Blue Hawks ready for Vikings
Last week's goal-line stand has defined the Dickinson State football team's season. The defense's relentless blocking earned the Blue Hawks their first win -- 27-23 -- over Waldorf College (Iowa) and gave the team a much-needed boost in confidenc...
Last week’s goal-line stand has defined the Dickinson State football team’s season.
The defense’s relentless blocking earned the Blue Hawks their first win - 27-23 - over Waldorf College (Iowa) and gave the team a much-needed boost in confidence.
With spirits high, DSU looks to keep momentum rolling in its favor and hosts North Star Athletic Association opponent Valley City State at 2 p.m. today at the Biesiot Activities Center.
“That goal-line stand was a huge play and not only in the game but a huge play in our season as far as our confidence and getting that W on the board,” DSU head coach Pete Stanton said. “We are just happy with the win, but knowing we have a lot of things to clean up.”
The 27-23 win wasn’t pretty. DSU started with a 9-0 lead, the Warriors scored 17 unanswered points for the lead at the half. The Blue Hawks climbed out of the deficit in the fourth quarter as senior running back Myren Moore scored the game-winning xxx-yard touchdown to secure its first NSAA victory.
A major issue which caused the roller coaster scoring was the offense’s failure to secure the ball. The Blue Hawks committed five turnovers, including a 33-yard interception which turned into a touchdown on the next play.
“Ball security is very important, the worse thing you can do is turn the ball over especially in a conference game, in any game,” Moore said. “But a conference game everything is going good for your team and to turn the ball over is unacceptable. Especially that late in the game.”
Despite the turnovers, the Blue Hawks returned two of its linemen which drastically helped out the team’s run game. Both Moore and Jesse Carney combined for 219 yards and three of DSU’s four touchdowns.
The Blue Hawks’ defense was successful in putting the ball back in its offense’s hands, causing four turnovers, but had problems keeping off the field and was riddled with penalties. Waldorf’s offense ran 104 plays and DSU had 12 penalties for 103 yards.
But after a successful and productive week of practice, the team is confident it won’t make the same mistakes two weeks in a row.
“We just need to be more locked in and disciplined on the defensive side of the ball and that’s something in our control that’s nothing Valley controls, it’s 100 percent upon on us,” DSU junior linebacker Matt McCoy said. “Hopefully, we fixed that and it won’t happen again this weekend.”
Valley City State currently sits on top of the NSAA at 2-1 overall and 1-0 in conference play. The Vikings’ quarterback Kurtis Walls and linebacker Nick McBeain were named NSAA offensive and defensive players of the week after the team’s 34-10 win over Dakota State (S.D.).
The pass-friendly sophomore quarterback threw for 428 yards with two touchdowns, while McBeain had a career-high 19 tackles - four solo - and 1.5 tackles for loss. This was Walls’ second player of the week honor and has accumulated 910 passing yards of offense and averages 314 per game.
He is currently ranked No. 5 in the NAIA in total yards (942), No. 7 in passing yards per game (303), No. 8 in total offense yards per game and No. 16 in pass efficiency (162.9).
“They love to pass the ball, we got to be sharp in our under coverage and our coverage as a whole so hopefully we can lock that down and be strong in the run support too, not just pass,” McCoy said.
With the taste of the team’s second win over two seasons, the Blue Hawks are hungry for its next.
“When you had a season like we’ve had in the past two years, you want to win every game,” Moore said. “It doesn’t matter if it’s a conference game, no matter what it is. You want to win every game and that’s our approach this week. We got a win, now we need another one.”