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Last-minute touchdown pushes Blue Hawks over Trojans

MADISON, S.D. -- With just over two minutes left in a tied game against Dakota State, Dickinson State got the football on their own 32-yard line. After a 17-yard pass to junior receiver Jaret Lee and a quick rush by running back Nick Miller, juni...

MADISON, S.D. - With just over two minutes left in a tied game against Dakota State, Dickinson State got the football on their own 32-yard line. After a 17-yard pass to junior receiver Jaret Lee and a quick rush by running back Nick Miller, junior quarterback Hayden Gibson looked for Lee again. The Dickinson Trinity product laid out, making the catch at the doorstep of the end zone, but was his knee touched the ground before breaking the plane.

With 31 seconds left in the contest, junior running back Amad Andrews ran the remaining foot, putting the Blue Hawks up 33-27.

The Trojans tried a few hail-mary throws, but an interception from senior cornerback Jay Liggins with 10 seconds left sealed the Dickinson State win on Saturday, Sept. 29, at Trojan Field.

"The guys just did a great job on the last drive. Hayden made some great throws and our receivers did a good job of going up and catching some balls and getting out of bounds," Dickinson State head coach Pete Stanton said. "I thought our offensive line was big in that last drive. We gave Hayden time, we were able to string it together. We were patient. We weren't always patient all day long, but that last drive we did a good job of being patient."

The win was by no means pretty, with the Blue Hawks committing nine penalties for 82 yards, many of which came with more consequence than just yardage.

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Early in the first quarter, Dickinson State (4-1, 2-0 NSAA) was on the Dakota State 11-yard line, but a holding pass bumped them back to the 22. Two incomplete passes later, a false start penalty pushed the Blue Hawks back to the 27-yard line, and they couldn't complete the play on fourth-and-25.

The Trojans (1-5, 0-2 NSAA) tied the game at 13 with a 31-yard field goal from Casey Bourque midway through the third quarter. Dakota State recovered the ensuing kickoff, which was high and short. On third-and-10 on the Dickinson State 26, an unnecessary roughness call against a Blue Hawk defender granted the Trojans a first down. Brodie Frederiksen rushed the final 13 yards for a touchdown, putting the home team up 20-13 with 6:06 left in the third quarter.

Early in the fourth, tied at 20, the Trojans were in a third-and-long scenario on their own 36-yard line. A 43-yard pass, paired with a personal foul against the Blue Hawks, gave Dakota State a first down just 11 yards shy of the end zone.

Frederiksen capitalized, scoring his third and final touchdown of the day to put the Trojans up 27-20.

Frederiksen accumulated 122 yards on the ground over 24 carries. Even after getting carried off the field following his fourth-quarter score, he still returned to tally more yards.

While the back was a challenge to stop, the Blue Hawks kept Leighton from scoring. The sophomore had scored at least two touchdowns in each of his five games this season.

"We did a good job on him. They were definitely trying to get him the ball," Stanton said. "They got a few plays on us. ... And their tailback is as good as advertised. He's tremendous. We had a hard time getting him to the ground. He kept some plays going, but we hung in there."

Another Dickinson State downfall, was interceptions, of which Gibson threw three. Prior to Saturday, he had thrown just two over four games.

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Despite that, the Bismarck native threw 327 yards, making up most of the Blue Hawks 485 yards of offense.

His one touchdown pass came early, connecting with sophomore wide receiver Gabe Meschke with a 14-yard pass, putting Dickinson State up 6-0.

In addition to his final trip to pay-dirt, Andrews scored twice more. With a minute remaining in the first half, he dashed three yards to the end zone, capping off an 8-play, 63-yard drive.

Less than two minutes after the Trojans went ahead 27-20, a 1-yard rush from Andrews Jr. tied the game for the third time of the afternoon.

Ultimately, the Blue Hawks were gritty and resilient.

"Sometimes people think you're going to have a game go like it's going to go against Presentation (College) where everything goes well, but that's just not going to be the case," Stanton said. "We battled against a team that really, really played well and our guys were able to persevere. It wasn't a perfect outing, but one where our guys persevered and we're happy."

Results Saturday

Dickinson State 33, Dakota State 27

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DiSU 6 7 7 13 - 33

DaSU 3 7 10 7 - 27

First Quarter

DiSU - Gabe Meschke 14 pass from Hayden Gibson (PAT no good), 9:10

DaSU - Casey Bourque 22 field goal, 5:52

Second Quarter

DaSU - Brodie Fredriksen 9 rush (Bourque), 6:44

DiSU - Amad Andrews Jr. 3 rush (Cody Johnson kick), 1:03

Third Quarter

DaSU - Bourque 31 field goal, 7:38

DaSU - Frederiksen 13 rush (Bourque kick), 6:06

DiSU - Nick Miller 3 rush (Johnson kick), 3:59

Fourth Quarter

DaSU - Frederiksen 9 rush (Bourque kick), 13:55

DiSU - Andrews Jr. 1 rush (Johnson kick), 12:09

DiSU - Andrews Jr. 1 rush (PAT no good), 0:31

TEAM STATISTICS DiSU DaSU

First downs 28 20

Rushes-yards 45-158 33-118

Passing yards 327 263

Comp.-Att.-Int. 25-41-3 19-37-1

Total yards 485 381

Fumbles-lost 1-0 1-1

Penalties-yards 9-82 5-47

Punts-Avg. 4-39.8 7-33.6

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING: DiSU, Andrews Jr. 27-97, 3 TD; Miller 9-35, TD; Roderick Ashford 3-15; Gabe Meschke 2-11. DaSU, Frederiksen 24-122, 3 TD; Brenner Furlong 4-14.

PASSING: DiSU, Gibson 25-41-3, 327 yards, TD. DaSU, Devericks 19-37-1, 263 yards.

RECEIVING: DiSU, Tyger Frye 7-88; Jaret Lee 6-63; Randy Ivey 4-64; Meschke 3-71, TD; Adrian Hughes-Tovar 2-27. DaSU, Mason Leighton 6-65; Trever Listman 4-55; Frederiksen 2-61.

DEFENSIVE STATISTICS

TACKLES: DiSU, Kevin Brown 4-7, 1 sack; Jalen Hendrickson 3-5; Derick VandeBossche 5-3; Lewis Dobitz 5-2. DaSU, Boeke 5-10; John Trout 0-12; Jeb Sanford 3-9.

INT: DiSU, Jay Liggins. DaSU, Curt Boeke 1-13; Michael Cleveland; Wyatt Sanford 1-31.

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