Dickinson High offensive and defensive lines gain valuable playing timeAt the beginning of the season, even before the Dickinson High football team took the field for the first time, head coach Dennis Morris knew he had special offensive and defensive lines.
By: Royal McGregor, The Dickinson Press
At the beginning of the season, even before the Dickinson High football team took the field for the first time, head coach Dennis Morris knew he had special offensive and defensive lines.
The lines are made up of two seniors, five juniors and one sophomore.
As the Midgets head into the Class 3A playoffs for Morris’ first time as a head coach, the play of the team’s offensive and defensive lines are going to be more important than ever.
“They are still juniors and I thought those guys getting playing time as sophomores was going to mature them a little bit more and it did,” Morris said. “But they are still juniors and we are still making a lot of mistakes. They’ve been physical. They show a lot of promise coming back next year.”
Dickinson, the No. 4 seed in the West Region, travels to play Fargo South, the No. 1 seed from the East Region, at 3:30 p.m. in a quarterfinal game at the Fargodome. The teams know each other quite well already this season. The Bruins defeated the Midgets 60-38 during homecoming on Oct. 12.
“We’re familiar with their style of play,” Dickinson senior tight end and defensive end Jordan Krieg said. “They are very physical. They come off the ball super hard and they’re out for blood. We just have to match it.”
In Dickinson’s first earlier meeting with South, the Bruins rushed for 429 yards on the wings of three running backs. South’s leading rusher, senior Zach Reich, had four carries for 46 yards before suffering an ankle injury in the first quarter. He will play on Friday.
“We just have to make our adjustments, hopefully our defense will play and our offense can put a game together,” junior center and defensive tackle Chris Sickler said. “Hopefully, the game goes our way.”
Dickinson is stout on the line. The majority of the players are taller than 6-foot-2 and weigh more than 200 pounds. The leader on the defensive line is Krieg (6-5, 225).
“He does a great job,” Morris said. “He’s the leader by example and he works hard. Our guys know that and it’s going to be a tough position that’s going to be filled in the future. He’s there to pick our guys up and he’s a great leader for that line.”
The five juniors are Mitchell Mehrer (6-2, 195), Jordan Wanner (6-3, 225), Aaron Sayler (6-2, 255), Sickler (5-11, 230) and Blake Vance (6-2, 190). Krieg’s fellow senior lineman is Nathan Smith (6-3, 280).
“They are the same kids that we had last year, so it helps a lot,” Krieg said. “They are bigger, faster and stronger. They are familiar with the playbook. It’s just about getting to the right person at the right time.”
The lone sophomore is Luke Herauf (6-3, 235). Morris said Herauf has versatility to play a multitude of positions, including center, tackle and tight end.
“Luke is a kid we knew that we had to get on the field somehow this year and get him some experience,” Morris said. “We do have him for the next two years. Where plays for us in the next two years is really irrelevant at this point. This valuable experience and knowing the varsity level is like is really going to help us in the long run.”
There is a breath of fresh air around the Midgets’ football team this season and Krieg said he wants to cherish this moment.
“It’s my senior year and I couldn’t ask for anything more, but going to the playoffs,” Krieg said. “Everyone starts out 0-0. We just have to go in and prove that we deserve to be there.”