Offensive onslaught leads Blue Hawks to victory over Comets
For the second straight year, the Dickinson State football team defeated every conference opponent it faced.
“We were obviously very pleased. We got off to a good start on both sides of the ball,” Dickinson State head coach Pete Stanton said. “We jumped out early in that first quarter and made some big plays. We were sharp. Played as good a first half as we could have. … We played a pretty perfect first half.”
The Blue Hawks scored 56 points in their “perfect” first half.
Junior running back Deonte Dixon score the first two touchdowns of the game with the first coming off a 24-yard pass from Hayden Gibson and the second off a 1-yard rush.
Sophomore running back Karsten Mack Jr. ran nine yards for the third touchdown of the day and totaled just 21 yards over four carries.
“We wanted to make sure we held out Karsten a bit,” Stanton said. “He’s going to get a lot of carries in the playoffs. Deonte is a very solid back as well so we wanted to make sure we got him involved. I thought Hayden made some really good reads and throws. He was just real sharp.”
Gibson threw four yards to freshman receiver Jaret Lee, 38 yards to senior receiver Dylan Skabo and 56 yards to junior receiver Seth Moerkerke, all in the second quarter.
Gibson completed 11 of his 14 pass attempts and threw 194 yards on the day.
The Blue Hawks (9-1, 8-0 NSAA) scored twice in the final minute of the first half. First, freshman Nick Miller rushed five yards into the endzone with 56 seconds remaining. Just 36 seconds later, sophomore defensive back Dillon Reiner intercepted a pass from Mayville State quarterback Obie Wilder and ran 40 yards down the field.
Dickinson State led 56-0 at the half.
The Comets (0-11, 0-8 NSAA) couldn’t get anything going in the first half, accruing 27 offensive yards.
“I thought we did a great job up front penetrating and getting in the backfield “senior outside linebacker Thomas Sease said. “The disruption we had up front really set the tempo for us and it rolled from there.”
The Dickinson State defense hit hard and consistently, allowing just 189 yards.
Sease had five tackles on the day and earned the new DSU record for career tackles with 307 over four years
“It feels okay. I’m just more happy as a team we got the win,” Sease said. “We took a lot of positive steps forward offensively and defensively and that’s just something that’s good to see going into the playoffs.”
The Blue Hawks looked completely different in the second half, with second and third-string players taking over.
Sophomores Kooper Ray and Sam Footh each saw time at quarterback. Footh primarily ran the ball, but Ray completed one pass to Nick Kottre who ran in the only Blue Hawk touchdown of the third quarter.
“I don’t think we dropped off. Both Kooper and Sam came in and did a good job at quarterback,” Stanton said. “I thought our backup offensive lineman came in and blocked well. I don’t think we dropped off at backs and receivers. We really kept the pedal on and played hard on both sides of the ball all the way through. It was nice to get everyone in uniform a lot of plays.”
Freshman running back Derek Tabor, who hails from Killdeer, had 67 yards on the day over six carries and scored the final touchdown for the Blue Hawks with 9:34 left to play.
Just a few plays earlier, Tabor was one yard away from the end zone, but came back to score.
“The offensive line created a nice hole for me and I didn’t really get touched until I got to the one yard line there,” Tabor said. “We got a holding call and then we punched it in there at the end and it felt pretty good to get my first touchdown.”
Quarterback Nickolas Nelson found junior tight end Hunter McCall for the only Mayville State touchdown with 5:13 remaining in the game.
The only downfall for the Blue Hawks was the loss of senior wide receiver Seth Ewoniuk. Ewoniuk reinjured his left shoulder in the opening quarter after being hit by a Comets player who was ejected immediately.
“Everybody feels horrible for Seth,” Stanton said. “He’s been a huge part of our program. A man of character and one of our leaders and captains. My gut just hurts for him today.”
Dickinson State , Mayville State
DSU 21 35 7 7 — 70
MSU 0 0 0 7 — 7
DSU — Deonte Dixon 24 pass from Hayden Gibson (Cody Johnson kick), 13:09
DSU — Dixon 1 rush (Johnson kick), 6:57
DSU — Karsten Mack Jr. 9 rush (Johnson kick), 3:11
DSU — Jaret Lee 4 pass from Gibson (Johnson kick), 12:40
DSU — Dylan Skabo 38 pass from Gibson (Johnson kick), 9:51
DSU — Seth Moerkerke 56 pass from Gibson (Johnson kick), 6:01
DSU — Nick Miller 5 rush (Johnson kick), 0:56
DSU — Dillon Reiner 40 interception return (Johnson kick), 0:20
DSU — Nick Kottre 59 pass from Kooper Ray (Hunter Johnson kick), 10:22
DSU — Derek Tabor 11 rush (Hunter Johnson kick), 9:34
MSU — Hunter McCall 1 pass from Nickolas Nelson (Jonathan Rodriguez kick), 5:13
TEAM STATISTICS DSU MSU
First downs 22 15
Rushes-yards 38-263 46-104
Passing yards 253 85
Comp.-Att.-Int. 12-16-0 9-29-1
Total yards 516 189
Fumbles-lost 1-1 2-1
Penalties-yards 5-60 4-45
Punts-Avg. 1-34 6-24
RUSHING: DSU, Deonte Dixon 8-86, Nick Miller 12-73, Derek Tabor 6-67, Karsten Mack 4-21, Sam Footh 3-10, Tyger Frye 1-9. MSU, Dontaye Rivera 9-33, Obie Wilder 11-30, Jason Smith 3-27.
PASSING: DSU, Hayden Gibson 11-14-0 194 yards, Kooper Ray 1-2-0 59 yards. MSU, Nickolas Nelson 8-23-0 83 yards, Preston Hamlette 1-1-0 2 yards, Obie Wilder 0-4-1.
RECEIVING: DSU, Dylan Skabo 3-67, Nick Kottre 1-59, Seth Moerkerke 1-56, Deonte Dixon 1-24, Seth Ewoniuk 1-21, Karsten Mack 1-9, Randy Ivey 1-6, Tyger Frye 1-6, Jaret Lee 1-4, Nick Miller 1-1.. MSU, Joshua Portillo 2-37, Hunter McCall 4-30, Jacob Lawrence 1-8.
TACKLES: DSU, Jason Thibault 5-2, Elijah Staton 4-3, Rourke McPeters 3-1, Quaid Larsen 3-0, Thomas Sease 2-3, Zeb Doe 2-3. MSU, Skyler Berry 4-0, Austin Robb 3-2, Douglas Koepplin 3-1.
INTERCEPTIONS: DSU, Dillon Reiner.