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Shattered dreams

MANDAN -- Dickinson High School football coaches Dave Michaelson and Greg Jung just shook their heads in disbelief. Over the previous two hours, the Mandan Braves had hung 62 points on the scoreboard against one of the best defenses in the West R...

Dickinson High senior running back Jayden Steier
Photo by Mike McCleary/Bismarck Tribune Dickinson High senior running back Jayden Steier runs the ball against Mandan in a Class AAA, West Region game Wednesday night. The Midgets' loss ended their shot at the state playoffs.

MANDAN -- Dickinson High School football coaches Dave Michaelson and Greg Jung just shook their heads in disbelief.

Over the previous two hours, the Mandan Braves had hung 62 points on the scoreboard against one of the best defenses in the West Region, in a game that would determine the region's fourth and final playoff spot.

Mandan quarterback Devin Coyle threw five touchdown passes and Billy Binstock rushed for 161 yards and four scores as Mandan overwhelmed the Midgets 62-32 at Lefty Faris Field.

Both teams finished tied with 3-3 marks in the region. Mandan advances to the Class AAA playoffs against West Fargo, while Dickinson's season is over after a 4-5 campaign.

Mandan's best defense was its offense, as usual. After racing out to a 27-0 lead, the Braves answered Dickinson score for score the rest of the way.

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"I told our guys on the bus that we can't let Mandan throw the first punch. It's our team motto that we throw the first punch," Dickinson coach Dennis Morris said. "Mandan threw that and we didn't get off the bus. You can't spot a good team that many points."

Coyle was 16-for-27 for 312 yards and did not throw and interception. The Braves also rushed for 192 yards, giving it 504 yards of total offense. Dickinson had been giving up 243 yards per game.

"We can score, it's whether we can stop people from scoring or not," Mandan coach Pat O'Brien said with a laugh. "It got to be a shootout for a while and we don't need that.

Mandan went up 13-0 in the first quarter on a 21-yard pass to Jordan Zander and 38-yarder to Mark Zinke. Coyle and Zinke also connected on TD scores of 28 and 6 yards.

Zinke's 28-yard grab was followed by Binstock's 7-yard run. Binstock added scoring runs of 56, 37 and 30 yards, while Coyle tossed a 7-yard TD pass to Aaron Janz.

"We have some athletes that can play offense," O'Brien said. "Our skill people are strong."

Coyle was efficient under center. His first nine completions went for first downs and/or touchdowns. Mandan converted seven of nine third downs -- many over long distances -- in the first half.

The Midgets finally got on the board when receiver Nate Moody took a handoff on a reverse around right end and went 65 yards with 3:28 left in the half.

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But Mandan answered just 2:26 later on the Coyle-to-Janz score.

Dickinson wasn't done, marching down the field in the closing seconds to get one of two Levi Keck 1-yard TD runs to made it 34-13 with 6 seconds left in the half.

Keck added another score in the third period, but it was sandwiched around two Binstock scoring runs.

Dickinson closed within 48-32 with 9:48 to play on a 24-yard pass from Nick Lupo to Moody, followed by an onside kick and a 32-yard pass from Lupo to Tyrell Parker.

But the last two scores belonged to the Braves.

"We knew we could move the ball on them and they could move the ball on us. We didn't get a big stop and Mandan's too powerful of an offense," Morris said.

Lupo finished the night 19-for-36 for 284 yards and one interception.

Moody ran for 86 yards and caught six passes for 101 yards. Parker also had six catches for 119 yards.

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For Mandan, Janz hauled in four passes for 106 yards and Zinke had five catches for 92.

Both teams put on quite an offensive show, combining for 973 yards of total offense.

"We think we have the ability to score, but if we don't stop people ..." O'Brien said. "I mean, last week Century took everything away from us."

Not everything, the Braves still had 62 points in the bag.

Had Mandan put 62 points up before?

"Not that I know of," O'Brien said, himself in disbelief.

Dickinson 0 13 7 12 -- 32

Mandan 13 21 14 14 -- 62

M- Jordan Zander 21 pass from Devin Coyle (run failed)

M-Mark Zinke 38 pass from Coyle (Logan McDowall kick)

M- Billy Binstock 7 run (McDowall kick)

M-Zinke 28 pass from Coyle (McDowall kick)

D-Nate Moody 65 run (kick failed)

M-Aaron Janz 7 pass from Coyle (McDowall kick

D-Levi Keck 1 run (DJ Weismann kick)

M-Binstock 56 run (McDowall kick

D-Keck 1 run (Weismann kick

M-Binstock 37 run (McDowall kick)

D-Moody 24 pass from Nick Lupo (kick failed)

D-Tyrell Parker 32 pass from Lupo (pass failed)

M-Zinke 6 pass from Coyle (McDowall kick)

M-Binstock 30 run (McDowall kick

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING: D, Nick Lupo 10-(minus-47), Nate Moody 4-86, Jayden Steier 7-45, Ryan Yates 7-50, Michael Chernowski 6-23, Brett Braunagel 3-33, Tyrell Porter 1-(minus-7), Levi Keck 2-2. M, Devin Coyle 6-21, Aaron Janz 1-1, Mark Zinke 21-161, Adam Stein 1-(minus-1), David Payn 1-10.

PASSING: D, Lupo 19-36-1, 284, Moody 0-1-0 0. M, Coyle 16-27-0 312.

RECEIVING: D, Moody 6-101, Parker 6-119, Tanner Steffan 2-25, Yates 3-18, Chernowski 1-(minus-1), Braunagel 1-21. M, Janz 4-106, Clody Sjomeling 5-92, Seth Westby 3-41, Zander 4-73.

Related Topics: FOOTBALL
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