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Dickinson football round up: Titans defense a force up front

Dickinson Trinity senior lineman Mason Eilts runs towards midfield during starting introduction prior to a contest against Hazen on Friday, Sept. 7, from the Biesiot Activities Center. (Patrick Bernadeau/The Dickinson Press)1 / 2
Dickinson Trinity sophomore lineman Tanner Soehren reaches towards Hazen junior quarterback Isaac Doll during a Region 4 match-up on Friday, Sept. 7, from the Biesiot Activities Center. (Patrick Bernadeau/The Dickinson Press)2 / 2

In its comfortable victory over Hazen on Friday, Sept. 7, the Dickinson Trinity football team scored four touchdowns of 25 yards or longer. While the Titans' playmakers showcased their talent, it was the play of the front seven that stole the show.

Dickinson Trinity's linebackers and defensive lineman pressured Bison quarterback Isaac Doll and were disruptive in the backfield. Hazen collected 13 penalties, much of which were caused by the Titans defense and halted promising drives.

"That was something that we worked on last week, because holding penalties and things like that, those are effort plays," Odermann said. "You don't get a holding penalty unless you are going all out and doing your best to get to the quarterback or the running back, whoever has the ball. That's something that we worked on a lot, especially with the defensive line last week, getting a good pass rush, getting good control of the line of scrimmage."

Sophomore linebacker Logan Bentz lead the team with six solo tackles, including three behind the line of scrimmage. Junior linebacker Seth Herner and senior linebacker Ben Hauck each had two tackles for a loss while senior lineman Isaac Fridrich and sophomore lineman Tanner Soehren both collected a sack.

"I think our team played hard and wanted it more, that only made their offense more frustrated," Soehren said. "We got in their heads I think and we just played harder."

For as encouraging as the front seven's play looked, Dickinson Trinity received an added boost this week with the return of senior linebacker Joe Bates, who has been out of action since the start of the season.

"It feels awesome," Bates said. "I haven't really contributed yet, it's just practice but practice with the 'A' team feels real nice."

Bates said he anticipates some nerves before kickoff, but as those subside, he is eager to slide into the middle and contribute, whether that'd be with his own performance or having strong communication with others.

"I got to make sure everyone knows what they are doing," Bates said. "Make sure all the linebackers know where their gap is. ... Just being a leader on the defense is what I do."

The Titans front will be tested again on Friday as Dickinson Trinity will travel to Belfield to take on Heart River and bruising senior tailback Cauy Shypkoski.

"Against a running back like Shypkoski, who is a good physical force and also has a good deal of speed, you have to beat him at the point of attack," Odermann said. "We have to control the line of scrimmage and make contact at the point of attack on every play if we want to slow down a running back like that."

Midgets face homecoming test

Coming off a loss in its conference opener against Bismarck Legacy, the Dickinson High football team and its road through the WDA doesn't get easier as Bismarck Century rolls into the Biesiot Activities Center on Friday.

Holding a 3-0 record and outscoring their opponents by an 86-26 margin, Bismarck Century is the second ranked team in the state.

The Patriots have also dominated Dickinson in recent games, winning the last three match-ups with a combined point differential of plus-93.

"I think the biggest thing when you think about a Century team is just the things that we try to preach to our kids: being consistent and being physical. They do those things to really well and that's why they're a good football team." Dickinson head coach John Tuchscherer said. "They're very well coached, don't make a lot of mistakes and in order for us to compete on Friday night, we going to have to be physical and consistent. We can't look good for a quarter and then not be able to do anything for other three quarters."

Bismarck Century will pose a tougher challenge, but Tuchscherer was encouraged by his team's play against the Sabers, where the game was not decided until late in the fourth quarter. Collected a turnover in the final period, the Midgets had possession trailing 7-6 before wearing down down the stretch.

"We were just starting to lose our energy at the end," Dickinson senior lineman Matthew Paintner said. "It was a really good game, I will admit that. We learned how to work as a team well in the beginning. By the end, we were just running out of juice, but still were working as a team."

If the Midgets can replicate their Legacy performance against the Patriots, Tuchscherer believes his team will have a shot at an upset on homecoming night.

"Century is a good football team, but I think if we can come with the right mindset and be consistent, we have a good chance to win the football game on Friday night."

Patrick Bernadeau

Patrick Bernadeau is a sports reporter for the Dickinson Press. He can be reached at his office number (701) 456-1211 or email him at Joining the Dickinson Press in July 2017, he was previously a freelance sports writer for Treasure Coast Newspapers ( in Stuart, FL as well as carrying bylines from the Associated Press, Miami Herald, Orlando Sentinel, Florida Today and Naples Daily News. Prior to his move to Dickinson, he resided in Port St. Lucie, FL, earning a Bachelor's Degree from Florida Atlantic University. Patrick was born and raised in Brockton, Mass and is an avid Boston sports fan. Born to Haitian parents, Patrick's favorite meal is Griot with Banana Peze, Pikliz (Fried pork with smashed plaintains and a spicy vegetable relish) and a tall glass of Cherry Coke.

(701) 456-1211