A conference sweep possible for DSU against Comets
Lost in the letdown of last week's lackluster final to Black Hills State in Spearfish, S.D., was the fact that, on the bus ride there, Jamestown beat Valley City State, which meant the North Star Athletic Association title came solely into Dickin...
Lost in the letdown of last week's lackluster final to Black Hills State in Spearfish, S.D., was the fact that, on the bus ride there, Jamestown beat Valley City State, which meant the North Star Athletic Association title came solely into Dickinson State's possession for the second year in a row.
The Blue Hawks were beaten shortly thereafter, and with already at least a share of the conference crown belonging to them before the weekend began, there was never a proper time to celebrate it.
Today against Mayville State at noon MT, in their last conference game of the season, the Blue Hawks have a chance to run the table against conference opponents this season, which would be a first time since 2008 and a first ever as a member of the NSAA.
Eight years ago, when they finished the conference season at 7-0, the Blue Hawks were members of the Dakota Athletic Conference.
One of DSU's biggest question marks coming into the season was on the offensive line. NAIA All-American Meyer Bohn had graduated, and sophomore Jeff Fisher was the most experienced returning linemen.
In the first game of the season against Montana Western, they were outmatched and did little to help out the running game, which totaled just 49 yards.
A few months later, against perhaps the best opponent the Blue Hawks will see all year in Black Hills State, the line had one of its best performances of the season.
Behind the starting unit of Fisher, Deon Paulson, Kordell Cummins, Devin Schwanz and Andrew Alt, the DSU running game was cranking all game, and in an otherwise forgettable game, was the lone Blue Hawk bright spot. Jed Fike and Kaler Ray both went over 100 yards, and Karsten Mack Jr. added 33 and a touchdown. Their 221 net yards on the ground was the fourth-highest output of the season.
"Our line really showed up. That's definitely a positive you can take out of that. We were able to run the ball pretty well," Ray said. "And looking back at the film, they really dominated the line of scrimmage. Everything else was a little bit tough, but those guys really showed up."
Amongst the field
Dickinson State may have dropped four spots to No. 16 in the national poll this week, but after an interception by Drew Johnson added to the list on Saturday, the Blue Hawks are still No. 1 in the NAIA in interceptions with 20.
This time, though, DSU has a fellow leader in Baker (Kan.), which had two picks last week against Central Methodist University.
DSU free safety Cain Boschee, who last week was in sole possession of the most interceptions in the NAIA, now has to split that distinction with Travis White of Wayland Baptist (Texas); both have eight.
Boschee, however, is still the only player in the NAIA with four interception returns for touchdowns. Winston Green of William Penn (Iowa) is the next closest with three.
As a team, Dickinson State is 16th in the nation in scoring at 35.9 points per contest, and tied for 13th in the nation with 19.6 points allowed per game.