Back in the hunt

RAPID CITY, S.D. -- The streak continues. Dickinson State beat South Dakota Mines for the 25th straight time Saturday at O'Harra Stadium. The No. 13-ranked Blue Hawks reeled off 14 unanswered points in the final 16 minutes to defeat the No. 12-ra...

Photo by Aaron Rosenblatt/Rapid City Journal Dickinson State freshman running back Brennan Haughian, middle, is crunched by South Dakota Mines senior safety Tom Lunzman, top, and senior cornerback Dustin Meneley during Saturday afternoon's Dakota Athletic Conference football game at O'Harra Stadium in Rapid City, S.D. The Blue Hawks won 24-14 to keep their DAC championship hopes alive.
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RAPID CITY, S.D. -- The streak continues.

Dickinson State beat South Dakota Mines for the 25th straight time Saturday at O'Harra Stadium.

The No. 13-ranked Blue Hawks reeled off 14 unanswered points in the final 16 minutes to defeat the No. 12-ranked Hardrockers 24-14 and create a four-team logjam at the top of the Dakota Athletic Conference standings.

"We kind of let ourselves down last week," DSU outside linebacker Jerel Hafner said. "We were really looking forward to coming in here and getting back on track."

The Blue Hawks (7-1, 5-1 DAC) stymied the Hardrockers' offense most of the day, allowing only one offensive touchdown -- a disputed one at that -- on a 53-yard Hail Mary pass with 2.1 seconds left in the first half. Mines gained 257 yards on 64 plays in a game that was certainly a defensive struggle.


"It was a very good effort on defense," DSU coach Hank Biesiot said, "the kind we had to have."

Mines tailback Jamie Dale rushed for 110 yards on 17 carries despite having to leave the game on a couple of occasions with a tender left ankle.

DSU had 263 total yards on 69 plays.

"We really concentrated on their running backs," Hafner said. "We knew coming in that they had some good running backs so we wanted to stop them. Once we did that, we started to concentrate on the pass and shut that down."

The Mines offense finally got something going with the score 10-2 in DSU's favor and quarterback Nick Russell eluding pressure to buy some time.

Russell stepped up in the pocket and heaved a throw into the end zone that Mines' Trevor Roberts and DSU's Sean Russell both seemed to possess as they tumbled to the ground. DSU's Russell rolled up off the ground with the ball in his hands, but the officials ruled that Roberts had enough possession for long enough to get the touchdown.

Mines then got a school-record tying 52-yard field goal and another 45-yard field goal from Andy Smith in the third quarter to take a 14-10 lead before DSU took control of the game.

The Blue Hawks got a huge fourth-down conversion when quarterback Cody Holland found tight end Derek Pauley for 24 yards to take the ball down to the Mines 6-yard line.


"I thought he did a good job of running the show,"

Holland ran twice from there to score on a 2-yard plunge and give the Hawks a 17-14 lead. The teams each exchanged a couple of three-and-out possessions after DSU took the lead, before a 0-yard punt from Mines gave DSU the ball at the Hardrocker 42-yard line.

"We gave them some great field position with a poor punt," Mines head coach Dan Kratzer said, "and they made a play."

The Blue Hawks capitalized by running a misdirection screen to wide receiver Jimmy Smith, who took the pass 42 yards down the left sideline for the game-clinching touchdown.

The win moves the Blue Hawks back into a first-place tie atop the DAC with Mines, Black Hills State and Minot State. The Beavers knocked off Black Hills State 17-14 in Spearfish, S.D., on Saturday.

DSU travels to Minot State and Mines hosts Black Hills State next weekend in a pair of games that will go a long way in determining the DAC champion.

"It sounds simplistic, but it's nice to go into the last Saturday in October still in the hunt for first place," Biesiot said.

DSU 0 10 7 7 -- 24


SDM 0 8 6 0 -- 14

First quarter

No scoring.

Second quarter

SDM-Safety, 14:56.

DSU-Tury Escobedo 32 FG.

DSU-Brennan Haughian 1 run (Tury Escobedo), 1:11.

SDM-Trevor Roberts 53 pass from Nick Russell (pass failed), :02.

Third quarter

SDM-Andy Smith 52 FG, 9:08

SDM-Smith 45 FG, 4:05

DSU-Cody Holland 2 run (Escobedo kick), 1:04.

Fourth quarter

DSU-Jimmy Smith 42 pass from Holland (Escobedo kick), 7:21.


First downs 13 13

Rushes-yards 46-81 35-73

Passing yards 182 184

Comp.-Att.-Int. 10-23-1 10-29-1

Total yards 263 257

Fumbles-lost 2-0 1-1

Penalties-yards 1-13 4-42

Punts-Avg. 6-42.2 9-31.2


RUSHING: DSU, Haughian 21-53, Jeremy Herr 10-18, Rashad Williams 3-17, Tyler Grosz 4-7, Derek Pauley 1-8, Holland 6-(minus-22). SDM, Jamie Dale 17-110, Lukas VanLaecken 3-7, Everett Brill 2-4, Dustin Meneley 12, Tyler Barth 1-1, Kolten Jelden 1-0, Anthony Renteria 2-(minus-1), Russell 8-(minus-50).

PASSING: DSU, Holland 10-23-1 182. SDM, Russell 10-29-1 184.

RECEIVING: DSU, Smith 2-50, Tanner Leak 2-38, Pauley 2-33, Presley Straub 2-23, Haughian 1-23, Derion Williams 1-15. SDM, Tony Ostheimer 4-63, Roberts 2-67, Barth 2-40, Jonathon Tristao 1-8, Dale 1-6.

The Dickinson Press Sports Editor Dustin Monke contributed to this story.

Related Topics: BLUE HAWKS
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