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Titans return with added motivation

Each time the Dickinson Trinity football team met a ranked opponent it has ended the same way. A near win. The Titans are hoping to use their previous experiences to forget about the past as the team travels to West Region opponent, defending Cla...

Joe Mayer
FNS Photo by Chris Aarhus Dickinson Trinity senior wide receiver Joe Mayer, front, makes a catch against a Minot Ryan defender during a Class 2A West Region game on Sept. 20 at the Biesiot Activities Center.

Each time the Dickinson Trinity football team met a ranked opponent it has ended the same way.
A near win.
The Titans are hoping to use their previous experiences to forget about the past as the team travels to West Region opponent, defending Class 2A state champions and top-ranked Bismarck St. Mary’s at 6:30 p.m. today.
“The thing that (the coaching staff) has been telling them is that when we have a team on the ropes, we got to kept the pressure on,” Trinity head coach John Odermann said. “If you let up for a second, that’s when they come back with a counterpunch and sometimes you can’t recover from that counterpunch. You have to make sure you are keeping that pressure on all the time. You can’t count on them making mistakes and allow yourself to make mental mistakes.”
The latest near win turned into a four-point loss against No. 5-ranked Minot Ryan.
But the Titans (1-3, 1-1 West) aren’t letting the loss set the tone for the rest of the season.
In fact, Trinity is using the loss as a catalyst to increase the fuel to the fire.
“It’s heartbreaking, but it gives us more motivation to come back the next week and win,” Trinity senior lineman Jacob Brooke said. “We’ve been working hard this whole week. This is the best week of practice that we’ve had.”
The Saints (4-0, 2-0 West) defeated the Titans 42-12 last season. Yet, the turning point in the game was the first four minutes when St. Mary’s scored four touchdowns. The Saints haven’t slowed down one bit this season as they average 37.3 points per game and have allowed 8.5.
“I don’t know if they have a lot of weaknesses, but we are going to do our best to find them and try to exploit them if possible,” Odermann said. “They want to win just like we want to win and hopefully we go 1-0 against St. Mary’s.”
However, the Titans are coming off three straight solid performances against Ryan, Central Dakota and previously No. 4-ranked Valley City.
Trinity shutout Central Dakota 27-0 and the losses against the Lions and the Hi-Liners were by a total of 10 points. Valley City needed overtime to beat the Titans 34-26. The Lions used a second-half rally to beat Trinity 18-14.
“It’s always tough to lose, but that was especially difficult because we had it,” Trinity wide receiver-defensive back Easton Brost said about the Ryan game. “We did everything right and we did everything that we could. We looked really good in the first half and then we just beat ourselves in the second half.”
Odermann said the goal every week is going to win the battle at the line of scrimmage. Against the Lions, Trinity’s defensive front caused six fumbles - two of which were recovered. Ryan committed a total of five turnovers.
The Titans main concern against St. Mary’s will be to stopping the run. Odermann said the Saints have multiple rushers with a mix of speed and power.
“Stopping the run is something that we have focused on a lot this year and our defense has been doing a lot better job of stopping guys on the ground,” Odermann said. “When we can look at our defense as a potential strength, that makes our offense better. The longer that our defense can hold teams scoreless, the better chance our offense has to get some points on the board.
“St. Mary’s has some good quick runners and they got some good power runners. They have some good strength up front at the line of scrimmage.”

McGregor is the sports editor of The Dickinson Press. Call him at 701-456-1214 and tweet him @SirRoyal.

Related Topics: TRINITY TITANSFOOTBALL
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