August 30, 2014
Photos Credit by Donald Weidler
MADISON, S.D. – Dakota State (S.D.) overcame two early turnovers in their first two possessions of the North Star Athletic Association (NSAA) football conference game Saturday evening versus Mayville State (N.D.) at the Trojan Field. The Trojans scored 28 straight points after trailing 6-0 in the opening quarter, thanks to Justin Summers' three rushing touchdowns. The Comets scored 14 points in the second-half, but the Trojans held on to a 28-20 NSAA conference victory.
Dakota State won their season opener game for the first time since 2006 when they defeated Waldorf (Iowa) 31-23 at Trojan Field. The Trojans also snapped their four-game losing streak in the series meeting. Mayville State lost their second straight NSAA conference game to drop their overall record to 0-2 and 0-2 NSAA record.
Both teams went off to a shaky start. After MSU used four plays and forced to be punted, DSU fumbled on the ensuing possession, followed by Comets another three-and-out in the Trojans' territory.
DSU committed another fumble and was recovered by MSU on DSU's 32-yard line with eleven minutes and fifteen seconds left in the first quarter.
The Comets quickly scored as Michael Barron connected to Dantrel Horne for a 32-yard touchdown with 11:08 remaining in the opening quarter. The PAT kick by Zach Siewert was no good as MSU grabbed their first lead of the game at 6-0.
Dakota State used six plays for 64 yards in 2:05 for their first score late in the first quarter. Summers rushed for 16 yards for a touchdown and Tanner Hubbard added a successful kick to give DSU a 7-6 lead with less than five minutes remaining in the first quarter.
The Trojans added another score in the early second quarter after MSU's punt was blocked by DSU on MSU's 32-yard line. Starting the drive from MSU's 29-yard line, Summers ran for a 10-yard touchdown run to extend Trojans' lead. Hubbard added the PAT kick as Dakota State expanded their lead to 14-6 with 10:33 remaining before intermission.
After the Comets went three-and-out, Summers rushed for his third touchdown of the game. He ran for a 56-yards touchdown run with 8:02 left in the second quarter. Hubbard's PAT kick was good to as Dakota State stretched their lead to 21-6.
On the ensuing drive, MSU was not able to convert their fake punt play (on a 4th-and-10 on DSU's 48-yardline) as Ben Kullos intercepted Comets' punter Tyler Dolan's pass on DSU's 45-yard line. Kullos returned for 27 yards to set up another scoring drive for the Trojans on MSU's 28-yardline.
The Trojans quickly used two plays for 28 yards to widen their lead. Jeremy Christner recorded the team's fourth rushing touchdown as he ran for 21 yards. Hubbard kick the PAT kick to make it 28-6 in favor of DSU with 4:15 left to play in the first-half.
DSU gained a 22-point halftime lead after outscoring MSU 21-0 in the second quarter. The Trojans rushed 32 times for 260 yards compared to the Comets' 26 rushing attempts for 51 yards in the first-half.
Mayville State trimmed Trojans' lead to 28-14. Barron threw a 36-yard touchdown pass to Horne with less than 11 minutes on the clock in the third quarter. John Poppe added a 2-point conversion for the Comets.
MSU added another score in the fourth quarter. The Comets used 13 plays for 80 yards in 4:55 as Barron recorded an eight-yard touchdown pass to Lance Jackson. The PAT kick by Siewert was blocked by DSU's Tyler Poggemeyer as the Trojans held their lead to 28-20 with 8:17 left to play.
The Trojans prevented the Comets to move into DSU's territory after Cole Potter sacked MSU Barron on a fourth-and-nine play from MSU's 47-yardline with 1:23 remaining.
Facing third-and-six on MSU's 34-yardline with less than a minute left, Dakota State secured the game by converting a first-down after Summers ran for a seven-yard. The Trojans added another first-down when MSU committed a penalty on the same play.
Summers ran 23 times for a game-high 190 yards with three touchdowns for the Trojans. Christner added 20 rushes for 97 yards with a touchdown.
Summers completed four passes to four different wide receivers in 15 attempts. He threw 56 total passing yards. Nic Behrens had a reception for 22 yards. Brendon Waldner added a catch for 19 yards. Zach Ely had a reception for 12 yards. Jabree Shorter had three receiving yards.
Barron was 21-for-35 passing with 220 yards with three touchdowns for the Comets. He committed two interceptions. He added 26 rushes for 44 yards.
Rashad Flanders had 15 rushing attempts for 52 yards for MSU.
Horne had five receptions for 95 yards and two touchdowns for the Comets. Jackson added seven catches for 78 yards and a touchdown.
Kullos led the Trojans' defense with 15 tackles. He had an interception with a return of 27 yards. Austin Ross added nine tackles and an interception return of 24 yards. Potter had nine tackles and recorded two quarterback sacks (for a loss of 15 yards). Aaron Gronwald had nine tackles. Matt Groff had an interception return of 12 yards.
As a team, Dakota State tallied a total of six quarterback sacks for a loss of 38 yards and 16 tackles-for-loss of 85 yards.
Raven Smith collected 11 tackles for the Comets. Jacob Grosz had 10 tackles, including a quarterback sack. Brogan Thoren had nine tackles and a sack. MSU had two quarterback sacks for eight yards loss and five tackles-for-loss of 15 yards.
Dakota State outgained Mayville State 377-320 in total offensive yards. The Trojans had 22 first-downs compared to the Comets' 17 first-downs.
The Trojans had 321 rushing yards compared to the Comets' 100 rushing yards.
DSU converted 5-of-15 in third-down conversions, while MSU only converted one successful third-down conversion in 19 tries. The Comets were 5-of-8 in fourth-down conversions.
Mayville State was whistled for 12 penalties for a total of 118 yards. The Trojans committed 11 penalties for a total of 78 yards.
The Comets had the ball for 33 minutes and 50 seconds in the game. The Trojans had a time possession of 26:10.
Dakota State looks to make it two straight win as they head on the road next Saturday (Sept. 6). The Trojans play Dordt (Iowa) in a non-conference game. Kick-off is slated for 6 p.m. at Open Space Field in Sioux Center, Iowa.
Nick Huntimer, Dakota State University Sports Information Director