Dickinson State routs Iowa Wesleyan for fourth straight win

The first matchup between Iowa Wesleyan and Dickinson State heavily favored the Blue Hawks.

DSU wide receiver Conor McCarvel (19) strolls into the end zone in the first quarter against Iowa Wesleyan Saturday afternoon at the Henry Biesiot Activities Center in Dickinson. (Race Archibald / The Dickinson Press)

Saturday afternoon’s matchup between Iowa Wesleyan and Dickinson State could not have gone any better for the Blue Hawks, who scored a touchdown on their first seven drives to blow out the Tigers 55-6 at the Henry Biesiot Activities Center in Dickinson.

The game got out of hand quickly. DSU (4-0, 4-2) received the opening kickoff and marched right down the field for a touchdown. Quarterback Drew Boedecker found tight end Kellen Ray for an 8-yard score.

Things weren’t looking promising for the Tigers’ offense early. Quarterback Gavin Esquivel nearly threw an interception on his first passing attempt. Blue Hawks defensive back Deavon Crawford made a great jump on the short in-route and had nothing but green turf ahead of him, but couldn’t secure the catch.

DSU defensive back Deavon Crawford nearly comes up with the interception in the first quarter against Iowa Wesleyan Saturday afternoon at the Henry Biesiot Activities Center in Dickinson. (Race Archibald / The Dickinson Press)


Nonetheless, the Blue Hawks were able to snag an interception two plays later as linebacker Nick Miller was able to come up with the play.

Blue Hawks running back Riley Linder capped off the next scoring drive, punching it in from one yard out to make it 14-0.

The air raid offense for the Tigers (1-1, 1-6) was kept in check in the first half. Coming into the game, Iowa Wesleyan averaged 322 passing yards per game, but were held to just 44 yards in the first half, and 104 in the game.

“We had them out of rhythm,” Dickinson State head coach Pete Stanton said. “Right at the beginning it could’ve been a pick-six. They weren’t getting separation with their receivers and they were going into the wind in the beginning and it was tough for them. Once we took them out of rhythm we were in good shape.”

Boedecker threw for two more touchdowns in the quarter, one to wide receiver Tyger Frye and the other to wide receiver Conor McCarvel to make it 27-0 Blue Hawks.

DSU had the ball near the goal line to begin the second quarter. Running back Braden Zuroff ran in from 6 yards out to make it 34-0.

DSU running back Braden Zuroff (18) runs in for the 6 yard touchdown in the second quarter against Iowa Wesleyan Saturday afternoon at the Henry Biesiot Activities Center in Dickinson. (Race Archibald / The Dickinson Press)


Even if Iowa Wesleyan wanted to put pressure on the Blue Hawks defense and go for it on fourth down, they just never had the opportunity to do so. Either they were facing a long conversion or they were backed up on their side of the field and the risk was too great.

The score was 41-0 midway through the second quarter as the starters were pulled and the reserves got to see the field for a good chunk of the game.

“Once it reached that point at halftime we wanted to get everyone involved,” Stanton said. “You never want to get into a situation where (someone could get hurt) and didn’t need to be in the game in the second half. A lot of our twos, threes, and fours work hard and it was a chance to get those guys in, it could be their last chance to get in a game.”

But the reserves were able to string together a scoring drive led by freshman quarterback Bridger Grovom, who found Zuroff out of the backfield for a 34-yard touchdown. Zuroff caught the ball near the sideline and made a nice move to dodge a defender and ran in for his second touchdown of the game.

Like the Blue Hawks, the Tigers made a change at quarterback, subbing in freshman Humberto Arizmendi, who like Esquivel, had little success moving the offense.

Three Blue Hawks get to Iowa Wesleyan quarterback Humberto Arizmendi (2) in the second quarter Saturday afternoon at the Henry Biesiot Activities Center in Dickinson. (Race Archibald / The Dickinson Press)

It stood 48-0 at the break. DSU had more touchdowns (7) than the Tigers had first downs (2) in the half.


The Blue Hawks had little incentive to throw so Stanton dialed down the offense and stuck to the ground game, leading to 186 ruhsing yards in the game. Linder led the way with 9 carries for 57 yards. Frye finished with 6 catches for 80 yards. He’s had at least 6 catches in every game this year.

In total DSU had 452 yards of offense, their second highest mark this season. The Blue Hawks have won four games in a row by an average of 40 points.

“We had over 300 yards on offense in the first half and held them under 100,” Stanton said. “It’s exactly what we wanted to do and once it got to the second half we were in good shape.”


IW - 0 0 6 0 6

DSU - 27 21 0 7 55

First Quarter

DSU - Kellen Ray 8 yard pass from Drew Boedecker (extra point good), 7-0


DSU - Riley Linder 1 yard run (extra point good), 14-0

DSU - Tyger Frye 18 yard pass from Boedecker (two-point conversion failed), 20-0

DSU - Conor McCarvel 13 yard pass from Boedecker (extra point good), 27-0

Second Quarter

DSU - Braden Zuroff 7 yard run (extra point good), 34-0

DSU - Cody Asbeck 25 yard run (extra point good), 41-0

DSU - Zuroff 34 yard pass from Bridger Grovom (extra point good), 48-0

Third Quarter


IW - Asaivien McWill 8 yard pass from Humberto Arizme (two-point conversion failed), 48-6

Fourth Quarter

DSU - Nathan Schumacher 10 yard pass from Grovom (extra point good), 55-6


Passing - Boedecker 12-14, 191 3 TD; Bridger Grovom 6-13, 72 2 TD

Rushing - Linder 9-57 1 TD; Braden Zuroff 10-42 1 TD; Cody Asbeck 3-26 1 TD; Grovom 5-18; Michael Yeamen 5-18; Boedekcer 1-11; Isaiah Kludt 2-9; Braedy Santens 2-4; Kyle Meinecke 1-1

Receiving - Frye 6-80 1 TD; Conor McCarvel 4-48 1 TD; Tyler Burk 2-24; Kaden Kuntz 1-49; Zuroff 1-34; Nathan Schumacher 1-10 1 TD; Kellen Ray 1-8 1 TD; Kludt, Yemen 1-5; Santens 1-3.


Race Archibald is a former sports reporter with The Dickinson Press.
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