No. 5 Century leans on Gesellchen’s 3 TD to sneak past MidgetsThe Dickinson High football team had the start it wanted, needed and used to its advantage.
By: Royal McGregor, The Dickinson Press
The Dickinson High football team had the start it wanted, needed and used to its advantage.
However, the Midgets didn’t account for Ryan Gesellchen.
Bismarck Century’s senior running back found the end zone three times as the No. 5-ranked Patriots held on, despite four turnovers, to defeat Dickinson 20-13 in a Class 3A, West Region game Friday night at the Badlands Activities Center.
“We bounced back,” Dickinson senior fullback Alec Stieg said. “No matter what happened, if they came down and scored on us, we were just fired up to get on the board for ourselves. We didn’t give up all night and we were fighting to the end.”
In their home opener last week against Custer County, Mont., the Midgets found themselves behind 22-0 after the first quarter.
Dickinson (1-2, 0-1 West Region) wasn’t going to let that happen again.
“We came out the way we needed to come out,” Dickinson head coach Dennis Morris said. “That’s maybe due to how we stepped it up this week with intensity in practice.”
The Midgets stifled Century’s offense at times. In turn, Dickinson’s defense caused and recovered three fumbles and junior Jace Dukart intercepted a pass by Century quarterback Jared Fischer inside the 5-yard line.
Dukart’s pick led to Stieg’s game-tying 14-yard TD run in the third quarter.
Dickinson jumped out to a 6-0 lead at the end of the first quarter after sophomore kicker Tony Kostelecky connected on 37- and 30-yard field goals.
“We feel great about our kicker, Tony Kostelecky,” Morris said. “He’s money in practice. So when we have an opportunity to get points, we have to take those points.”
Century head coach Ron Wingenbach said holding Dickinson to two field goals in the first quarter was the turning point of the game.
“I thought our defense did a nice job holding them to two field goals,” he said. “I think that was kind of the tell-tale story of the game. They could have easily punched in two TDs.”
After the first quarter, Century (2-1, 1-0 West) inserted Gesellchen and didn’t have trouble moving the ball.
The Patriots capitalized on a 13-play, 75-yard drive as Gesellchen scored his first TD from three yards out at the 9-minute, 38-second mark of the second quarter. The senior running back finished with 25 carries for 132 yards and three TDs.
“Kudos to the offensive line and Ryan to set that up,” Wingenbach said. “Ryan really gave us the spark we needed.”
Gesellchen tacked on a 1-yard TD run with 2:15 left in the first half to give Century a 13-6.
After the running game got going, Fischer flourished in the backfield going 7 of 11 for 130 yards. He connected with Drew Wiseman four times for 68 yards.
Coming out of halftime, Dickinson wasn’t going to back down and Stieg made sure of it.
The senior fullback totaled four carries for 29 yards, including his TD run that tied the game 13-13 with 1:38 left in the third quarter. Junior running back Michael Cherwinski led the Midgets with nine carries for 34 yards while junior quarterback Dylan Skabo went 6 of 10 for 70 yards.
“We came out great offensively and got a couple field goals on the board,” Morris said. “Then we kind of went into a slump and struggled there for a little bit. Alec Stieg stepped up and sparked that fire. Once he sparked that fire, we were able to roll again.”
The Patriots broke the tie after Gesellchen scored on an 8-yard TD run with 10 minutes remaining.
“We made mistakes tonight,” Morris said. “That will be very evident on film. I think that once guys see they’re not in the right position, some of those runs can be taken away.”
Despite losing its first West Region game of the season, Stieg can the see the fire beginning to rise in his teammates.
Dickinson visits Jamestown next Friday. The Blue Jays ended a 13-game losing streak that dated back to 2010 with a 13-6 win over Mandan on Friday night.
“We just have to keep playing some tough football,” he said. “We just have to bounce back from this and everyone is going to be hungry for that W.”
Century 0 13 0 7 — 20
DHS 6 0 7 0 — 13
D–Tony Kostelecky 37 FG, 7:13.
D–Kostelecky 30 FG, 2:15.
C–Ryan Gesellchen 3 run (Dominic Neameyer kick no good), 9:37.
C–Gesellchen 1 run, (Neameyer kick), 2:19.
D–Alec Stieg 14 run (Kostelecky kick), 1:39.
C–Gesellchen 6 run (Neameyer kick), 10:01.
TEAM STATISTICS Century DHS
First downs 16 12
Rushes-yards 42-152 37-86
Passing yards 139 82
Comp.-Att.-Int. 8-12-1 8-14-0
Total yards 291 168
Fumbles-lost 3-3 0-0
Penalties-yards 6-61 3-24
Punts-Avg. 3-33 7-33
RUSHING: C, Ryan Gesellchen 25-132, Dylan Leutz 6-24, Chris Kraft 1-3, Jared Fischer 10-(-minus 6). D, Michael Cherwinski 9-34, Dylan Skabo 10-11, Alec Stieg 4-29, Jacob Shypkowski 5-8, Mac Rohr 1-5, William Schwindt 3-2, Preston Theurer 2-2, Jace Dukart 3-(-minus 5).
PASSING: C, Fischer 7-11-1, 130; Kraft 1-1-0, 9. D, Skabo 6-10-0, 70, Rohr 2-4-0, 12.
RECEIVING: C, Drew Wiseman 4-68, Braxton Felch 2-39, Leutz 1-18, Brennan Doan 1-14. D, Levi Jordheim 3-32, Taren Staudinger 2-26, Jordan Krieg 2-23, Judson Mork 1-1.