September 3, 2016
SIOUX CENTER, Iowa – Dakota State (S.D.) raced to 28-12 lead in the second quarter at Open Space Field in a non-conference football contest versus Dordt (Iowa). The Defenders outscored the Trojans 33-14 from late second quarter through fourth quarter and held on to defeat DSU in a shoot-out score of 45-42 in Defenders' season home opener.
Dakota State fell to 1-1 overall record. The game featured combined 183 plays, 1,165 total offensive yards and 69 first-downs by both teams.
Dordt received the first possession of the game and drove down to DSU's 14-yard line. Keithen Drury fumbled the ball on DSU's 19-yard line and was recovered by Curt Boeke as the Trojans started their first possession of the game with 11 minutes, 52 seconds on the clock in the first quarter.
Robert Johnson opened the first play for DSU with a 41-yard rush to DC's 40-yard line. After another 7-yard rush by Johnson and Defenders' defense penalty that resulted another first down by DSU, Jacob Giles fired a 24-yard touchdown pass to Austin Opdahl for the first lead of the game. Nic Behrens added a PAT extra-point kick as the Trojans lead 7-0 with 10:11 left in the first quarter.
Dordt answered back on the ensuing possession after using 7 plays for 84 yards in 2:01, highlighted by Bock Lamle's 18-yard pass to Josh Vangroningen and 44-yard pass from Reggie Washington to Jason Miller. Bryce Lidtka ran for a 4-yard touchdown run to cut DSU's lead 7-6 with 8:10 on the clock in the opening quarter (Jeff Paepke's PAT kick was no good).
The Trojans would quickly score on the next possession as Giles found Opdahl for a 60-yard touchdown pass, their second touchdown of the game. Behrens hit the PAT extra-point kick to put Trojans up 14-6 with 7:10 remaining in the first quarter.
The Defenders went on to score on the next drive as Lidtka recorded a 7-yard touchdown run. DC failed to convert their 2-point PAT extra point as DSU held on to a 14-12 lead with less than six minutes to go in the first quarter. Dordt used 5 plays for 57 yards in 1:18 in their scoring drive.
DSU was unable to extend their lead after Behrens' 38-yard field goal was blocked by DC's Courtland King with 2:40 left in the first quarter.
Dakota State opened up the second quarter with a 21-12 lead after Giles sneaked in for a 1-yard touchdown run (Behrens PAT kick was good). During DSU's scoring drive with 7 plays for 76 yards in 2:30, the Trojans had three first down plays – a 17-yard pass from Giles to Opdahl, 16-yard rush by Giles and a 30-yard pass from Giles to Mitchell Galloway.
The Trojans were able to capitalize on DC's fumble by Washington on DC's 32-yard line. The Trojans used 7 plays for 32 yards in 2:18 for their next score as Giles threw a 5-yard touchdown pass to Luke Gomez. Behrens added a successful PAT kick as Dakota State widen their lead to 28-12 with 8:12 left in the first half.
The Defenders cut DSU's lead to 28-19 after recording 8 plays for 60 yards in 2:40 when Lamle threw a 9-yard touchdown pass to Jason Miller (Paepke's PAT kick was good).
Dordt started their drive on their own 11-yard line with 2:44 remaining in the second quarter. The Defenders went on to produce three consecutive first-down plays to move the ball to DSU's 46-yard line. DC continued to move the ball and went on to score a touchdown just seconds before halftime. Lidtka ran for a 1-yard touchdown, but the PAT kick was no good as DC trimmed DSU's lead to 28-25 with 12 seconds.
The Defenders used 13 plays for 89 yards in 2:32 for the final scoring drive of the first-half.
DSU held on to a 28-25 halftime advantage.
Dakota State started the second-half with a bang. Johnson kicked off the third quarter with a 25-yard rushing from DSU's 26-yard line to DC's 49-yard line. Giles threw a 40-yard touchdown pass to Preston Nordling as the Trojans extended their lead by nine points. Behrens hit the PAT extra-point kick as the Trojans' lead ballooned to 35-25 with 14:01 on the clock in the third quarter.
Dordt used 13 plays for 61 yards in 4:35 in the ensuing possession as Lidtka recorded another 1-yard touchdown run with 9:26 left in the third quarter. Paepke's PAT kick was no good as the Trojans hang on to a 35-31 lead.
The Trojans committed a turnover with 2:07 remaining in the third quarter on DSU's 17-yard line as DC recovered the ball. The Defenders convert their scoring chance as Drury ran for a 7-yard touchdown to give Dordt their first lead of the game at 37-35 with 1:08 left in third.
Dakota State was forced to punt in the early fourth quarter on DC's 34-yard line, setting up the possession on its own 11-yard line for the Defenders. The Defenders went on to record 10 plays for 87 yards in 3:33, thanks to three consecutive first-down plays of over 10 yards (2 plays of over 20 yards). Drury rushed for a 3-yard touchdown for DC's 45-35 lead with 10:06 remaining in the game.
DSU answered back on the ensuing possession, starting from their own 32-yard line. Giles threw a 5-yard pass to Galloway to DSU's 37-yard line. Facing third-and-five situation, Giles hit Nordling for a 21-yard pass and resulted in a first-down play to DC's 42-yard line.
DSU earned another first down on the next play to DC's 30-yard line, a 12-yard pass to Branden Ingles. Johnson ran for 25 yards on the next play to DC"s 5-yard. Giles would then find Opdahl for 5-yard touchdown pass, their third touchdown pass of the game. Behrens earned a successful PAT kick as the Trojans cut DC's lead to 45-42 with 8:26 left in the game.
After the Defenders were forced to punt on their own 33-yard line, the Trojans started their drive on DSU's 16-yard line after a personal foul penalty with less than six minutes to go in the game.
An unsportsmanlike conduct penalty committed by Dordt gave DSU a first down on their own 31-yard line. After a 6-yard pass from Giles to Nick Martensen, Johnson ran for 14 yards to DC's 49-yard line for another first down play.
The Trojans continued to move down the field after a pair of first-down plays by Johnson – 13-yard rush to DC's 35-yard line and 11-yard rush to DC's 11-yard line. DSU was unable to knot the game as Behrens' 42-yard field goal was missed wide right with 2:09 remaining.
Dordt secured the game after Lamle threw a 10-yard pass to Miller for a first-down.
DC outscored DSU 20-14 in the final 30 minutes of the game.
Giles completed 24 passes in 41 attempts for 317 yards for the Trojans. He threw five touchdowns in the game, which tied the DSU school record for most touchdown passes in the game (Terry Kasperbauser in 1976 vs. Southwest Minnesota State and Tom Nielsen in 2003 versus Minot State, N.D.). He added 29 rushing yards and a rushing touchdown.
Johnson ran 18 times for 178 yards for Dakota State. Daulton Mercer had 14 rushes for 48 yards.
DSU had a pair of 100-plus receivers in the game. Nordling had eight receptions for 110 yards and a touchdown. Opdahl added five catches for 114 yards and three touchdowns, his second straight game that he caught three touchdown passes from Giles. Galloway had three receptions for 48 yards.
Darion Office and Cole Potter each led DSU's defense with 10 tackles. Dereck DeVries added nine tackles. Baily Edwards had eight tackles. Potter, Edwards and Boeke each recorded a forced fumble. Mahica Davis registered three break-up passes.
Lidtka ran 43 times in the game for a total of 253 yards with four touchdowns for the Defenders. Drury added eight rushes for 35 yards and two touchdowns. Lamle was 20-of-38 for 255 yards and a touchdown.
Miller caught 14 passes for 223 yards and a touchdown for Dordt.
Alex Vasquez recorded 11 tackle for DC. Gerrit Wybenga added 10 tackles.
Dordt outgained Dakota State 593-572 in total offensive yards. DSU broke a 43-year old team school record for most offensive yards in a single game, with the previous old record set in 1973 with 566 total offensive yards versus Black Hills State (S.D.).
DC had 294 rushing yards compared to DSU 255 rushing yards. The Trojans recorded 317 passing yards while the Defenders had 299 passing yards.
The Defenders had 37 first-downs compared to Trojans' 32 first-downs (2nd most first-downs in the DSU's school record book – 34 first-downs in DSU's 34-30 victory over No. 16 Dakota Wesleyan, S.D. on Aug. 26).
DSU was whistled for 13 penalties in the game for 144 yards compared to DC 7 penalties for 99 yards.
The Defenders had seven red-zone touchdowns compared to the Trojans' three red-zone touchdowns.
Dakota State returns home for the first time next Saturday, starting their first game of the three-game home stand at Trojan Field. The Trojans look to swing back in the winning column as they face NAIA's Top 25-ranked team for the second time this season, hosting No. 24-ranked St. Ambrose (Iowa) in a non-conference clash. Kick-off is set for 1 p.m. as part of Parents' Day.
Nick Huntimer, Dakota State University Sports Information Director