Hawks shut out SD Mines, 17-0, to end season with winThe season wasn’t pretty. But the ending sure was. Dickinson State ended its football season with a 17-0 shutout victory over South Dakota Mines on Saturday afternoon at the Badlands Activities Center.
By: Dustin Monke, The Dickinson Press
The season wasn’t pretty. But the ending sure was.
Dickinson State ended its football season with a 17-0 shutout victory over South Dakota Mines on Saturday afternoon at the Badlands Activities Center.
Junior quarterback Dave Velasquez rushed for a touchdown and threw another to junior tight end Nate Zachmann while sophomore running back Brennan Haughian rushed for a career-high 189 yards as the Blue Hawks blanked their former Dakota Athletic Conference rival in the finale of only the team’s third losing season under head coach Hank Biesiot.
“I think it showed how much heart and pride our team has,” DSU senior inside linebacker Tyler Schmidkunz said. “We didn’t have the season we wanted to or expected to, but we can down to the last game, gave everything we had and left everything on the field. That’s all you can do in the end.”
DSU finished the season with a 4-6 record but gave Biesiot his 255th career victory, moving him within one win of tying the NAIA record for most victories by a head coach held by Frosty Westering.
The team had hoped to give Biesiot the record this season, but now it must wait until 2012 when the Blue Hawks move to the Frontier Conference.
Though the Frontier will present the Blue Hawks with new challenges, they will return 18 players that started in Saturday’s game, as well as three regular starters that didn’t play because of injury.
“We don’t lose that many people,” said Velasquez, who threw for 157 yards. “I know when we come back, we’ll be a great team. But we do lose a lot of important (players). … We’ve got to be more excited than anything to return everybody. Hopefully we’ll start out great and end great, not start off so slow and hit and miss here and there.”
Many of those returning underclassmen contributed greatly to Saturday’s win.
Velasquez’s 34-yard strike to junior receiver Tanner Leak set up his own 1-yard TD plunge with 7:43 left in the first quarter.
Velasquez and Haughian then engineered a 14-play drive that took nearly 7 minutes and ended in the front left corner of the end zone when Nate Zachmann hauled in a 6-yard jump ball from Velasquez.
“It makes us all feel good, but none of us are really shocked,” Haughian said of DSU’s offensive effort. “This is what we know we could have been doing all year. We got it together a little bit too late, but at least we got it together.”
Haughian finished with 975 yards rushing on the season, finishing 25 yards shy of becoming DSU’s first 1,000-yard rusher since Larry Aldridge in 2005. He broke loose for a 59-yard run that got the Blue Hawks inside the 10 late in the second quarter, though they were eventually held short of the goal line on fourth-and-1. Haughian also had a 31-yard touchdown run and a 15-yard burst called back because of penalties in the second quarter.
“We played real solid and hit some plays when we needed to,” Biesiot said. “Haughian had a game and some runs that we’re becoming accustomed to.”
Though their offense returns 10 starters, defensively is where DSU will have to fill some gaps.
Schmindkunz led the Blue Hawks with 10 tackles and senior linebacker Jerel Hafner had seven tackles while providing constant pressure on Mines quarterback Nick Russell. Senior linebacker Nic Nicastro had six tackles and senior safety Sean Russell, who was injured late in the second quarter and did not return, had five tackles.
Mines senior tailback Jamie Dale rushed for 104 yards, but was the lone Hardrocker to do any real damage.
“Defensively, we contained some guys who are capable of getting away on ya,” Biesiot said. “A shutout is great for the defense.”
Mines (1-9), in its first year of transitioning from the NAIA to NCAA Division II, end its season next Saturday at rival Black Hills State.
It will be the final game coached by Hardrockers head coach Dan Kratzer, who is retiring at the end of the season.
“It’s time to retire,” Kratzer said. “Next week is going to be the final college game that I coach, against our arch rival. It’ll be a big game for us. They (the Blue Hawks) finished on a good note. We have an opportunity to finish on a good note next week. I hope we do too.”
SDM 0 0 0 0 — 0
DSU 7 7 0 3 — 17
DSU–Dave Velasquez 1 run (Tury Escobedo kick), 7:43
DSU–Nate Zachmann 6 pass from Velasquez (Escobedo kick), 6:44
DSU–Cole Zamira 23 FG, 5:33
TEAM STATISTICS SDM DSU
First downs 15 19
Rushes-yards 35-131 49-237
Passing yards 83 157
Comp.-Att.-Int. 13-25-1 11-20-1
Total yards 214 394
Fumbles-lost 0-0 0-0
Penalties-yards 4-40 5-52
Punts-Avg. 6-36.5 2-28
RUSHING: SDM, Jamie Dale 20-104, Chris Sawdey 9-28, Lukas Van Lacken 1-1, Jeff Faulk 1-0, Nick Russell 4-(minus-2). DSU, Brennan Haughian 29-189, Velasquez 7-24, Tyler Grosz 4-13, Tanner Leak 1-8, Riley Moore 2-8, Michael Cooper 4-(minus-4).
PASSING: SDM, Russell 13-25-1 83. DSU, Velasquez 11-20-1 157.
RECEIVING: SDM, Dale 6-33, Marshall Davis 4-35, Bernes Berber 1-8, Jaryd Francis 1-4, Austin Daniels 1-3. DSU, Leak 4-98, Nate Zachmann 4-54, J.T. Keith 1-9, Haughian 1-(minus-1), Jimmy Smith 1-(minus-3).