September 17, 2016
Photos credits by Donald Weidler
MADISON, S.D. – Dakota State (S.D.) scored the game's first 22 points for a 22-0 lead and never look back for a 36-14 victory over North Star Athletic Association's conference foe Waldorf (Iowa) Saturday evening at the Trojan Field. The non-conference contest was as part of the first annual 'Ag Bowl' game as well as Dacotah Bank/NSAA Football Game-of-the-Week.
Dakota State, who received votes in the first edition of the NAIA Football Coaches' Top 25 national poll, lifted their overall record to 3-1 after winning their second straight game. It was the first time since 2007 that the Trojans that they started the season with a 3-1 record. Waldorf fell to 1-3 overall record.
Both teams will meet for the second time this season, meeting in Forest City, Iowa two weeks later which will be counted as the NSAA conference game.
Waldorf and Dakota State did not score in the opening quarter, despite missing a field goal attempt. The Warriors committed the first turnover of the game when DSU's Dereck DeVries intercepted Hilton Joseph's pass at the DSU's 40-yard line and returned to WU's 40-yard line with 13 minutes, 8 seconds on the clock in the first quarter.
The Trojans were unable to convert their scoring opportunity as Nic Behren's 27-yard field goal was missed left with 9:39 remaining in first.
Later in the first quarter, the Warriors used 11 plays for 60 yards in 5:37 but German Ponce's 20-yard field goal was no good as the ball hit the right goal post (1:45 on the clock in the first quarter).
Facing 4th-and-17 situation on WU's 37-yard line in the early second quarter, the Trojans were forced to punt. Jacob Giles recorded a 35-yard punt to WU's 2-yard line with 12:57 on the clock.
Dakota State took the first lead of the game when Joseph threw a pass to Maliek Stephens and was tackled in their own end zone, giving the Trojans a 2-0 lead with 11:27 left before intermission.
After Trojan Branden Ingles 38 yards kick-off return to WU's 29-yard line on the ensuing possession, Dakota State recorded its first touchdown of the game. The Trojans used 7 plays for 29 yards in 1:51 as Jacob Giles rushed for a 1-yard touchdown run, extending DSU's lead to 8-0 with 9:36 left in second.
With 3:52 left before halftime, the Trojans opened the drive with a 4-yard pass from Giles to Austin Opdahl. On the next play, Giles fired a 51-yard pass to Opdahl from DSU's 44-yadr line to WU's 5-yard line. Robert Johnson went on to earn a 2-yard touchdown run, while Behrens added the PAT kick to make it 15-0 in favor of Dakota State with 2:44 remaining in the second quarter.
The Warriors recorded 7 plays for 61 yards after DSU's touchdown, highlighted by a 49-yard pass from Joseph to Ja'Ron Kellum. The Trojans prevented the Warriors to score as DeVries earned his second interception of the game in the end zone with 1:18 left before halftime.
The Trojans maintained a 15-0 halftime lead.
Dakota State's lead ballooned to 22-0 in the early third quarter. The Trojans recorded 6 plays for 59 yards in 2:25 another touchdown, a 4-yard rush by Johnson. DSU had a pair of key plays during their scoring drive, a 31-yard rush by Johnson from DSU's 41-yard line to WU's 28-yard line and a 3rd-and-12 situation with Giles connecting to Mitchell Galloway for a 26-yard pass from WU's 30 yard line to WU's 4-yard line. Behrens added a successful PAT extra-point kick.
Waldorf broke their scoring drought on the next possession following Trojans' touchdown. The Warriors used 15 plays for 73 yards in 6:10 as Stephens ran for a 1-yard touchdown. Ponce's PAT extra-point kick was good as WU trimmed DSU's lead to 22-7 with 3:16 remaining in the third quarter.
The Trojans quickly scored on the ensuing possession, highlighted by a 42-yard pass from Giles to Opdahl (DSU's 43-yard line to WU's 15-yard line). After a false start by the Trojans, Giles fired a 20-yard touchdown pass to Ingles with 1:32 on the clock in the third quarter. Behrens added the PAT extra-point kick to widen DSU's lead to 29-7.
DSU outscored WU 14-7 in the third quarter.
The Warriors answered back with another score on the next possession. The Warriors used 11 plays for 64 yards from late third quarter into early fourth quarter as Joseph recorded a 2-yard touchdown rush. Ponce hit a successful PAT extra-point kick as Dakota State held on to a 29-14 lead with 12:42 remaining.
The final score of the game came on the following possession after WU's touchdown. After a 23-yard kick-off return by Ingles to DSU's 40-yard line, the Trojans used 6 plays for 60 yards in 2:13 as Giles threw a 5-yard touchdown pass to Johnson.
The key highlight of the final scoring drive of the game saw Johnson ran for a game-high 59 yards from DSU's 33-yard line to WU's 8-yard line on a third-and-one situation. Behrens' PAT kick was good as the Trojans' lead grew to 36-14 with 10:29 left in the game.
Johnson rushed 22 times for a season-high 189 yards with two rushing touchdowns for the Trojans. He averaged 8.6 yards per rush and added a touchdown reception. It was Johnson's fourth straight game that he had rushed over 100 yards for DSU.
Giles, who was named NAIA Football Offensive Player-of-the-Week earlier this week, finished the game by going 21-of-36 with 242 passing yards and threw two touchdown passes.
Opdahl led Dakota State with seven receptions for a game-high 125 yards. It was his fourth straight game that he had recorded over 100 receiving yards. Galloway added six catches for 78 yards. Ingles caught two passes for 31 yards total and a touchdown. He also finished the game with four kick-off returns of 88 total yards.
Two DSU players recorded career-high in tackles, led by Cole Potter with 19 tackles (6 solo) and Thomas Romack with 14 tackles. Potter's 19 tackles tied for eighth most tackles in a single game in DSU Football record book (Ben Kullos 19 tackles at Dickinson State, N.D. on Nov. 8, 2014).
Potter registered four tackles-for-loss of 7.8 yards for Dakota State. Romack and Curt Boeke each recorded half quarterback sack. Preston Madden collected 12 tackles, while Alvin Reels, Jr. had 10 tackles. Tyrell Smith and Baily Edwards each had eight tackles. Darion Office tallied seven tackles.
DeVries had two interceptions (20 total yards return from interception) for DSU.
Joseph was 20-of-35 with 185 passing yards and two interceptions for the Warriors. He rushed 13 times for 27 yards with one touchdown.
Stephens ran 24 times for 82 yards with a touchdown for WU. Darryel Bethune added 14 rushing attempts for 88 yards.
Kellum caught five receptions for 90 yards for Waldorf. Samuel Huntley added six catches for 33 yards.
Wisley Jean and Rigo Verdin each led the Warriors' defense with nine tackles. Wisely also recorded three broken-up passes. Kerry Curran added eight tackles. Sione Aonga and Patrick Harris each had a half quarterback sack. Marcel Linder had two tackles-for-loss of 3.5 yards. Dubem Awuzie recorded an interception.
Both teams recorded 23 first-downs in the game.
The Trojans outgained the Warriors 441-385 in total offensive yards. WU had 200 rushing yards compared to DSU 199 rushing yards. Dakota State produced 242 passing yards while Waldorf recorded 185 passing yards.
The Warriors maintained a time possession of 35 minutes, 5 seconds. The Trojans had the ball possession of 24 minutes, 55 sconds.
WU was 6-of-18 on third-down conversions while DSU was 4-of-13 on third-downs. The Trojans were 5-of-7 on red zone conversions with five touchdowns compared to the warriors 2-of-4 red zone conversions with two touchdowns.
Dakota State concludes their three-game home stand next Saturday (Sept. 24). The Trojans open the NSAA conference play as they host Jamestown (N.D.) in the annual Trojans' Day homecoming football game. Kick-off is set for 4 p.m. at Trojan Field.
Waldorf also will start their NSAA conference play next Saturday, visiting Valley City State (N.D.) with a 2 p.m. kick-off in Valley City, N.D. It will be the third straight game that the Warriors will be playing on the road.
Nick Huntimer, Dakota State University Sports Information Director
Photos from 'Ag Bowl' Game Tailgate and KidZone - Thank you for your sponsors and support!