Minot tops Dickinson to earn playoff berth
The Minot High football team needed a win to be in, and the Magicians wasted no time in their pursuit of a playoff berth.
Minot opened up a 21-0 lead in the first quarter against Dickinson High on Thursday, eventually claiming a 41-7 victory at the Biesiot Activities Center.
"We haven't had the regular season we would want, but all that matters is the playoffs," Minot senior receiver Peyton Lamoureux said. "You've just got to make it, and anyone can win."
A week after collecting their first win of the season at Williston, the Midgets were tested quite a bit more against the Magicians. Dickinson turned the ball over four times (three fumbles, one interception) in the first half alone, allowing Minot to take a comfortable 34-0 lead at halftime.
"We put ourselves in situations that we couldn't overcome," Dickinson head coach John Tuchscherer said. "We're fumbling the ball inside our own 20, one fumble that led directly to points. We just shot ourselves in the foot a lot."
Minot improves to 5-3 overall with a 4-2 mark in the West Region. Dickinson drops to 1-7 and 1-4 in the region, effectively out of the playoff picture in Class AAA.
Minot marched 66 yards in nine plays on the opening drive of the game, a stretch capped by a 1-yard carry from senior quarterback Creighton Rudolph. Before the first quarter was over, seniors Adrian Davis-Aguilar and Dylan Danielson added scoring runs of 54 and 1 yards, respectively.
"Especially in the first half, we weren't getting off of blocks," Tuchscherer said. "They had things blocked up well, and they have some running backs that are very quick and they got some seams and had some gaps to run through."
Rudolph found Lamoureaux for a 39-yard score midway through the second quarter, and senior lineman Elijah Huff returned a fumble 10 yards for another touchdown, giving Minot a 34-0 lead at the break.
"We created some short fields, we have some athletes that can create some explosive plays, and those are momentum-changers," said Minot head coach Barry Holmen, who picked up his 100th career victory. "We challenged our guys to be workmanlike tonight, and I thought we played pretty well."
The second half saw a running clock, but Davis-Aguilar found enough time to rip off another 25-yard run for a touchdown, accounting for the only points of the third quarter. He finished the contest with 98 yards on just four carries.
Minot's offense proved to be pretty balanced — 189 on the ground and 176 through the air via Rudolph, who was 10-of-16 passing. Rudolph's favorite target was Lamoureux, who caught six balls for 107 yards.
"We thought if we got the ball going sideways we'd be good, and up the middle is good too," Lamoureux said. "Our offensive line is really good, and that made a big difference for us."
Dickinson finally got on the board in the fourth quarter as senior quarterback Antonio Nunez found senior tight end Krew Mathern for a 36-yard score.
Nunez finished 10-of-20 passing for 117 yards and an interception thrown to Kyler Stenberg. Mathern caught three passes for 71 yards, and junior running back Martin Lopez carried 17 times for 107 yards, but he lost two fumbles.
Dickinson showed glimpses of a promising offense, but it paled in comparison to what the Magicians brought to town.
"When we went through film, they have some pretty basic plays — counter, toss, screen plays — so we knew that coming in, but we just couldn't stop them right away," said Mathern, who added four tackles and a sack from his defensive end spot.
Minot concludes its regular season on Wednesday, Oct. 18 at home against Grand Forks Red River. Dickinson will finish up at home that same evening against Bismarck High.
"I'm hoping we all go our hardest and play our hardest for the last game of the season," Mathern said.
Minot 41, Dickinson 7
MHS 21 13 7 0 — 41
DHS 0 0 0 7 — 7
MHS — Creighton Rudolph 1 rush (Kyler Stenberg kick), 8:23
MHS — Adrian Davis-Aguilar 54 rush (Stenberg kick), 4:12
MHS — Dylan Danielson 1 rush (Stenberg kick), 1:43
MHS — Peyton Lamoureux 39 pass from Rudolph (Stenberg kick no good), 5:50
MHS — Elijah Huff 10 fumble return (Stenberg kick), 3:55
MHS — Davis-Aguilar 25 rush (Stenberg kick), 5:15
DHS — Krew Mathern 36 pass from Antonio Nunez (Nagi Williams kick), 8:22
RUSHING: MHS, Adrian Davis-Aguilar 4-98 2 TDs, Brett Davis 7-57, Dylan Danielson 5-20 1 TD. DHS, Martin Lopez 17-107, Conner Hoenke 2-30.
PASSING: MHS, Creighton Rudolph 10-16-0 176 yards, 1 TD. DHS, Antonio Nunez 10-20-1 117 yards, 1 TD.
RECEIVING: MHS, Peyton Lamoureux 6-107 1 TD, Cade Tate 2-25, Kyler Stenberg 1-27, Danielson 1-17. DHS, Krew Mathern 3-71, Morgan Wardner 3-29, Hoenke 3-9, Tristan Pelton 1-8.
INTERCEPTIONS: MHS, Stenberg 1. DHS, Adam Bokanga 1.