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DSU QB Velasquez eyes return for season finale

Press Photo by Royal McGregor Dickinson State senior quarterback Dave Velasquez, left, throws on the run while being pursued by Carroll College defensive end Sean Condon on Sept. 29 at the Biesiot Activities Center.

Dave Velasquez is tired of standing on the sidelines.

If Velasquez has his way, Dickinson State's senior quarterback will suit up and be the starter one last time Saturday afternoon when the Blue Hawks visit Carroll College in the season finale for both Frontier Conference teams at Nelson Stadium in Helena, Mont.

"Even if you're hurt, you've got to go out there, tape it up. You've got to go, you've got to grind it out," Velasquez said. "Dickinson has been pretty known for their tough guys, hard-nosed. We've got to keep that up."

Velasquez suffered a severely sprained left ankle in a 42-6 home loss to Carroll on Sept. 29.

He was a game-time decision last week when the Blue Hawks (2-8, 1-8 Frontier) visited Montana State-Northern. DSU head coach Hank Biesiot said the Blue Hawks would have used Velasquez if it would have been a close game. They lost 42-10.

This week has been more promising for the 6-foot-1, 230-pound second-year starter.

He has practiced all week and even threw a touchdown pass to cap the team's two-minute drill scenario in Wednesday's practice.

"It's funny," Biesiot said. "He's said more and he understands more since he missed a couple weeks."

In five games before his injury, Velasquez completed 49 of 119 passes for 591 yards passing with four touchdowns and three interceptions. He also rushed for three touchdowns.

He has been the team's most productive of three quarterbacks they've played this season as sophomore Matt Harkless and freshman Thad Lane have struggled settling into the position in Velasquez's absence.

While Velasquez is again being considered a game-time decision by Biesiot and DSU's coaching staff, the senior is clear about his hope to play in the final game of college career.

"The last game of the year, the last game with my boys, the last time I get to play college football," Velasquez said. "It's the only time I've got to go and we're going to make the best of it."

Dustin Monke

Monke came to The Dickinson Press in July 2006 as the newspaper's sports editor and was hired as its managing editor in March 2013. During his tenure at The Press, Monke has won multiple awards for sports reporting, feature reporting, column writing, page design and photography. He was a key part of The Press winning the North Dakota Newspaper Association's General Excellence and Sweepstakes awards in 2009 and 2012, and oversaw The Press' Sweepstakes and General Excellence wins in 2014, as well as its national first-place honors for Community Leadership in the Inland Daily Press Association and contributed to the first-place Inland award for Investigative Reporting. As the newspaper's editor, he writes an occasional Sunday column, is a member of The Press' Editorial Board, contributes feature stories and breaking news, designs pages, and oversees the day-to-day operations of the newsroom and editorial staff. In his free time, he enjoys watching sports and action movies, exercises whenever his schedule allows, and spends every minute he can with his wife and son.

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