Senior receiver Staudinger makes Midgets’ offense workRunning the ball effectively and using the jet sweep play has been the mantra of the Dickinson High football team the last couple seasons.
By: Royal McGregor, The Dickinson Press
Running the ball effectively and using the jet sweep play has been the mantra of the Dickinson High football team the last couple seasons.
Dickinson High senior Taren Staudinger knew he had to become an all-around receiver that could not only catch the ball, but create running lanes down the sidelines.
“I’m trying to help the team out in any way I can,” Staudinger said. “If I’m blocking and we score a touchdown, it may not show up in the stat book, but I’m doing my job and that’s my thing I have to do to help this team move down the field effectively.”
Staudinger’s skill of neutralizing opposing defensive backs has been one area head coach Dennis Morris said his team would be lost without.
“Taren is invaluable to our team,” Morris said. “He might be the best blocker in our team and if he had a little bit more weight, I might play him at guard.”
When Staudinger heard those words coming from his head coach, his eyes lit up. The senior wide receiver knew Morris appreciated his blocking efforts, but not to that extent.
“Having my coach say that about me makes me feel really good with all the work I put in and trying to myself an all-around receiver,” said Staudinger, who has six catches for 107 yards and two touchdowns.
The running backs finding paths down the sidelines are juniors Michael Cherwinski, Jace Dukart and sophomore Preston Theurer. Junior quarterback Dylan Skabo also finds his way to the sidelines multiple times each game.
Cherwinski leads the team with 33 carries for 414 yards and four touchdowns, while Dukart has 13 carries for 82 yards and three TDs. Skabo has 24 carries for 192 yards and five TDs.
In recent weeks, the Midgets (2-2, 1-1 West) have implemented more passing to become a dual-threat offensive team.
That’s the reward Staudinger, fellow senior tight end Jordan Krieg, with nine catches for 121 yards and one TD, and junior Levi Jordheim, who has six catches for 89 yards and one TD, received for flattening out the rushing lanes.
“I like it as a receiver,” Staudinger said with a smile. “I know it gives us a lot more options. Now teams don’t know if we are going run or pass.”
The senior might not have the explosive speed down the field, but Staudinger knows where he needs to be at all points in time.
“He runs solid routes and he’s going to be where he’s supposed to be every single time,” Morris said. “He’s a sure-handed kid. He probably doesn’t have the blazing speed to make you notice him, but he runs such crisp routes that he’s there for us all the time. Taren is a guy that we couldn’t play without right now.”
Skabo said Staudinger is able to bring more to the table than just being a receiver and blocker on the outside.
“He’s a great role model,” Skabo said. “He does everything right and he works hard.”
During a 49-6 win over Jamestown last Friday, Dickinson’s running attack was so effective the passing didn’t have to be there. However, Morris said the passing game is always in the team’s back pocket.
“We got up, so we didn’t have to throw the ball,” Morris said. “Although we did throw a couple fades and a couple a quick slants, you can see that we’ve been working on it. We’ll continue to work on it and use it when we have to.”
The time to use the passing attack might be now as Midgets host No. 1-ranked Bismarck High at 8 p.m. today at the Badlands Activities Center.
“If anybody can pick off Bismarck High, I think we’re the team to do it,” Morris said. “We’re going to have to play a game like we did in Jamestown. We need very minimal mistakes.”