Jamestown tops DHS: Blue Jays use solid defense to edge Midgets for 1st playoff trip since 2008
Everybody at the Biesiot Activities Center knew the final prize.
The fourth and final spot in the Class 3A playoffs.
Dickinson High and Jamestown didn't make it easy on themselves, as each committed multiple turnovers, but the Blue Jays edged a 17-13 win over the Midgets on Saturday.
"There were mistakes on both sides of this game," Jamestown head coach Tim Fletcher said. "It was going to be the team that could overcome that adversity and we did at the end."
Dickinson head coach John Tuchscherer added: "It's kind how the whole season went for us. When we were playing good, we weren't making mistakes and we were making things happen by causing turnovers. We just made too many mistakes again. We turned the ball over three or four times in the first half and they capitalized on them. I'm proud of the way our guys fought."
The two teams combined for 10 turnovers. Dickinson (4-4, 1-4 West Region) and Jamestown each committed five turnovers.
Dickinson's defying turnover, which gave the Blue Jays the lead for good was a Caleb Ellingson 35-yard fumble recovery for a touchdown. After Ellingson's fumble recovery, Jamestown grabbed a 17-10 lead at halftime and never let go.
"The message at halftime was to finish and play all four quarters," Fletcher said. "We've been in some tight games at halftime this year."
Jamestown (5-3, 3-3 West Region) scored its opening touchdown with a 33-yard TD strike through the air from Ross Monson to Joey Gebhardt. The TD strike tied the game at 10-10 with 3 minutes, 25 seconds left in the first half. Monson, who was picked off by Dickinson junior cornerback Ben Twist twice in the first half, finished 7 of 17 for 89 yards and one TD.
"Anytime you get a touchdown is helps motivated a team and give them a spark of energy," Gebhardt said.
The Midgets scored their only TD on a 1-yard run by Andrew Heckaman. The junior quarterback went 6 of 20 for 43 yards and threw two interceptions to Jamestown's Eathan Gumke.
"We had way too many turnovers on my part and we dropped the ball a lot," Heckaman said. "I made a lot of bad decisions and threw the ball when I shouldn't have."
Jamestown's defense held the Midgets in check throughout a majority of the game. Dickinson was 0 of 14 on third-down conversions and 2 of 6 on fourth down.
Dickinson finished with 120 yards on 60 plays, while Jamestown had 168 yards on 52 plays. The Midgets' senior running back Michael Cherwinksi supplied 104 rushing yards, while the Blue Jays had a balanced offensive attack with 89 yards passing and 79 running.
The Midgets missed multiple fourth and goal opportunities. Dickinson junior kicker Tony Kostelecky connected from 37 and 23 yards out didn't attempt a field on the fourth and goal attempts.
"When we got down there, we felt that we would do some things," Tuchscherer said. "We had Tony a couple opportunities and he did a good job. Early in the second half, we went for once already and we got it, so I thought we could do it again. It just didn't turn out our way."
Not only did the Blue Jays ensure a spot in the playoffs, but this is their first postseason trip since 2008. Gebhardt said it's because of the work during the offseason.
"Everyone has put in the work during the offseason and everything they need to be doing to make themselves better," he said. "It's everyone."
Though the loss means Dickinson is eliminated from the playoffs, the team has one final home game left against Williston at 7 p.m. Friday at the BAC. Dickinson can be one of few Class 3A teams to end its season on a win.
"That's going to be the message this week," Tuchscherer said. "Not a lot of teams get to end their season with a victory and we are going to get a chance to do that. Hopefully send off those seniors the right way. I know right now they are hurting. I understand it. We are going to come back next week and see what the guys are made of. It would be really easy to kind of turn it in now. We'll see if our guys come back and work hard. Knowing the group of guys they are. They will come back and be ready to work on Monday."
Heckaman added: "We are going to take this game as a learning experience, come back next week and play hard."
Jamestown 3 14 0 0 -- 17
Dickinson 0 10 3 0 -- 13
J-Ben Hanson 36 FG
D-Andrew Heckaman 1 run (Tony Kostelecky kick), 9:21
D-Kostelecky 37 FG, 7:48
J-Ross Monson 33 pass to Joey Gebhart (Hanson kick), 3:25
J-Caleb Ellingson 35 fumble recovery (Hanson kick), 2:57
D-Kostelecky 23 FG, 6:30
RUSHING: J, Taylor Orr 17-75, Caleb Ellingson 2-6, TEAM 2-5, Scott Nelson 4-1, Eathan Gumke 3-0, Kyle Anderson 1-0, Ross Monson 6-(minus 8). D, Michael Cherwinski 29-104, Dylan Skabo 2-8, Jace Dukart 2-(minus 9), Andrew Heckaman 7-(minus 26).
PASSING: J, Monson 7-17-2, 89. D, Heckaman 6-20-2, 43.
RECEIVING: J, Tyler Ukestad 3-58, Joey Gebhardt 1-33, Logan Anderson 1-5, Orr 1-2, Andrew Hornung 1-(minus 9). D, Carter Blackwell 3-19, Judson Mork 1-12, Cherwinski 1-8, Skabo 1-4.