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'It's Trinity-Beulah and we're looking forward to it': Rivals meet for the second time in the postseason

Since 1992, the Dickinson Trinity and Beulah football teams have clashed on the gridiron 28 times. Each team has had stretches of dominance against the other. From 1996 to 2007, the Titans won 13 straight contests against Miners. Beulah recently ...

Dickinson Trinity head coach John Odermann talks to his players before the opening kickoff against Des Lacs-Burlington during the first round of the Class A State Playoffs on Saturday, Oct. 20, from the Biesiot Activities Center. (Patrick Bernadeau/The Dickinson Press)
Dickinson Trinity head coach John Odermann talks to his players before the opening kickoff against Des Lacs-Burlington during the first round of the Class A State Playoffs on Saturday, Oct. 20, from the Biesiot Activities Center. (Patrick Bernadeau/The Dickinson Press)

Since 1992, the Dickinson Trinity and Beulah football teams have clashed on the gridiron 28 times.

Each team has had stretches of dominance against the other. From 1996 to 2007, the Titans won 13 straight contests against Miners. Beulah recently went on a six-game winning streak over their rival, capturing every battle from 2011-16.

Dickinson Trinity holds an 18-10 advantage in head-to-head, with no greater margin of victory than a 21-7 triumph over the Miners in the 2005 Class AA State Championship Game.

Thirteen years later, the two teams will lock horns in a Class A State Quarterfinal matchup on Saturday, Oct. 27 from the Biesiot Activities Center, setting up only their second meeting in the postseason.

"That was a long time ago, that's 13 years ago before a lot of these had a memory." Dickinson Trinity head coach John Odermann said. "I don't know if it adds any added stakes. For both teams, it's a situation where if you lose, you are checking your pads in, and if you win, you move on to the next week. ... But there is that element that I think in the back our mind that we are familiar with these guys and that this is a rivalry game."

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The most recent addition of this rivalry on Oct. 5 saw the Titans capture a 24-6 victory on the road behind four touchdowns by senior playmaker Kaden Kuntz and a critical fourth-down stop near the goal line at the start of the fourth quarter. Beulah head coach Jim Dooley their believes, besides those two factors, it was fairly evenly-played game.

Knowing how that contest got away, the Miners are pleased to be getting a second shot.

"We're excited. I think anytime you were the team that lost the first game, I'm not going to say we're looking for revenge or anything, but you kind of are in a position where you want to play that game again," Dooley said. "You know what you did wrong and you know what you need to fix. I like the fact that we get that opportunity.

"We didn't have to say a whole lot this week," Dooley said. "It's Trinity-Beulah and we're looking forward to it.

During their early October meeting, Beulah outgained Dickinson Trinity by more than 100 yards (309-204), ran more than twice as many plays (69-30) and held the Titans 0-for-5 on third down. Odermann says Beulah is the toughest team to prepare for on both sides of the ball and while his team was able to come away victorious three weeks earlier, he doesn't want his players to rest on their prior success.

"It's important to get through to the kids, just because we beat them earlier in the season doesn't mean that they are going to show up and just roll over for us," Odermann said. "I know they aren't going to do that cause Coach Dooley and his staff will have a good game-plan put together."

In regard to scheme and play design, both coaches expect some minor changes, but nothing too dramatic. For the Titans, Kuntz and senior quarterback Aric Knopik figure to play major roles offensively, while the Miners will lean heavily on a running attack that averages 368 yards per game this season.

Beulah's leading rusher is senior running back Kaleb McGraw, who leads Region 4 with 1,706 rushing yards and 15 touchdowns. Second on the team with 11 touchdowns, is junior wide receiver Tryston Miller, who owns the team's highest yardage-per-carry at nearly 12 yards a touch.

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Senior running back Dawson Bieber is third on the team with nine touchdowns.

"You got to find where the ball is going as soon as you can and make sure they don't break those outside plays, they like to score on those big plays on the outside," Titans junior linebacker Seth Herner said. "(Reading those plays) are very difficult because they're nothing like we've seen before from other teams. You really have to work really hard in seeing where the ball goes make the best judgement."

Herner and sophomore outside linebacker Nathaniel Jilek will likely be responsible for setting the edge and filling any potential cut-back lanes that Miners back will look to drive through.

Jilek played a major role in the Titans first-round victory over Des Lacs Burlington. The Lakers drove down the field for a pair of first-half scores. Following halftime adjustments, Dickinson Trinity held it's opponent off of the scoreboard, as Jilek often blitzed from the outside and collected an interception.

"That does give us a lot of confidence knowing that even if we make mistakes, we're capable of fixing them later on," Jilek said. "Say that they are beating us with the run up the middle, we know that we can make an adjustment, try to stop that and be able to come away from the victory."

Related Topics: BEULAH MINERS
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