November 5, 2016
Photos credits by Nicholas Hauser and Lori Waldner
ABERDEEN, S.D. – Dakota State (S.D.) lead wire-to-wire Saturday evening at Swisher Field, halting their three-game losing skid with a 24-10 North Star Athletic Association (NSAA) Football conference victory over Presentation (S.D.). The victory also clinched the third consecutive winning season – DSU's third straight year with six victories – for the first time since 1970's.
Dakota State concluded their 2016 season with an overall record of 6-4. The Trojans finished the NSAA conference schedule with a 3-3 record, securing a third-place finish in the conference standings. Presentation, who received votes' recognition in the NAIA Football 'Top 25', fell to 6-3 overall record and 2-3 record in the North Star.
The Trojans finished the 2016 season with a 3-1 record against team that are ranked or received votes' recognition in the NAIA's Top 25 national poll.
Dakota State earned the first points of the game in the opening quarter. With PC's ball on DSU's 42-yard line, Preston Madden intercepted Austin Eggl's pass on Trojans' 30-yard line and returned it for a 70-yard touchdown with ten minutes and fifty-three seconds on the clock. Nic Behrens added a successful PAT kick as Dakota State earned its first lead at 7-0.
Presentation would score on the ensuing possession after recording three consecutive first-down plays of over 10 yards. The Trojans prevented the Saints to score a touchdown as they settled down for a 27-yard field goal by Dylan Paulson, trimming DSU's lead to 7-3 with 8:54 left in the first quarter.
DSU used 15 plays for 60 yards in 6:28 in the second quarter as their lead grew back to seven points. Behrens hit a 25-yard field goal to give Trojans' a 10-3 lead with 3:37 remaining before intermission.
Dakota State was able to capitalize PC's another interception by Eggl on the next possession. Dereck DeVries recorded an interception on PC's 44-yard line with less than three minutes to go in the second quarter.
Jacob Giles fired a 23-yard pass to Trever Listman on the first play after the interception to PC's 21-yard line. Four plays later, Giles rushed for a 3-yard touchdown followed by Behrens' PAT kick to extend Trojans' lead to 17-3 with 52 seconds remaining.
Dakota State held a 17-3 halftime advantage.
The Trojans made it 24-3 in the third quarter when Mitchell Galloway recorded a 52 yard punt return for a touchdown with 8:31 left. Behrens added the extra-point PAT kick.
The final score of the game came late in the fourth quarter where Sam Pond threw a 7-yard pass to Jurnee Gibson. Paulson's PAT kick was good as PC cut DSU's lead to 24-10 with 1:32 remaining. The Saints used 9 plays for 74 yards in 3:18 in the scoring drive.
Dakota State secured the game by recovering PC's onside kick attempt.
Giles finished the game by going 20-of-33 with 209 passing yards and two interceptions for the Trojans. He finished with a DSU single-season school record of 28 touchdown passes.
Robert Johnson rushed 30 times for 113 yards.
Listman led the Trojans with nine receptions for 76 yards. Galloway added four catches for 43 yards.
Ausitn Opdahl collected three catches for 51 yards, falling four yards short (1,093 receiving yards this season) of tying the DSU single-season receiving yards set by Tommy Hofer with 1,097 receiving yards. He also holds the DSU single-season record of 16 touchdown receptions, previously held by Mark Maples with 13 touchdown catches in 2001.
Behrens recorded three punts for a total of 121 yards, averaging 40.3 yards per punt. He also made a field goal and three extra-point kicks.
Cole Potter finished the game with 11 tackles and a single-game DSU school record of 4.5 quarterback sacks, breaking his previous old record of 4 quarterback sacks set on Oct. 25, 2014 versus Trinity Bible (N.D.). Paul Naughton also held the previous old record with four quarterback sack in 1989.
Potter was one-half sack short for tying the Trojans' career quarterback sacks, recording a total of 26.5 career sacks (Ben Button holds the career record of 27 sacks from 1991-94). He also had six tackles-for-loss of 25.5 yards in the game.
Curt Boeke tallied six tackles. Michael Cleveland, Baily Edwards and Tyrell Smith each added four tackles. Darion Office had two quarterback sacks and three tackles-for-loss of 15 yards. Clifton Marshall and Darby Neal also had a sack.
DeVries and Madden each had an interception for Dakota State.
Eggl was 15-of-33 with 167 yards and two interceptions for Presentation. Pond was 4-of-5 with 47 yards and a touchdown.
PC's Nathan Jones ran 13 times for 56 yards. Logan Weisser had five catches for 112 yards. William Moffet added four receptions for 34 yards.
Skyler Miller led the Saints' defense with 12 tackles. Shaki Eaton added 10 tackles and collected two interceptions. James Jones-Smith had nine tackles. Jeff Branch tallied seven tackles and a quarterback sack. Eric Bell recorded a fumble recovery and returned it for 39 yards.
Dakota State outgained Presentation 348-284 in total offensive yards. The Trojans outrushed the Saints 139-70. DSU recorded 22 first-downs compared to the Saints' 17 first-downs.
The Trojans' defense recorded eight quarterback sacks in the game while the Saints had one sack.
DSU was 5-of-15 on third-down conversions. PC was 3-of-15 on third-downs.
It was the final career collegiate football game for ten (10) Dakota State seniors – Andrew Aldersberg, Behrens, Johnson, Terell Johnson, Office, Potter, Alvin Reels, Jr., Thomas Romack, Smith and Eric Wahl.
Nick Huntimer, Dakota State University Sports Information Director