The 2003 Dickinson State football team accomplished what many other Blue Hawk teams had failed to do in the past, and it was against a rather unlikely opponent.
The Blue Hawks won a playoff game for the first time in 12 years when they faced Lambuth from Tennessee.
Dickinson State had home field advantage since the game was played at Whitney Field on the Dickinson State campus, but the weather may have been even more advantageous for the Blue Hawks as opposed to the Eagles from a warmer climate in the South.
It was a frigid day, and the freezing temperatures made it almost impossible to pass the ball.
The ground and pound low scoring affair saw the Blue Hawks come away victorious by a score of 12-6.
Going back to the regular season, the 2003 team went 10-0 marking the first time the Blue Hawks went undefeated until playoff time since 1995.
They won the Dakota Athletic Conference outright and had 10 all-conference players, in addition to Coly Rush and Aaron Johansen who were NAIA All-Americans for their respective seasons.
The team as a whole was inducted into the Blue Hawk Hall of Fame in 2014.
The season opened with their only non-conference game of the year. Dickinson State handled Montana State-Northern by a score of 31-20.
In conference action against Mayville State, the Blue Hawks cruised to a 30-6 victory and followed by demolishing Dakota State in a 52-3 win to get to 3-0.
Next up, Mary posed a slight threat to Dickinson State, but the Blue Hawks defeated them 31-21.
Two more lopsided victories over Black Hills State, 32-14, and Valley City State, 20-7, put them in the driver's seat in the Dakota Athletic Conference.
After starting 6-0 relatively unchallenged, the Blue Hawks had their two toughest games of the regular season coming up next.
Rival Minot State took Dickinson State down to the wire, but the Blue Hawks prevailed 31-27.
Si Tanka-Huron tried to challenge the conference leader for the second week in a row, but once again Dickinson State came out on top this time by a score of 14-10.
The regular season concluded with two thumpings of Jamestown, 56-20, and South Dakota Mines, 35-7.
The unblemished regular season earned the Blue Hawks the No. 3 seed in the NAIA playoffs.
After the playoff victory versus Lambuth, Northwestern Oklahoma State traveled to Dickinson.
The No. 6 seeded Rangers were flying high after dismantling Tabor (Kansas) in the first round.
Patrick Crayton, a future NFL wideout, fumbled the ball five times on the day for Northwestern Oklahoma State, but luckily the Rangers recovered the ball each time.
Dickinson State hung tight, but their season ended with a 11-1 record as they fell 24-17 to the Rangers.
Northwestern Oklahoma State went on to make the NAIA national championship game where they fell to Carroll (Montana).