DHS stuffs GFC: Midgets blank Knights for 2nd straight shut out
Dylan Skabo spent the past two seasons playing quarterback in a run-oriented offense.
The speedy and athletic Dickinson High senior fits in well as a slot receiver in the spread.
Skabo had 93 yards receiving, two of his four catches went for touchdowns and he added an untouched 86-yard punt return for another score while the Midgets' defense put up its second shutout in as many games with a 35-0 homecoming victory over Grand Forks Central on Friday night at the Biesiot Activities Center.
"We have so many skilled players that are fast and are able to play on a varsity field that we have to play spread to get them all on the field," Skabo said.
That skill was apparent from the outset as No. 5-ranked Dickinson's offense didn't waste a minute getting in the end zone.
Senior running back Michael Cherwinski broke through up the middle for a 64-yard touchdown on the Midgets' second offensive play. It happened after junior quarterback Andrew Heckaman took the first play 72 yards to paydirt on a read-option touchdown run, only to have it called back by penalties for a gain of just six yards.
"I think we just carried that start through the rest of the game," Skabo said.
Dickinson's offense, though not without its missteps, was tough to contain. Its defense did more than enough to stifle the Knights.
Senior Mitchell Mehrer had back-to-back stellar defensive plays to set up the Midgets' second touchdown. The 6-foot-1, 205-pound defensive lineman assisted senior Tanner Hopfauf on a sack of Central junior quarterback Jake Mussman and recovered a fumbled snap on the next play.
Two plays later, Heckaman found Skabo for a 12-yard touchdown pass. The two hooked up again on a 45-yard touchdown on third-and-12 in the final minutes of the second quarter to put Dickinson up 21-0 at halftime.
The Midgets (2-0) scored another touchdown off a turnover early in the third quarter.
"Defensively, we got after them," said Mehrer, who led Dickinson with eight tackles and forced another fumble. "We came with a lot of intensity."
Central senior running back Blake Brandon fumbled on a dive right and junior Preston Theurer covered the ball at the 12-yard line, just before it went out of bounds. Three plays later, Heckaman punched in a 1-yard touchdown run. He was 6 of 13 for 114 yards passing and rushed for 19 yards.
"Defensively, our guys have showed up two straight games," said Dickinson first-year head coach John Tuchscherer, whose team beat Valley City 48-0 last week. "They're flying around, making plays and working good as a unit."
The Midgets made a goal-line stand early in the fourth quarter with a mix of starters and backups on the field.
Mussman drove Central 65 yards to the Dickinson 1-yard line before getting backed up to the 9, where two passes fell incomplete.
The Knights (0-2) were limited to 165 total yards -- much of which came in the second half -- and lost 96 yards on 10 penalties.
"Big plays kind of hurt us and penalties, we kind of shot ourselves in the foot there also," Central head coach Bill Lorenz said. "You can't give 'em that many yards with penalties."
Next week, Dickinson faces its toughest test of the year -- No. 2-ranked Bismarck Century on the road at the Bismarck Community Bowl. Tuchscherer said there is quite a bit to clean up before then, including penalties and mistimed passing plays.
"We've made some mistakes and we'll get those shored up this week," Tuchscherer said. "Next week, we're going to be in for a dogfight."
GFC 0 0 0 0 -- 0
Home 7 14 14 0 -- 35
D-Michael Cherwinski 64 run (Tony Kostelecky kick), 9:28
D-Dylan Skabo 12 pass from Andrew Heckaman (Kostelecky kick), 11:57.
D-Skabo 45 pass from Heckaman (Kostelecky kick), 1:10.
D--Heckaman 1 run (Kostelecky kick), 9:48.
D--Skabo 86 punt return (Kostelecky kick), 3:37.
RUSHING: GFC, Blake Brandon 14-59, Jake Mussman 13-18, Kaleb Binstock 11-17, Jesus Flores 5-3, Bryce Brandon 1-2, Ryan Erickson 1-(minus-1). D, Michael Cherwinski 10-86, Luke Rnovig 4-30, Heckaman 6-19, Michael McChesney 3-16, Aanen Moody 2-12, William Schwindt 3-1, TEAM 1-0, Tate Martel 2-(minus-1).
PASSING: GFC, Jake Mussman 3-13-1 67. D, 6-13-0 114.
RECEIVING: GFC, Wyat Koppang 2-54, Joe Martin 1-13. D, Dylan Skabo 4-93, Judson Mork 1-17, Ben Twist 1-4.