It was a tall task for the Dickinson Midgets Friday night as they hosted the No.1 ranked team in Class AA, Bismarck Century. The Patriots came into this one on a 25-game win streak, dating back to Aug. 30 of 2019.
The Midgets played them as well as any opponent has this season as they took the game down to the last drive of the game. But Century’s excellence would prevail again as they defeated Dickinson 15-12.
Century brought with them the highest scoring offensive player in Class AA, running back Peyton Arndt with nine touchdowns.
Dickinson (1-3) picked up their first win last week against North Fargo, carrying some momentum into the game. Dickinson had the lead in the fourth quarter, but a big special teams play powered the Patriots to victory. A late kickoff return for a touchdown by wide receiver Jacob Renz after the Midgets took the lead was the final score they needed to get over the hurdle to extend their win streak.
“Outside of actually winning the football game, the kids did everything we wanted them to do,” Dickinson head coach John Tuchscherer said. “Super proud of them. They gave great effort and tons of energy.”
Century opened the scoring in the first quarter with a one-yard touchdown run from quarterback Brady Dahl to grab a 7-0 lead.
The Midgets weren’t able to put up points in the first half, but they were able to make a couple of huge defensive stops in the second quarter deep inside their own territory.
First they forced a fumble from the Patriots inside the five-yard line. Then they stalled Century’s offense in the red zone as time winded down in the quarter to ensure their deficit would not grow.
It gave them the boost they needed coming out of the locker room as they scored early in the third quarter, but got a little help from the visitors. The Patriots fumbled the ball inside their own 20 after beginning the half with the ball, setting up the Midgets for a golden opportunity to tie the game. Wide receiver Chase Selle would be on the receiving end of a one-yard touchdown from quarterback Troy Berg and just like that, the lead was cut to 7-6.
Dickinson were able to get the ball back with a chance to take the lead and put up an impressive 20-play, 77 yard scoring drive, capped off by Berg running it in for the score.
But their drive was extended due to a running into the kicker penalty on a 4th-and-6 as Tuchscherer pondered whether to go for it or not.
“We took advantage of our opportunities. They roughed up our punter, we were able to get a little bit closer, but we still had a fourth and one we had to convert,” Tuchscherer said. ”I wanted to punt, but our kids wanted to go for it and they talked me into going for it and I’m glad that they did.”
The penalty made it 4th-and-1, which made it a much easier call for Tuchschere to go for it. It worked out in the end as the Midgets went up 12-7 midway through the fourth quarter.
It was at this moment when Century re-took the lead 15-12 from Renz’ 76-yard kickoff return for a touchdown, following Dickinson’s touchdown. It was a crushing blow to the home side as belief began to set in that they could end the Patriots illustrious winning streak.
But in the end Century were just too strong of a side to overcome as Dickinson dropped their third game of the year.
“It was a real team effort. You ask me, the players of the game are our offense and defensive line. They continue to make positive stride after positive stride,” Tuchscherer said. “Century is very good on both sides of the ball and our guys played right along with them.”
Dickinson will travel to Watford City next Friday to take on the Wolves.
DHS 0 0 6 6 12
BC 7 0 0 8 15
BC - Brady Dahl one yard run (extra point good), 7-0
DHS - Chase Selle 1 yard catch from Troy Berg (extra point no good), 7-6
DHS - Troy Berg 1 yard run (extra point no good), 12-7
BC - Jacob Renz 76 yard kickoff return (extra point good), 15-12