Blue Hawks sweep NSAA Players of the Week No.5
Dickinson State remains outside of the NAIA top 20, but look to be aces in the NSAA, dominating their last two games.
DICKINSON — After the 48-14 pummeling Dickinson State gave to Mayville State last Saturday at the Biesiot Activities Center in Dickinson, the Blue Hawks would dominate once more in the week by sweeping the North Star Athletic Association Players of the Week.
The week No. 5 edition recognized DSU’s running back Riley Linder, safety Jayden Heartwell and kicker Wade James.
“It is a great deal for those individuals to get those honors and obviously they are well deserved,” Pete Stanton, DSU head coach, said. “For Riley to rush for 250 yards and for our team to rush for that many yards. Jay made some game saving plays and Wade did a good job kicking the ball in the wind. They weren’t great conditions and he made two tough field goals, so I thought that was very well deserved in all three areas.”
Linder took Offensive Player of the Week after completing 250 yards rushing, which greatly contributed to the Blue Hawks nearly breaking the program’s single-game rushing record — short by four yards.
The senior collected a touchdown against Mayville, had 14.7 yards per carry and gained 91-yard rushing to initiate a two-play scoring drive for The Blue Hawks.
Heartwell secured two interceptions and completed a solo tackle against Mayville to claim Defensive Player of the Week. In the season, four games played, Heartwell has six picks and 23 tackles.
Heartwell is a sophomore who was part of last year’s defensive freshmen that obtained experience trial by fire.
James, another sophomore, was awarded Special Team Player of the Month after going 6-for-6 in PAT and 2-for-2 in field goals. The two field goals were kicked from 42 and 35 yards.
“You look at Jay and the guys that were freshmen last year, that were able to get a year under their belt last year and we played a lot of freshmen,” Stanton said. “You think about our playoff game last year against Grand View, on defense we had six freshmen on the field, so we got some of that experience last year and It has really carried over and you see those guys are playing with a lot of maturity out there.”
For the last two weeks, since the Blue Hawks dropped out of the NAIA Top 25 ratings, they have tallied two wins and will begin conference play this weekend on the road against Dakota State University.