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Journey for Titans doesn't get easier

Press Photo by Royal McGregor Dickinson Trinity junior Joe Mayer, right, makes sliding catch for a touchdown in front of a Griggs-Barnes County defender on Sept. 13 at the Biesiot Activities Center.

Dickinson Trinity first-year head coach John Odermann called the middle of the team's schedule a gauntlet.

He is 100 percent correct.

After losing 59-13 to No. 1-ranked Minot Ryan on Saturday, the Titans host No. 2-ranked Bismarck St. Mary's at 8 p.m. tonight at the Biesiot Activities Center.

"We knew that both Ryan and St. Mary's were both going to be good," Odermann said. "We didn't think they were going to be Nos. 1 and 2 in the state. It's one of those things where you get them back-to-back you get those challenging games in the middle of the season, you can kind of see where you are at."

Though the Titans are winless on the season, the team has seen improvements from week to week.

Trinity's (0-4) biggest obstacle to get over right now is not letting miscues compound and pile up. Odermann said playing a perfect game is near impossible, but he wants the kids to learn one mistake doesn't have to determine the outcome.

"We still have a lot of work to do, learning to do and focusing to do," he said. "That was the big thing that came out of the Minot Ryan game. We have to make sure we are focused and not making those rookie mistakes we made all year.

"You can recover from a mistake, but it's when they become habit forming or you make one mistakes and it gets into your head then you make that second and that third. That is definitely something you have to get through to the kids that the most important play is the next play."

With only two seniors on the roster, a majority of the team is playing their first year of varsity football. For juniors Ty Nordby and Easton Brost, they said it's has been a learning process every day.

"It was definitely an eye opener to show where our strong points are and we need to pick up on," Brost said about playing No. 1-ranked Minot Ryan on Saturday. "(To begin the season) we were really young and inexperienced and now after seeing what we can do against the No. 1 team it definitely helped our practices. Our practices have been better since."

However, Nordby said it has been nice for the entire group to go through learning pains. It will not only make them a stronger team, but enhance the chemistry.

"We are improving a lot in everything," he said. "It helps a lot to have everyone is going through this together."

The thoughts going through the minds of Nordby and Brost are it can only make the team better.

This season the Titans are averaging 19.75 points per game, while allowing 48. St. Mary's (4-0) on the other hand are posting 27.25 points and only giving up 11.25.

"We know that they are pretty good and all we are going to do is go in and do our best," Brost said. "We did some good things at Minot Ryan and we just hope to do more of that against St. Mary's."

Nordby added: "It's just a good way to give us experience."

After the game against Minot Ryan, Odermann was pleased with the team's overall game plan. He said not much is going to change hosting St. Mary's.

"St. Mary's does a couple things differently than Minot Ryan, but it is still one of those things where we want to run the ball, burn clock, make sure that we are keeping it close so we can compete at the end of the game and try to win the game," Odermann said. "If things go well and we get on them, we have to make sure we keep that lead. We have to play good, discipline football. Hopefully, we get some breaks to go our way and we aren't making mistakes."