Dickinson State falls just shy of single-game rushing record in thrashing of Mayville State
The Blue Hawks are firing on all cylinders as they gear up for conference play following a 48-14 victory at home.
DICKINSON — Dickinson State (2-2) turned on the offensive firepower going for 531 yards of total offense, averaging five plays per scoring drive against Mayville State in Dickinson on Saturday.
DSU shutout their opposition in the first half, leading 27-0 heading to the locker rooms. Though the offense would be hampered slightly by miscues in the third quarter, with multiple turnovers, the Blue Hawks’ defense stayed consistent with pressure and coverage, claiming their own turnovers via an interception and a recovered-fumble for a touchdown in the quarter.
"Obviously, we did a good job running the football today,” Pete Stanton, DSU head coach, said. “We did a good job of shutting down the receivers. They scored a lot of points this year and had a lot of yards, but we did a really good job of keeping those guys in check all day... It was just a great defensive day to be able to get a shutout against [Mayville].”
Senior running back Riley Linder was a driving force for the offense and garnered the Blue Hawks’ first touchdown from seven yards out. Linder would put up triple digit rushing yards, going for 250 in the game. Linder's yard totals would be aided by a 91-yard rub on the initial play of a two-play scoring drive in the second quarter.
Alex Lovegren would get the nod, carrying the ball into the endzone for the last seven yards to bring the score to 20-0 with 11:20 left in the first half.
“[Linder] plays so hard and he always does,” Stanton said. “He just kept his feet moving and had a really physical day and 250 yards is a pile. He did a tremendous job breaking off two or three long runs and got us some key first downs as well… He is a physically tough guy and I was really glad to see that happen for him today.”
The final touchdown before halftime would come on a dart to Noah Sickler, a local athlete that played for Dickinson Trinity in high school.
The Blue Hawks started the third quarter well with safety Dawson McGlothl cutting a route short for an interception on a deep ball over the center.
Unfortunately, on the next drive, Mayville’s defensive secondary would return the favor on a pick six, with an 85-yard return — making it 27-7.
The response from DSU’s offense was swift, moving across the field on two running plays. Linder took it to the house on a 40 yarder, then Lovegren would take it the rest of the way for a 35-yard run touchdown. Lovegren nearly broke 100 rushing yards on the day, totaling 93 on the ground.
The Blue Hawks defense were not on the field long for most of the day, forcing the Comets into three and out situations.
A late game bad snap witnessed DSU fumble to open the door for Mayville to get their second touchdown of the night.
Going tit for tat, Dickinson State’s nose tackle JaQuawhann Booth would make a big play of his own, recovering a Mayville State fumble and carrying it for 85 yards into the endzone.
“It was the strangest third quarter I have ever been around that had three defensive touchdowns," Stanton said. “We got out of our groove and it was disappointing. Not so much when we had to kick, but they picked us in the red zone and took us all the way back for a touchdown. I think we had a chance to make a big play and didn't."
The final quarter saw DSU sit their starters with a big lead to get some of the second string players some critical playing time. Backup quarterback Bridger Grovom got his chance to take some snaps under center and made good use of it. It would be his feet and not his arm that would prove decisive, running in the final Blue Hawks touchdown after a fake handoff to the left side opened the door for a 28 yards untouched jaunt into the paydirt.
Starting quarterback Aaron White had some troubles in the game going an unusual sub 50% in a 10-23 for 97 yard showing. White did secure a touchdown, but would mistime two passes for picks.
Safety Jayden Heartwell’s led in interceptions for DSU with two and was pivotal to a strong defensive showing.
Dickinson State rushed for 434 yards, only four yards short of breaking the all-time single game rushing record — set in 1981.
The first conference game for the Blue Hawks will be played in South Dakota next week against Dakota State University. DSU rounded out their non-conference games going 2-2 and appear poised to have a breakout year.