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Turnovers a problem as Blue Hawks lose first conference game in three years

FOREST CITY, Iowa -- The No. 16 Dickinson State football team hasn't lost a conference game since Oct. 17, 2015. Until now. The Blue Hawks gave up 13 straight points in the fourth quarter to Waldorf University (Iowa), who came away with the 23-22...

FOREST CITY, Iowa - The No. 16 Dickinson State football team hasn't lost a conference game since Oct. 17, 2015. Until now.

The Blue Hawks gave up 13 straight points in the fourth quarter to Waldorf University (Iowa), who came away with the 23-22 win on Saturday, Oct. 6, at Borlstorff Stadium. With the victory, the Warriors remain undefeated against North Star opponents this season.

"We didn't make enough plays," head coach Pete Stanton said. "They made more plays than we did down the stretch. We certainly had a lot of opportunities, obviously having a 12-point lead in the fourth quarter and they went up and made some plays. We didn't make enough plays. ... It was a total team thing. We have to coach better and we have to play better."

With two minutes and 42 seconds left in the third quarter, Dickinson State junior linebacker Kevin Brown recovered a Waldorf fumble, giving the Blue Hawks the ball on their own 18-yard line. Junior running back Amad Andrews Jr. accounted for nine of the 13 plays on the ensuing drive, including the 11-yard touchdown run. The extra point from junior kicker Cody Johnson gave Dickinson State a 22-10 advantage with 11:20 left to play.

"I think we were running the ball well at times. We did a real good job, but on the other end of it, we fumbled twice in the red zone too. Those things hurt," Stanton said. "We put together a couple 40-plus yard drives and then had a couple fumbles. I don't think it was anything more on that drive than the other drives that hurt us, it was just finishing it and making some plays."

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Waldorf took over from there, forging an 8-play series, scoring off a 6-yard pass from junior quarterback Hilton Joseph to junior wide receiver Don Jones.

Joseph went 19-for-28 on the day, throwing 205 yards, two picks and a pair of touchdowns.

His second scoring pass, a 32-yard hurl to junior receiver Ryan Martinez, came with 6:27 left in the game, capping a drive that began with an interception by junior defensive back Cameron Newsome at midfield.

Turnovers were the name of the game, as Gibson threw three interceptions for the second straight week and the Blue Hawks fumbled twice. The turnovers also plagued the Warriors though, as Joseph through a pair of interceptions and his offense fumbled three times.

Freshman running back Bo Evans led the Waldorf attack with 177 of the Warriors' 240 yards on the ground. He averaged 6.8 yards over his 26 carries and scored a touchdown. When he wasn't running, Joseph was faking the handoff and finding a receiver in a split second, or tucking and carrying the ball himself.

"I thought at times we did okay (defensively) and other times we couldn't get off the field," Stanton said. "They're a dangerous team. Their running back is very good, we knew their quarterback was a good runner, they're good with their RPO things."

The Warriors put up 445 yards of offense, while Dickinson State earned 349 yards offensive yards, exactly 100 below their average of 449 yards per game.

The first half was a turnover-ridden, back-and-forth affair. The Blue Hawks started smoothly, scoring on an efficient 5-play, 75-yard drive that ended with a 9-yard touchdown pass from junior quarterback Hayden Gibson to senior Seth Moerkerke.

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From there, things got a little more chaotic.

After Johnson missed the extra point, he kicked the ball to Waldorf offense, which started on its own 29. The Warriors put together a solid drive until they fumbled the ball on the Blue Hawks 26-yard line, which was recovered by Dickinson State sophomore linebacker Aaric Spring.

However, Dickinson State was only on the field for three plays, as Gibson was sacked on third down.

With the punt and a penalty, the Warriors started on the Blue Hawks 47-yard line and three plays later, they were in the end zone. Evans' 19-yard scoring run and the extra point brought the score to 7-6 Waldorf.

A fumble each and a Gibson interception kept either team from scoring again until the second quarter.

Field goals from each team brought the Warriors advantage to 10-9 with 7:05 left in the second frame.

With halftime creeping closer, a pick from senior free safety Cain Boschee gave the Blue Hawks the ball at their own 49-yard line. Five plays later, junior Roderick Ashford barrelled past the goal line with a 13-yard rush. However, the back was called for unsportsmanlike conduct, pushing the point-after kick to the 25-yard line, rather than the 10-yard line. Just as he did the first time, Johnson missed the extra point. If the Blue Hawks had just one of them back, the score could have been different.

"You win games together as a team and we lost together as a team," Stanton said. "It's just a tough one. It hurts a lot for the guys and for our team. It's a very, very tough loss."

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Results Saturday

Waldorf (Iowa) 23, Dickinson State 22

DSU 6 9 0 7 - 22

WU 7 3 0 13 - 23

First Quarter

DSU - Seth Moerkerke 9 pass from Hayden Gibson (PAT no good), 12:49

WU - Bo Evans 19 rush (Slater Gifford kick), 6:22

Second Quarter

DSU - Cody Johnson 44 field goal, 11:58

WU - Gifford 26 field goal, 7:05

DSU - Roderick Ashford 13 rush (PAT no good), 1:59

Third Quarter

No scoring.

Fourth Quarter

DSU - Amad Andrews 11 rush (Johnson kick)

WU - Don Jones 6 pass from Hilton Joseph, (Gifford kick), 8:16

WU - Ryan Martinez 32 pass from Joseph (Conversion no good), 6:27

TEAM STATISTICS DSU WU

First downs 21 26

Rushes-yards 34-138 46-240

Passing yards 211 205

Comp.-Att.-Int. 15-28-3 19-29-2

Total yards 349 445

Fumbles-lost 2-2 3-3

Penalties-yards 4-40 5-36

Punts-Avg. 3-41.7 3-29

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING: DSU, Amad Andrews Jr. 27-130, TD; Roderick Ashford 2-11; TD; Nick Miller 3-3. WU, Bo Evans 26-177, TD; Hilton Joseph 12-48.

PASSING: DSU, Hayden Gibson 15-28-3, 211 yards, TD. WU, Joseph 19-28-2, 205 yards, 2 TDs.

RECEIVING: DSU, Randy Ivey 2-65; Seth Moerkerke 4-48, TD; Tyger Frye 4-53; Gabe Meschke 1-16; Andrews 1-12; Jaret Lee 2-9; Ashford 1-8. WU, Sam Huntley 8-85; Ryan Martinez 2-40, TD; Don Jones 3-13, TD.

DEFENSIVE STATISTICS

TACKLES: DSU, Daniel Moreno 5-5, sack; Derick VandeBossche 5-4; Jalen Hendrickson 3-6; Kevin Brown 2-6. WU, Daequan Nelson 3-9; MaCoy Yeakel 4-7.

INTERCEPTIONS: DSU, Dillon Reiner 1-21; Cain Boschee 1. WU, Yeakel 1-10; James Jackson 1-26; Cameron Newsome 1.

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