Hawks squander scoring opportunities
JAMESTOWN -- It could have been a classic trap game. No. 13-ranked Jamestown College was coming off a tough loss, with the prospect of a showdown with conference-leading Minot State looming in the distance. But the Jimmies took care of business o...
JAMESTOWN -- It could have been a classic trap game.
No. 13-ranked Jamestown College was coming off a tough loss, with the prospect of a showdown with conference-leading Minot State looming in the distance.
But the Jimmies took care of business on Saturday, striking quickly to build a big early lead and going on to post a 34-14 victory over Dickinson State at Rollie Greeno Field.
"The key was not scoring when we had our chances," Blue Hawks coach Hank Biesiot said. "Our failure to score when we were peeking into the end zone ... three or four times we were down there and didn't get any points."
Now the Jimmies (8-1, 5-1 DAC) travel to Minot State in the regular-season finale with a shot at the conference title. Jamestown beat the Beavers 28-16 in a nonconference game in September.
"We came in knowing this was a playoff game," senior linebacker Nick Schuetz said. "It was a win or lose situation. If we lose, we're done. We knew we had to win out."
Schuetz helped stake the Jimmies to a 20-0 first-quarter lead by picking off a Caleb Midura screen pass and running it back for 35 yards and a touchdown.
Josh Kittell threw two early touchdown passes and Schuetz's defensive score put the Jimmies on top early and helped erase the frustration from the previous week's loss.
"I thought we had a sense of urgency all week," Jimmies coach Tom Dosch said. "I thought we had a great week of practice. We were doing something we hadn't done all year, getting ready for a game coming off a loss.
"We came out and played well early. There was no sense of losing last week affecting us."
The Jimmies took the lead on their second possession, capping a 13-play, 63-yard drive with a 2-yard TD pass from Kittell to fullback Andrew Klose. Kittell completed 16 of 30 passes for 107 yards, distributing the ball to seven different receivers and adding 40 yards rushing of his own.
Jamestown College's opportunistic defense struck again three minutes later as Schuetz recorded the team's seventh interception return touchdown of the season.
"I read the screen," Schuetz said. "The defensive line got some pressure on the quarterback, he made a bad throw and I just happened to be there."
Jamestown College made it 20-0 late in the first quarter on a big-strike play turned in by Zack Bolger and Kittell.
On third-and-7 from the JC 8-yard line, Kittell rolled out, bought enough time for Bolger to break free be-hind the DSU secondary and delivered the ball on the money to Bolger, who sprinted to the end zone for a 92-yard TD pass.
The sophomore from Casper, Wyo., delivered his 12th touchdown of the season.
Dickinson State got back in the game thanks to a pair of big breaks.
The Blue Hawks blocked a Tanner Kelting punt, with the ball rolling out of bounds at the Jimmies 1-yard line. One play later, Phillip Leck scored on a QB sneak to get DSU on the board.
The Jimmies answered late in the half on a Mark Klug 5-yard TD run to make it 27-7.
But a twice-deflected Hail Mary pass found its way into the hands of Max Pearson for a 49-yard TD pass with 3 seconds left in the half to pull Dickinson State within 27-14 at the half.
"It was too bad because I thought we had taken control of the game and then we gave them the momentum at the end of the half," Dosch said.
The Jimmies turned things over to their defense and the running game in the second half.
Jamestown College held the Blue Hawks scoreless over the final 30 minutes, twice stopping DSU inside the red zone on fourth-down attempts.
"We had some chances to make it close," Biesiot said. "It's very frustrating. We've had a number of those games this year. And unfortunately, a lot of times we've come out on the short end.
It was another tough loss for the Blue Hawks (2-7, 2-4 DAC).
"Sometimes we've not only shot a toe off, we've shot a whole foot off," Biesot said.
The Jimmies rushed for 149 yards and totaled 356 yards total offense. Klug carried much of the load in the second half.
"That was a big part of the running game," said Klug, a Dickinson Trinity graduate, who credited the Jimmies' linemen and fullbacks. "It makes it easier on me when they're opening up those holes."
Defensively, the Jimmies frustrated the Blue Hawks all day, picking off two passes, recording one sack and five tackles behind the line of scrimmage.