Dickinson State shuts out Presentation in conference opener
Looking back at the game tape of Dickinson State and Presentation College is going to look like a Blue Hawks highlight reel.
Among all the impressive plays, one stood out.
During Presentation's second drive of the game, senior quarterback Austin Eggl looked for his top receiver, senior Logan Weisser on third-and-11. Unfortunately for the Saints, the Blue Hawks' top cornerback, senior Jay Liggins, was posted on Weisser. In what his teammates are deeming a SportsCenter Top-10 play, Liggins leapt into the air, fully extended and intercepted the pass with one hand. He brought it 18 yards up the field before getting tackled.
"That was a big time interception that he made there," Dickinson State head coach Pete Stanton said. "I thought we did a good job in the secondary, keeping those receivers in front of us that first quarter. We were disruptive with our front seven. We did a good job keeping them uncomfortable."
Dickinson State set a dominant tone from the beginning.
The Saints received the opening kickoff, starting on their own 16-yard line, but the Blue Hawks defense turned a three-and-out. Senior Cain Boschee brought the ensuing punt to the 12-yard line, which was followed by a 31-yard field goal from junior kicker Cody Johnson.
The Blue Hawks went on to score a touchdown on their next four possessions, routing the Saints 59-0 in their conference opener on Saturday, Sept. 22, at the Biesiot Activities Center.
"We set the tempo right away defensively," Stanton said. "I think that first series getting some pressure, we got them uncomfortable offensively, right away. We were able to make them one dimensional and we were able to get going on the defensive line and do some things."
Following the field goal, Blue Hawks junior running back Amad Andrews Jr. scored back-to-back-to-back touchdowns, all with 3-yard rushes. On each occasion, the offensive line left a gap for him to run through.
"The line was opening up pretty good," Andrews Jr. said. "I just put my faith in them."
With the three-and-out to start the game still fresh in the Saint's minds. The Dickinson State defensive dominance was driven home on the opening play of the next drive, when senior lineman Mitch Mehrer earned the first of three sacks against Eggl.
Going into the game, the Saint's (2-2, 0-1 NSAA) line looked sturdy, playing a large role in an offense that averaged over 400 yards a game. However, the Blue Hawks (3-1, 1-0 NSAA) limited them to 172 yards on the day, with just 40 on the ground.
"We watched a lot of film this week and yeah, it looked good on film," Mehrer said. "We're not going to take anybody for granted. Everybody's going to give us their best shot. We're going to get everything from them. You can't take anything for granted, you always got to go whenever you can."
Junior lineman Jeremy Poyer also earned a solo sack, while pairing with junior linebacker Kevin Brown on another. Brown led the Blue Hawks with eight tackles on the day.
The onslaught continued in the second quarter, which opened with a Derick VandeBossche interception, resulting in an 18-yard touchdown pass from junior quarterback Hayden Gibson to senior wide receiver Randy Ivey. Johnson made the extra point each time and is now 21-for-21 on the year.
Junior Jaret Lee led all receivers with 74 yards over five catches, while Ivey earned 59 yards over four.
With a halfback option play in the second frame, Gibson found sophomore Nick Miller, who threw to senior tight end Adrian Hughes-Tovar, extending the lead to 31-0. Following a Derek Tabor touchdown rush, Dickinson State led 45-0 at the half.
The teams traded punts for most of the second half, but the Blue Hawks broke through two more times. First, Tabor broke through traffic and a pair of tackles to find the end zone for his second time that day.
With 3:30 left in the game, third-string quarterback Drew Boedecker connected with junior tight end Ty Nordby for his first collegiate touchdown pass.
"It was nice for Drew to get that. Ty Nordby is a guy that has been with our program a long time and he's really stuck his nose in there," Stanton said. "So I was happy for him too."
Adding to their 51-0 shutout of Jamestown University, the Blue Hawks have shutout both opponents at home this season and are now 1-0 in conference play.
"It was a team effort on both sides of the ball. It wasn't just one guy being a hero," Mehrer said. "Especially on defense, it wasn't just one D, it wasn't me just sacking the quarterback all the time. Everybody was doing their part and that was nice. It was offense, defense, special teams. We did really well in all three phases of the game."
Dickinson State 59, Presentation 0
PC 0 0 0 0 — 0
DSU 24 21 0 14 — 59
DSU — Cody Johnson 31 field goal, 13:11
DSU — Amad Andrews Jr. 3 rush (Johnson kick), 11:51
DSU — Andrews Jr. 3 rush (Johnson kick), 4:52
DSU — Andrews Jr. 3 rush (Johnson kick), 0:45
DSU — Randy Ivey 18 pass from Hayden Gibson (Johnson kick), 14:08
DSU — Adrian Hughes-Tovar 21 pass from Nick Miller (Johnson kick), 5:20
DSU — Derek Tabor 2 rush (Johnson kick), 0:19
DSU — Derek Tabor 35 rush (Johnson kick), 12:11
DSU — Ty Nordby 16 pass from Drew Boedecker (Johnson kick), 3:30
TEAM STATISTICS DSU PC
First downs 23 12
Rushes-yards 41-217 32-40
Passing yards 257 132
Comp.-Att.-Int. 20-30-0 13-32-3
Total yards 474 172
Fumbles-lost 0-0 3-0
Penalties-yards 6-51 3-25
Punts-Avg. 5-28 9-33
RUSHING: DSU, Amad Andrews Jr. 11-41, 3 TD; Derek Tabor 8-52, 2 TD; Roderick Ashford 8-53; Kooper Ray 3-36; Jameson Crisafulli 6-16; Nick Miller 4-12, Gabe Meschke 1-7. PC, Innocent Okoh 8-58; Nathan Jones 8-27.
PASSING: DSU, Hayden Gibson 15-21-0, 199 yards, 1 TD; Drew Boedecker 1-2, 16 yards, 1 TD; Kooper Ray 4-7, 42 yards. PC, Austin Eggle 13-30-3, 132 yards.
RECEIVING: DSU, Jaret Lee 5-74; Tyger Frye 4-39; Randy Ivey 4-59, TD; Ty Nordby 2-20, TD; Meschke 2-15; Adrian Hughes-Tovar 1-21, TD; Tyler Burk 1-8; Cleet Wrzesinski 1-21. PC, Maurice Whiters 5-43; Dylan Paulsen 3-30.
TACKLES: DSU, Kevin Brown 5-3, 0.5 sacks; Jalen Hendrickson 5-1; Lewis Dobitz 2-1; Jeremy Poyer 2-1, 1.5 sacks; Mitch Mehrer 1-0, 1 sack. PC, Jerod Boswell 7-1; Clayton Innis 5-1; Ty Fox 5-0.
INT: DSU, Jalen Hendrickson; Derick Vandebossche; Jay Liggins 1-18.