Midgets learned from loss to No. 1-ranked Bismarck HighFootball isn’t just about physical presence on the field, but mental toughness.
By: Royal McGregor, The Dickinson Press
Football isn’t just about physical presence on the field, but mental toughness.
Dickinson High learned a valuable lesson — the attitude of playing like the best team in the state — after a 49-6 loss to No. 1-ranked Bismarck High last week.
“(Last) Friday was a mental toughness battle and we lost the mental toughness battle,” Morris said. “Bismarck High plays with an attitude that they have to win every single game and that’s the kind of attitude we are trying to develop.”
The Midgets will bring out their mental toughness when they travel to play Class 3A, West Region opponent Williston at 6 p.m. MDT today.
“It’s absolutely a must-win,” Dickinson junior running back Jace Dukart said. “If we lose to Williston, we are probably out of the playoffs. We can’t do that. We need to make a run to the playoffs this year.”
The three teams Morris characterized as must-wins were Jamestown, Williston and Mandan. All three schools are similar to Dickinson in enrollment and they’ve already dispatched of Jamestown.
“They are our-size schools,” Morris said. “Those are the schools that we have to beat.”
However, Morris and the rest of the Midgets (2-3, 1-2 West) aren’t taking any team lightly. That includes the Coyotes, who are 1-4 overall and 0-2 in the West this season.
“In the WDA, you can’t overlook anybody,” he said. “Williston has had their struggles this year, but you can see that they are getting better. Williston’s weak point this year is their offensive line and I think we are more physical than they are. We have to be the Bismarck High attitude going into Williston and we’ll have success.”
After losing by the 43 points to the Demons, the only thing sophomore starting center Luke Herauf said to do was to look toward the next opponent.
“We can regroup and get situated again,” Herauf said. “We have to come out, try to beat Williston and win out.”
The running game has been the backbone of the Midgets’ offense this season. Junior Michael Cherwinski leads the team with 41 carries for 408 yards and four touchdowns. The running game, however, was stifled for 27 carries for 32 yards by the dominating presence of the Demons’ defensive front.
“They definitely showed that they are the No. 1-ranked team in the state,” said Dukart, who has 17 carries for 89 yards and three TDs this season and doubles as a defensive back.
When the rushing game is stopped, quarterback Dylan Skabo is ready to throw the ball. The junior is 24 of 56 for 356 yards and five TDs. His three main targets are seniors Jordan Krieg and Taren Staudinger and junior Levi Jordheim.
“When the running game is down, the passing begins,” Dukart said. “We have great receivers with Krieg and Staudinger that are able to get our offense jumpstarted.”
Despite the previous week’s loss, Morris said the team was able to see how the best team in the state is able to operate.
“(There are) things you can learn from a game like that, if the tank is running dry you can’t quit,” Morris said. “We’re a better team, better players for playing that game. That’s the best competition we will see all year. I hope we get a chance to see them again.”