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Stellar presentation: Blue Hawks complete winning season with crushing victory

After the game against Presentation College, Dickinson State football team was presented the NSAA conference trophy by DSU’s President Stephen Easton. Their undefeated conference season marks the eighth consecutive champion award for their program's 30th total. 

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Dickinson State University won their final game of the regular season, and capped the victory with a conference award ceremony.
Josiah C. Cuellar / The Dickinson Press
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DICKINSON — Dickinson State's senior defensive end Krew Mathern completed a solo tackle in the first half against Presentation College. It was all that was needed for him to break the single-season DSU record by half a tackle (17.5). The previous holder was Noey Tauave, set back in 2016 — in the season that initiated the program's current eight-peat.

“Krew has had a great year, a great career and he has continued to show up every game,” DSU Head Coach Pete Stanton said. “He is a leader on our defense and a guy that has just been tremendous.”

The Blue Hawks (8-2, 6-0) dominated all three sides of the ball, finishing the season by walloping the Saints (3-8, 2-4) in a 73-16 victory at the Henry Biesiot Activities Center on Saturday. Despite frigid temperatures players and friends and family remained on the field well after the game, taking photos and celebrating their hard fought conference title.

It was a little more than chilly in the afternoon, with snow surrounding the field from the recent blizzard — but DSU did not take long to heat up.

Senior Isaiah Kludt scored on a 94-yard return on the opening kickoff — starting a 26 point run before Presentation College would respond. Kludt also returned a 55 yard run soon after, enabling running back Braden Zuroff to score from the 1-yard line.

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Isaiah Kludt (24) running down the sideline.
Josiah C. Cuellar / The Dickinson Press

Dickinson State quickly regained position after Jared Smith stripped the ball from the Saint’s carrier on their first offensive play of the game. A minute later, senior quarterback Aaron White passed a 15-yard touchdown to senior wide receiver Conor McCarvel.

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Aaron White making a pass inside the pocket.
Josiah C. Cuellar / The Dickinson Press

White’s arm was near perfect, going 8-12 for 130 passing yards and two TD’s — both received by McCarvel — and one interception. McCarvel ended the game with seven receptions for 120 yards to average just over 17 yards per reception. Noah Sickler had just two catches in the game, averaging 13.5 yards each.

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Conor McCarvel wrapped up after reception.
Josiah C. Cuellar / The Dickinson Press

Zuroff reached the endzone twice in the first quarter and again in the second, clearing 63 yards on 10 carries in the first half. After Zuroff scored his second TD, Presentation College would strike back, scoring on a one-play drive from a 75 yard run by Daryl Coston.

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Braden Zuroff on the carry.
Josiah C. Cuellar / The Dickinson Press

The second quarter saw four turnovers, the first being the single interception thrown by the Blue Hawks. Fortunately for the home side, it was followed by a defensive touchdown made of a forced fumble recovered by Riley O’Donnell who carried it for 58 yards.

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Riley O'Donnell picks up loose ball and carries it to the endzone.
Josiah C. Cuellar / The Dickinson Press

Another defensive touchdown came from an interception picked off by Dawson McGlothlin, for his third interception of the day. The score would be 53-8 after the PAT, because the Saints picked up a defensive PAT after blocking Wade James' kick.

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Wade James' (31) kick is blocked on the PAT.
Josiah C. Cuellar / The Dickinson Press

“We did a good job at handling them up-front and taking the ball away from them,” Stanton said. “I don't know how many turnovers we had, I believe eight, and I think that has been our forte all year and winning the turnover battle was no different today.

DSU’s defense remained hostile after the half, shutting out their opposition in the third quarter. Senior cornerback Javonte Oliphant completed a pick six from 35 yards to make it 60-8.

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Dickinson State's defense sacks the runner.
Josiah C. Cuellar / The Dickinson Press

Reserve players coming onto the field in the second half kept the Blue Hawks scoring. Sophomore running back Braedy Santens picked up his second touchdown in the past two weeks and freshman kicker Chase Miller came into the game in the second half, going 2-for-2 in field goals and PATs.

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Presentation College scored the final touchdown of the game, one a one-yard rush. With nine minutes remaining, Dickinson State focused on winding down the clock and would run the ball for the rest of the game.

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Freshman quarterback Carson Hunter got some time on the field in the fourth quarter.
Josiah C. Cuellar / The Dickinson Press

“It was a great feat for our team to get that done,” Stanton said. “The guys worked really hard all year and they definitely earned it.”

The Blue Hawks have done it again, completing their eighth consecutive conference championship, going undefeated in conference play for the third year in a row. Their opponents for the NAIA championship will be announced on Sunday, Nov.13.

Josiah C. Cuellar was born in San Angelo, Texas, a small rural community in the western part of the state known for its farming, ranching and beautiful Concho River. A Texas A&M San Antonio graduate specializing in multi-media reporting, Cuellar is an award winning photographer and reporter whose work focuses on community news and sports.
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