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Show and tell: DSU reveals strengths, weakness during scrimmage

After two weeks of hard work, the Dickinson State football team competed in front of the public. The Blue Hawks participated in the Blue-Gray scrimmage on Friday at the Biesiot Activities Center and showed a wide array of strengths, but also area...

Dalton Reid
Press Photo by Meaghan MacDonald Dickinson State sophomore Dalton Reid, left, runs with the ball during the Dickinson State Blue-Gray scrimmage on Friday at the Biesiot Activities Center.

After two weeks of hard work, the Dickinson State football team competed in front of the public.
The Blue Hawks participated in the Blue-Gray scrimmage on Friday at the Biesiot Activities Center and showed a wide array of strengths, but also areas in need of improvement.
“For the most part we were excited for the effort,” DSU first-year head coach Pete Stanton said. “Our running backs ran the ball hard. Defensively, we flew around, but we didn’t tackle as well as we should.
“That’s one glaring thing defensively, we need to tackle better and tackle better in space and I think offensively we need to take care of the ball a little better.”
Five quarterbacks saw action, all but last year’s starter Kaler Ray. The sophomore quarterback was sidelined as a precaution after tweaking his hamstring. Junior Thad Lane started the scrimmage but was a little shaky at first. The offense fumbled the ball on the first play of the scrimmage, and committed two more turnovers in the scrimmage including an interception in the redzone.
After the fumble, the offense got back into a rhythm and Lane connected with his receivers at least three times. In one of his last drives, Lane threw about a 15 yard pass to transfer receiver Seth Ewoniuk.
“(The quarterbacks were) up and down at times, but they did a really good job making some reads or making some throws,” Stanton said. “Also did a good job of breaking out of the pocket and finding some receivers on the run. We were happy with that and they did a nice job there.”
The offense scored on two field goals and one touchdown run by Robert Nalewaja.
While there were tweaks to be made here and there, some newcomers were able to stand out and showed improvement. Freshman wide receiver Dylan Skabo was active on the field, making at least three catches and picking up extra yards on most plays.
“The first week was rough with all the additions and routs and stuff, but looking at the playbook I got the hang of it and its not too bad,” the Dickinson High graduate said about adjusting to college football.
Despite the things which need to be fixed, senior linebacker Alex Huitzil - who was one of five Blue Hawks who were named preseason all-conference - said it was finally good to actually put what they learned in practice to use. The other four DSU players named preseason all-conference is senior wide receiver J.T. Keith, junior offensive lineman Kelii Copp, senior running back Jesse Carney and senior defensive lineman Sam Herauf.
“It felt good going up there against the starting offense,” Huitzil said. “It was live, hitting actually the quarterbacks too. It felt good after camp not hitting that much.”
The Blue-Gray scrimmage marked the end of two weeks of practices and now the Blue Hawks will change their approach and prepare for the first home game against Rocky Mountain College (Mont.) at 1 p.m. on Aug. 30 at the BAC.
Rocky is a familiar foe opponent as the two teams played in the Frontier Conference in the past two seasons. The Bears are ranked No. 9 in the 2014 NAIA football coaches’ preseason poll.
“We have such a long ways to go and we know they’re one of the better teams in the country, are really good and know the task at hand, but we just got to take it one day at a time and improve on the things heer today to get better,” Stanton said.

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