No. 22 Carroll College blanks Dickinson State, 36-0, in season finale for both teams
HELENA, Mont. -- Chance Demarais woke up Saturday morning knowing it would be the final time he'd put on a Carroll College football uniform. He sure did make it a memorable one.
Demarais carried the ball 42 times for 219 yards in a 36-0 Frontier Conference victory over Dickinson State at Nelson Stadium, the final game of the season for both squads.
In doing so, the senior running back further etched his name into Carroll record books, leaving as the Saints' all-time career rushing leader with 4,474 yards. He came into the finale needing just 35 yards to break J.J. Lamb's mark of 4,292, and shattered it on his sixth carry of the game with a classic, 7-yard Demarais run.
Play was halted briefly as the milestone was announced over the loudspeakers, and Lamb -- a former Capital standout -- went onto the field to give the Malta, Mont., native a commemorative ball.
"It was just a special moment to be able to share it with the friends I've made over the years while playing at Carroll," the always-humble Demarais said after the game. "Mostly, it's just a credit to my offensive line and the players I've been around over the last few years."
Demarais took the ball into the end zone standing up four plays after his record-breaking run, scoring a 5-yard touchdown to give the Saints an early 13-0 lead. The 54-yard drive was all Demarais, with seven carries in the series, and Carroll continued to pound the ball down DSU' throat as the frigid afternoon wore on. The No. 22-ranked Saints finished with 257 rushing yards.
Despite the early finish -- the six-time national champions have become accustomed to playing into mid-December -- players were all smiles as the fourth quarter ticked down.
Coach Mike Van Diest offered fist pumps after sophomore Sean Blomquist returned an interception 65 yards for a score, and the Saints sideline went nuts when Goudreau -- an offensive lineman -- went in on defense and recorded a sack to end the game.
"Even though we're not going to the playoffs, I think we're as happy today as when we have gone," Van Diest said after his milestone 164th victory that gave him the most wins of any football coach in school history. "These guys are very, very close.
DSU, meanwhile, was shut out for the second time in three games. Prior to that, the Blue Hawks hadn't been blanked since 1989. They ended their first season in the Frontier with a 2-9 record and a 1-9 mark in Frontier play.
It was the worst record for any team in the 37-year career of head coach Hank Biesiot and the first time the coach has had teams with losing records in consecutive seasons. DSU was 4-6 in 2011.
In what was the story of the Blue Hawks' season, they struggled moving the football.
"We worked hard, a good group," Biesiot said. "It's just the same things that have bugged us all year.
DSU had just two first downs and one completion at halftime.
The Saints' defense was able to preserve the shutout in the second half, the first time they've kept an opponent off the scoreboard this season. Carroll allowed just 109 yards of total offense, and came up with a pair of timely interceptions.
On the first play after the Blue Hawks recovered a Carroll fumble, Chance Smith picked off DSU starter Dave Velasquez -- seeing his first action since getting hurt on Sept. 29 in the first meeting with Carroll in Dickinson -- to set up a six-play, 70-yard scoring drive. Then Blomquist intercepted DSU freshman quarterback Thad Lane late in the game and took it to the house.
"We just didn't convert," Biesiot said. "At times, we ran the ball decently, but when you only run 40 plays in the game, you aren't going to win."
Presley Straub had 73 yards on 19 carries to lead the Blue Hawks. Velasquez and Lane each threw for 14 yards and combined to complete 4 of 18 passes. Each had a pick.
The Saints (7-4 overall, 7-3 Frontier) led 23-0 at the break after touchdown passes from Dakota Stonehouse to Anthony Clarke and Jared Hunt, along with a 23-yard field goal from Scott Lyons.
Stonehouse, a junior, completed 7 of 15 passes for 123 yards and three touchdowns.
Demarais is unsure of what he'll do next, but the reigning NAIA player of the year who has been hampered by a knee injury this season was pleased he could finish out his career on a high note.
Demarais said he will look back and reflect on the relationships he's formed on the football team and the memories he made with his brothers.
"It's definitely a mix of emotions," he said. "I'm sure over the next couple of days I'll process them a little better. As of now, I'm just happy that I got to play in a football game, had a good time, and the sun came out."
DSU 0 0 0 0 -- 0
Carroll 13 10 6 7 -- 36
CC-Anthony Clarke 15 pass from Dakota Stonehouse (Scott Lyons kick blocked), 8:15
CC-Chance Demarais 5 run (Lyons kick), 3:22
CC-Lyons 23 field goal, 14:51
CC-Jared Hunt 24 pass from Stonehouse (Lyons kick), 10:59
CC-Jared Mayernik 18 pass from Stonehouse (Lyons kick blocked), 5:29
CC-Sean Blomquist 65 interception return (Lyons kick), 6:25
TEAM STATISTICS DSU CC
First downs 5 18
Rushes-yards 28-81 56-257
Passing yards 28 123
Comp.-Att.-Int. 4-18-2 7-16-0
Total yards 109 380
Fumbles-lost 1-1 2-1
Penalties-yards 2-25 3-30
RUSHING: DSU, Presley Straub 19-73, Dave Velasquez 3-(minus-8), Matt Harkless 4-16, Kyle Stanton 1-4, Thad Lane 1-(minus-4); CC, Chance Demarais 42-219, Dakota Stonehouse 7-17, Dustin Rinker 7-21.
PASSING: DSU, Velasquez 2-15-1-12, Lane 2-3-1-16; CC, Stonehouse 8-15-123, Mac Roche 0-1-0.
RECEIVING: DSU, Brock Overbo 1-15, Tanner Leak 1-10, Cody Clausen 1-2, Straub 1-1; CC, Dylan Simac 2-45, Jared Hunt 1-24, Anthony Clarke 2-22, Jared Mayernik 1-18, Demarais 1-11, Anthony Hogan 1-3.