Dickinson High football prepares for athletic Century QB
The Dickinson High football team is coming off a strong second-half showing last week at home against Bismarck Legacy, but the Midgets are still in search of their first victory of the season.
The team's first win may come as soon as it manages to put together four complete quarters, head coach John Tuchscherer said.
"We've had some flashes and some signs of being a good team, but we haven't been able to put it all together for one game," he said.
The Midgets' next chance to do that comes Friday at Bismarck Century (2-1), which enters ranked No. 3 in the state. Kickoff is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. CT.
Dickinson (0-3) trailed the Sabers 30-0 at halftime last week, but the second half saw improved play on the defensive side of the ball and a more effective rushing attack. Tuchscherer hopes to bottle that success and carry it forward.
"It was nice for our defense to step up and play well. It was nice for our offense to sustain some drives, put some points on the board, most importantly run the ball," he said. "I think some of the things we got going on Friday in the second half can help us continue to improve throughout the year.
"We didn't change anything from the first half to the second half. We just challenged the kids and they came out and responded. The difference in their physicality between the first and second halves is something that really stood out to me."
Rushing touchdowns from Conner Hoenke and Martin Lopez helped cut into Legacy's lead in the second half. It was a stark difference from the first half that saw most running plays blown up at the line or in the backfield.
Dickinson senior defensive end Krew Mathern was credited with six tackles and 3.5 sacks against Legacy, helping the Midgets disrupt the Sabers offense and flip the field. A similar showing from him and the rest of the defense could go a long way toward topping the Patriots, who lost their season opener 16-14 to West Fargo Sheyenne.
"Krew is our guy that is going to get pressure on the quarterback, but teams are going to start game planning for that, so we need other guys on our defensive front to create some pressure on quarterbacks," Tuchscherer said. "Or as linebackers, if we're sending blitzes, we have to be there. I think through the first three games, coach (Dave) Michaelson has called some really good blitzes, and we're there, but we're just not making plays. We have to finish those plays off on Friday night if we're going to have a chance."
Century quarterback Jakob Olson, who is now a senior, burned the Dickinson secondary for 246 yards and three touchdowns last season, finishing 12-of-16 passing with no interceptions.
The Patriots are notorious for finding new threats at skill positions once others graduate. Dickinson must make sure that Olson doesn't get the chance to find his weapons.
"Everything they do offensively goes through him," Tuchscherer said. "He throws the ball well, he runs the ball well. They like to run some play-action and get him out of the pocket and let him use his athleticism, so he's going to be a big key for us. We have to play assignment football, and if we're able to keep him in the pocket, we have a better chance."