
“It certainly slowed us down,” Gordon said. “It was kind of a distraction that we didn’t need in the middle of the season. It’s just been a distraction in the rhythm of the routine.”