Hawks, Jimmies meet in uncharacteristic gameHank Biesiot can’t remember a time when the Dickinson State and Jamestown College football teams met this late in the season with so few combined wins.
By: Dustin Monke, The Dickinson Press
Blue Hawks at Jimmies: Dickinson State (1-5) visits Jamestown College (2-4) for the first time in a non-league game at noon Saturday.
Radio: KDIX, 1230 AM
Hank Biesiot can’t remember a time when the Dickinson State and Jamestown College football teams met this late in the season with so few combined wins.
The Blue Hawks (1-5) meet the Jimmies (2-4) at noon Saturday at Jamestown’s Rollie Greeno Field.
In their three wins, the combined margin of victory is just five points.
“That’s just who we are right now and that’s just who they are right now,” said Biesiot, in his 37th season as DSU’s head football coach.
The Blue Hawks come into their lone nonconference game of the season still stinging from three consecutive Frontier Conference defeats in which they were outscored 129-19.
DSU hopes it can turn the tide against Jamestown, one of its oldest rivals, in the 72nd meeting between the teams.
But first, the Blue Hawks have to begin correcting some of their missteps.
Statistically, they rank last in the Frontier Conference in 13 categories.
DSU is last in both scoring offense and scoring defense, being outscored by an average of 34.5 to 12 points in its first six games.
It’s also last in first downs, third-down conversion rate and has been the easiest team on which to convert a third down or a fourth down against.
“We’re just not consistent enough getting a first down,” Biesiot said. “Scoring, we knew, was going to be difficult for us.”
The Blue Hawks also come up last in total offense at 270.2 yards per game, as well as passing offense (131.2 yards) and pass efficiency, rush defense (232.2 yards) and sacks.
Jamestown, on the other hand, has had its share of ups and downs.
The Jimmies boast a 17-14 overtime win over South Dakota Mines and a 21-20 road victory against Mayville State.
It has a 13-10 loss to Valley City State and was convincingly defeated by Rocky Mountain College, Concordia College of Moorhead, Minn., and Wisconsin-Stout.
“In hindsight, we may have bitten off a little bit more than we can chew as far as who is on our schedule,” said Jimmies first-year head coach Shawn Frank, a Hettinger native. “But we can’t control that. We play who’s on our schedule. We’ve shown flashes, at times, that we can be a complete football team. At other times, we’ve missed some opportunities in all three phases of the game.”
Defensively, the Jimmies rank right in the middle of the of the 16 NAIA independent teams on most defensive statistic lists.
Offensively, the Jimmies’ ground attack is solid with senior Lance Johansen having rushed for 574 yards.
Frank said the passing game has been spotty. Sophomore Gus Romasco has thrown for 928 yards, six touchdowns and six interceptions.
“We’re just missing some things in the passing game right now,” Frank said. “We’re missing some things vertically that we’ve had opportunities to connect on.”
Biesiot said the blame for DSU’s tough start to the season — only the second time a team under his tutelage has ever started 1-5 — can’t be placed on specific players, positions, the offense or the defense.
“It’s all tied together,” he said. “We’re not doing as good of a job in any of those areas as we should be doing, team-wise, and are missing some basic, little things.”
At the midway point of the 2012 season, Dickinson State enters its lone nonconference game Saturday against old rival Jamestown College ranking last in the Frontier Conference in 13 categories:
Scoring offense: 12 points per game
Scoring defense: 34.5 ppg
Total offense: 270.2 yards per game
Passing offense: 131.2 ypg
Pass efficiency: 90.8 percent
Rushing defense: 232.2 ypg
Sacks: 5-27 yards lost
First downs per game: 15.8
Third-down conversion: 25 of 97 (25.8 percent)
Opponent first downs: 140
Opponent third-down conversion: 38 of 86 (44.2 percent)
Opponent fourth-down conversion: 5 of 9 (55.6%)
Punt average: 33.4 yards per punt