Midgets know what it takes to defeat No. 3 SouthTwo weeks ago, Dickinson High head football coach Dennis Morris knew the homecoming game against No. 3-ranked Fargo South was going to mean more than just a win or a loss.
By: Royal McGregor, The Dickinson Press
Two weeks ago, Dickinson High head football coach Dennis Morris knew the homecoming game against No. 3-ranked Fargo South was going to mean more than just a win or a loss.
It was a chance for the Midgets to learn the offensive scheme and the physical nature of the Bruins entering the quarterfinals of the Class 3A playoffs at 3:30 p.m. today at the Fargodome.
“It’s a matchup were kind of hoping for as well,” Morris said. “If you could pick one of the top teams in the East to play, I’d pick Fargo South.
“They’ve got a powerful offense, but it’s all between the tackles. If we can show up, be physical enough and smart enough to take away some of that play, we know our offensive scheme is going to work against them.”
The playoff berth is the Midgets (3-6) first since 2009 and Morris’ first in his tenure as head coach. They are the No. 4 seed in the West Region.
At the beginning of the season, it was the team’s goal to reach the playoffs as none on the players on the roster had played in the postseason game.
“Being able to achieve one of our goals we set at the beginning of the year is a big boost for our team,” Dickinson junior quarterback and safety Dylan Skabo said. “After the loss to Mandan, we were pretty down until we found we were going to playoffs and it boosted our moral. This week of practice has been pretty good.”
The Midgets, however, will rematch a South team (7-2) that is the No. 1 seed from the East Region and racked up 60 points and 542 total offensive yards without its top running back just two weeks ago at the Biesiot Activities Center.
“We had too many defensive breakdowns against Fargo South,” Morris said. “Those are breakdowns that we can clean up.”
Zach Reich, the Bruins’ senior starting running back, who injured his ankle on the first series against the Midgets on Oct. 12, has rushed for more than 1,000 yards and 18 touchdowns this season.
Instead of going to Reich against Dickinson, South used sophomore fullback James Johannesson as a tailback. He rushed for 300 yards and four TDs.
“All they really did was run the ball down us,” Dickinson senior defensive back Taren Staudinger said. “We were watching film and we just weren’t coming off the ball hard. No one really seemed focused on playing the game. I don’t know if it was just homecoming or we just weren’t prepared. We can’t let that happen again.”
The Midgets, however, weren’t quietly offensively.
Dickinson scored 38 points — the most South has allowed this season — with a solid running attack and mixing in a few passes when needed. The Midgets rushed for 299 yards and passed for 47 in the loss.
Now that Dickinson is acquainted with the Bruins’ physical prowess, Morris hopes the Midgets’ offense and defense can be on the same page.
“We have to be mentally sharp on both sides of the ball,” Morris said.