One last stand
SPEARFISH, S.D. -- Dickinson State had an entire game's worth of defensive stands. The last one was the biggest. The Blue Hawks stopped 23rd-ranked Black Hills State on four straight plays inside the DSU 6-yard line -- including a sack on fourth-...
SPEARFISH, S.D. -- Dickinson State had an entire game's worth of defensive stands.
The last one was the biggest.
The Blue Hawks stopped 23rd-ranked Black Hills State on four straight plays inside the DSU 6-yard line -- including a sack on fourth-and-goal from the 4 -- to sew up a 13-9 Dakota Athletic Conference victory Saturday afternoon at Lyle Hare Stadium.
"I thought we had some other good stands," DSU coach Hank Biesiot said. "It was kind of a bend, but don't break. They had a nice drive down there and kind of ran out of some room and we revved it up."
Helped by a DSU roughing the passer penalty on a play where it would have held BHSU to a fourth-and-short punting situation, the Yellow Jackets (4-2, 3-1 DAC) marched the ball to the 3-yard line with 2 minutes remaining.
Then, a stadium-wide power outage halted the game for about 5 minutes, giving DSU's defense a chance to catch its collective breath.
When play resumed with a BHSU first-and-goal from the 3, the Blue Hawk defense got nasty. A big tackle by Jamie Walker, and back-to-back short run plays set up a fourth-and-goal from the original line of scrimmage.
The play turned out to be DSU's biggest of the season.
DSU linebacker Bodie Tobin and defensive tackle Seth Forster, who finished with a team-high nine tackles, wrapped up BHSU quarterback Drew Hodgs on a rollout to the left to seal the win.
"Everyone was playing with heart," DSU senior linebacker Mike Keyser said. "That's where it comes from, the will and the want to get it done. All 11 of us wanted to win and get it done and we did."
The victory improved DSU's record to 4-2 and kept them 4-0 in the DAC. The Blue Hawks have won 12 straight conference games dating back to 2007.
While the defense shut down the Yellow Jackets, DSU's passing game was effective against a Yellow Jacket defense that entered the game ranked first in the conference.
DSU junior quarterback Cody Holland threw two touchdown passes to tight end Derek Pauley.
The 6-foot-4 junior caught a pass at the 6 and stretched into the end zone for a 34-yard TD down the left sideline at the beginning of the second quarter to tie the game 6-6. Pauley later caught a 36-yard jump ball over two defenders early in the fourth quarter to give DSU the 13-9 lead.
"We knew we had some mismatches with me against their defensive backs," Pauley said. "We got in good field position, we took a shot and it worked both times."
Holland led the Blue Hawks' offense, going 12 of 17 for 210 yards. He threw an interception when DSU was driving midway through the third quarter.
The Blue Hawks had 255 total yards, but their usually strong rushing attack struggled against a Yellow Jacket defensive front that proved why it allows the least amount of rushing yards in the DAC.
The Blue Hawks gained just 45 yards on 33 carries. Featured running back James Macey had just 13 yards on 17 carries and Holland had the most yards with 22.
DSY's longest run of the day was a 10-yard reverse to senior receiver Blaine Berg, who also caught three passes for 73 yards.
"Our defense was doing a good job stopping the run," BHSU coach Jay Long said. "Our defense played well. We had one busted coverage and that's where they got the big touchdown."
BHSU got on the board first, marching 81 yards in 5:12 on the opening drive of the game, converting three third downs before Cole Benne punched it in from 1 yard out to open the scoring.
Two series later, DSU fired back with its first TD pass to Pauley.
Both teams had extra-point attempts blocked on their touchdowns.
"That ended up hurting us at the end there," Long said. "On that fourth-and-4, we could have kicked a field goal, tied it up and had momentum rolling on our side."
BHSU got a little momentum in the third quarter when special teams blunders haunted the Blue Hawks.
On the opening kickoff of the second half, left side up-man Dave Velasquez took the short, high kick but fumbled as he was going down right to a BHSU player, who recovered the ball at the 33-yard line.
DSU's defense held the Yellow Jackets out of the end zone, but BHSU got a 29-yard Chris Wenk field goal out of the deal to take a 9-6 lead that held until Pauley's second touchdown catch.
"Our offense, it sputtered," Long said. "We needed to get in the end zone."
After BHSU took the lead, DSU's defense continued to hold strong.
The Blue Hawks allowed 241 total yards and held Hodgs to 112 yards on 17 of 31 passing. Benne had 86 yards rushing on 31 carries.
The win puts DSU into a tie for first place in the conference with Minot State, which defeated South Dakota Mines on Saturday.
The Blue Hawks host Mines next Saturday having allowed an average of 4.8 points per game against DAC opponents. They have three conference games left before the DAC Bowl on Nov. 8 at the Fargodome.
"It keeps us going deep into October, which is what we want to do every year," Biesiot said.
DSU 0 6 0 7 -- 13
BHSU 6 0 3 0 -- 9
BHSU-Cole Benne 1 run (kick blocked), 9:48.
DSU-Derek Pauley 34 pass from Cody Holland (kick blocked), 14:06
BHSU-Chris Wenk 29 FG, 12:02
DSU-Pauley 36 pass from Holland (Zamira kick), 6:17
TEAM STATISTICS DSU BHSU
First downs 11 17
Rushes-yards 33-45 47-129
Passing yards 210 112
Comp.-Att.-Int. 12-18-2 17-31-0
Total yards 255 243
Fumbles-lost 2-2 1-1
Penalties-yards 5-40 5-41
Punts-Avg. 6-26.5 6-35.7
RUSHING: DSU, Holland 10-22, James Macey 17-13, Zach Hepperle 5(-1), Blaine Berg 1-10, Reed Lambert 1-1. BHSU, Benne 31-86, Clint Nicholes 9-30, Drew Hodgs 6-12, Ryan Palmer 1-1.
PASSING: DSU, Holland 12-17-1 210. Velasquez 0-1-1 0. BHSU, Hodgs 17-31-0 112.
RECEIVING: DSU, Pauley 4-88, Berg 3-73, Clint Grosz 2-17, Tanner Leak 1-13, Macey 1-10, Hepperle 1-9, Russell 1-0. BHSU, Nick Pisciotti 5-66, Willie Padilla 5-41, Benne 3-10, Nicholes 2-(-5). Cliff Bryan 1-3, Daniel Hadley 1-(-3).