Midgets clinch playoff spot, rematch with Fargo South
MANDAN -- Dickinson High didn't win Wednesday night, but it didn't matter. The Midgets are back in the postseason for the first time since 2009.
Brady Zittleman rushed for a touchdown and threw another to lead Mandan to a 12-7 victory over Dickinson in a Class 3A, West Region game at Lefty Faris Field despite.
Both teams finished the regular season with identical records, going 3-6 overall and 2-4 in the West. But, due to point-differential tiebreakers, the Braves needed to win by 12 or more points to move the Midgets out of the region's No. 4 playoff seed.
Dickinson visits East Region regular-season champion and No. 2-ranked Fargo South on Friday, Oct. 26 in the Class 3A playoff quarterfinals. The game's site has not yet been determined.
Getting into the postseason was a sigh of relief for Midgets' third-year head coach Dennis Morris, though he was frustrated with the Midgets' seemingly inability to put a full game together.
"It's weird right now," Morris said. "It's like we can't play both sides of the ball in a whole game."
Dickinson's only score came late in the first quarter when junior running back Jace Dukart busted free for a 24-yard touchdown run. He rushed for 91 yards on 13 carries.
After that, heavy rains slowed the Midgets' rushing attack and Mandan's offense was able to sneak a couple big plays through in the second quarter.
"The rain started picking up and it got to the point where we were tackling ourselves more than they were tackling us," Morris said.
Braves senior quarterback Brady Zittleman first broke free on a 60-yard TD scramble after Dickinson dropped its defense into coverage, expecting a pass.
On the Braves' next series, Zittleman found Nathan Schmidt for a 30-yard scoring strike to pull ahead 12-7.
Despite losing and not completing a pass, Mandan barely outgained the Midgets in total yards, 206 to 199.
Dickinson quarterback Dylan Skabo was 0 of 6 passing with an interception but picked off Mandan quarterback Ross Effertz twice.
"Our defense showed up and our offense wasn't there," Morris said.
Dickinson lost to Fargo South 60-38 last Friday at the Biesiot Activities Center, meaning they'll have two weeks between meetings. South rushed for 425 yards in the regular-season win.
"With their system, they're just going to pound it down your throat," Morris said. "We've got to go back to the drawing board as coaches. We've go to figure out why they beat us so bad. ... I feel great going into the game. We're going to have to make some adjustments. We know we can move the ball against them."
Dickinson 7 0 0 0 -- 7
Mandan 0 12 0 0 -- 12
D-Jace Dukart 24 run (Tony Kostelecky kick), 3:27
M-Brady Zittleman 60 run (run failed), 5:53
M-Nathan Schmidt 30 pass from Brady Zittleman (run failed), 2:52
RUSHING: D, Michael Cherwinski 16-45, Dukart 13-91, Dylan Skabo 15-49, Jacob Shypkowski 5-19, Mac Rohr 1-(minus-5). M, Zittleman 11-94, Ross Effertz 13-11, Tyler Sadowsky 6-34, David Payne 6-2, Brady Skytland 4-5, Schmidt 4-1.
PASSING: D, Skabo 0-6-1 0, Rohr 0-2-0 0. M, Zittleman 1-2-0 30, Effertz 4-17-3 29.
RECEIVING: D, none. M, Schmidt 2-50, Brady Skytland 1-9, David White 1-5, Zittleman 1-(minus-5).