DSU trying to learn from mistakes
The Dickinson State football team walked out of last week's game against Valley City State with a bruised ego. The Blue Hawks fell to 1-3 on the year and committed many of the same errors they've been trying to clean up. But with the frustration ...
The Dickinson State football team walked out of last week’s game against Valley City State with a bruised ego.
The Blue Hawks fell to 1-3 on the year and committed many of the same errors they’ve been trying to clean up.
But with the frustration was a learning experience the team hopes to capitalize on as they travel to Mayville State for a nonconference game at 1 p.m. today.
“Offensively, obviously we struggled last game,” DSU senior Josh Borm said about the week of practice. “We had a lot of turnovers, stuff we’ve been doing all year so that’s something we really tried to focus on this week and it went a lot better.”
DSU scored on its first drive of the game for an early 7-0 lead. But the lead was short lived, as the Vikings scored 20 unanswered points en route to its 33-21 victory. The Blue Hawks committed two turnovers, had a blocked kick and allowed Valley City’s offense to complete all three fourth-down conversions.
While the effort given on the field has never been an issue, the theme in practice this week has been the difference between playing hard and playing smart.
“Playing better is just limiting those few mistakes you talk about,” DSU head coach Pete Stanton said. “In the second half they had a couple key plays with the fumble and Valley City going 99 yards into the wind I thought that was really the difference in the game. Hopefully we learned a lot from it.
“It wasn’t because a lack of effort, it’s just us taking care of those little things that’s going to help you win the game.”
Playing better means communicating better. Sophomore linebacker Drew Johnson - who had eight tackles, one solo last week - said the defense’s main focus this week was trying to get on the same page on the field.
“Big thing is communication, always communication,” he said. “If we are on the same page, we can play any defense and as long as we are communicatingx and on the same page we are going to do good.”
Communication is going to be key today, facing a Mayville offense with the North Star preseason Player of the Year.
Senior Rashad Flanders, normally a defensive back, was moved exclusively to running back for the Comets and has been putting together an explosive season. He is ranked in the top 10 in seven categories including No. 2 in punt return yards (24.7) and punt returns (148) and No. 3 in all-purpose yards (734).
So far this season Flanders has rushed for 448 yards with five touchdowns with his biggest outing coming against Trinity Bible College and finished with 235 yards and three TDs.
“Their running game is a big thing,” Johnson said. “They have a decent passer they can catch a ball every now and then but the big thing is containing their running back. “He’s a really good athlete, he can move he can do anything.”
Mayville is currently 2-2 on the season but is on a two-game win streak. DSU has its work cut out with its main goal to shut down the big plays and get its offense going on the ground.
“It’s a matter of containing their big play kind of guys and we want to force them into a position where they’re one dimensional and throw the ball,” Stanton said.