Midgets hope to end West road drought
West Region wins on the road haven't come often for the Dickinson High football team the past four seasons. Since the start of 2006 when Dave Michaelson took over as head coach, the Midgets have one region road victory to speak of -- a 40-25 win ...
West Region wins on the road haven't come often for the Dickinson High football team the past four seasons.
Since the start of 2006 when Dave Michaelson took over as head coach, the Midgets have one region road victory to speak of -- a 40-25 win at Bismarck St. Mary's on Sept. 23, 2006.
Dickinson takes its first step this season toward snapping that skid when it visits Minot at 6 p.m. today at Duane Carlson Stadium.
"Minot's our focus, that's the way it's got to be," Michaelson said.
Michaelson made it clear the Midgets won't be counting their chickens before they hatch. Though the Midgets throttled Mandan 35-12 last week at home, Michaelson said looking past the next game could get the Midgets in real trouble.
"Every game is big," Michaelson said. "It's big for playoff implications whether it be making the playoffs or getting a higher seed. Have we talked about it? Yeah, it's a goal.
"But you're only as good as your last game."
If that's the case, the Midgets must be a good team.
Dickinson used three second-quarter touchdowns to build a 21-0 halftime lead on Mandan last week. By the time Mandan's heralded offense woke up, Dickinson was up 28-0.
Senior quarterback Connor McNeilly continued his strong play, throwing for three touchdowns -- two to junior wide receiver Nate Moody. Senior tailback Calen Beaudoin had his third 100-yard game of the season, finishing with 148 yards on 29 carries.
The offense was clicking, but Michaelson said he knows this team's biggest strength lies with the defense, which is allowing two touchdowns per game.
"It's been pretty steady," Michaelson said. "We feel pretty good about the guys up front ... and our linebackers played a much more solid game."
The emergence of senior Chris Kovash at defensive end has helped as well.
"I thought he had his best game of the year," Michaelson said.
Looking ahead, Michaelson said Dickinson can't let up against Minot, a team that he said is similar to Dickinson, though the Magicians have "opened things up a little more."
Minot boasts speedy running back Donte Smart, who is a state champion sprinter, and also Jonas Tengesdal, a more traditional tailback.
"They've taken Donte Smart and played him all over," Michaelson said. "They'll play him in the slot. They don't just leave him in the backfield."
Michaelson said he knows Minot will be looking to take some frustration out on the Midgets. The Magi have dropped back-to-back games for the first time in four seasons, falling to West Fargo and Bismarck High the past two weeks.
"That doesn't happen a lot. They're going to be hungry for a win," Michaelson said. "(Minot coach Barry) Holmen doesn't want to see his team 0-2 heading into the last three games of the conference season."
NOTES: McNeilly has six TD passes on the season and 10 interceptions. In the past two games, he has five TD passes to two interceptions. ... Beaudoin has 480 yards rushing on 89 carries for a 5.4 per-carry average. ... Of the 12 TDs allowed by Dickinson's defense, five have come in the air, six on the ground and one was a defensive TD. ... Moody leads the team with three receiving TDs. ... Twelve of Dickinson's 15 TDs have come in the red zone.