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(RV)Saint Ambrose University
Football - Sun, Sep. 3, 2017

September 2, 2017

DAVENPORT, Iowa – Saint Ambrose (Iowa) outgained Dakota State (S.D.) 525-307 in total offensive yards in Saturday's 27-24 non-conference football victory Saturday afternoon at Brady Street Stadium.  It was the third all-time meeting for both teams, where the last meeting at Brady Street Stadium in 2015 saw the Fighting Bees come back for the game-winning drive.

Dakota State fell to 1-1 overall record.  Saint Ambrose, receiving votes in the NAIA Football Coaches' Preseason Top 25 poll, was playing their season opener.  SAU owns the series record of 2-1 (DSU defeated SAU 62-48 in last year's meeting at Trojan Field).


Saint Ambrose used a pair of field goals in the opening quarter to earn a six-point lead.

Dakota State received the ball first and was forced to punt on their first possession of the game.  On the ensuing possession, the Fighting Bees used 11 plays for 54 yards in 3 minutes, 19 seconds for the first scoring drive of the game.  Kenny Rowe hit a 23-yard field goal to give SAU a 3-0 lead with 10:48 on the clock in the first period.

After SAU's first lead of the game, the Trojans marched down the field from their own 25-yard line to SAU's 28-yard line.  Facing 4th-and-2 situation on SAU's 28-yard line, DSU was unable to convert a first-down opportunity and turned the ball on downs with 7:48 on the clock. 

The Fighting Bees added another field goal late in the first quarter.  Rowe hit a 22-yard field goal with 3:50 remaining in the first quarter to extend SAU's lead to 6-0.  Saint Ambrose used 7 plays for 47 yards in 1:55 in their scoring drive.

SAU led 6-0 by the end of the first quarter.


Dakota State was forced to punt on their own 12-yard line early in the second quarter.  Kaden Hight recorded the longest punt of the game – 76 yards from DSU's 12-yard line to SAU's 12-yard line – with 12 minutes left in the first half.

Saint Ambrose began the drive from their own 16-yard line and went on to score the first touchdown of the game.  The Fighting Bees used 6 plays for 84 yards, where Jake Romani connected to Chase Ferger for a 36-yard touchdown pass with 10:17 on the clock.  Rowe's PAT kick was good as SAU expanded their lead to 13-0.

The Trojans quickly answered back on the next possession.  Mason Leighton returned a kickoff of 20 yards from DSU's 5-yard line to DSU's 25-yard line.  Hagan Hines began the drive with a 51-yard rush to SAU's 24-yard line.  Jacob Giles threw a 24-yard touchdown pass to Austin Opdahl with 9:46 on the clock in the second quarter.  Brywn Ractliffe added a PAT extra-point kick as DSU cut SAU's lead to 13-7.

Saint Ambrose faced a third-and-one situation on DSU's 28-yard line, Trojan Mahcia Davis forced a fumble on Baylee Hopps.  DSU's Dereck DeVries recovered the ball at DSU's 25-yard line and ran for 26 yards as the Trojans start their next drive on SAU's 49-yard line with 17 seconds left before halftime.

Giles opened up the drive with a 10-yard run to SAU's 39-yard line.  Dakota State called a timeout with nine seconds left.  After the timeout, the Fighting Bees were whistled for a roughing the passer and moved the ball to SAU's 24-yard line with three seconds remaining.  DSU called another timeout.

DSU's Casey Bourque made a 41-yard field goal when first-half expired, trimming SAU's lead to 13-10 at halftime.

Dakota State outscored Saint Ambrose 10-7 in the second quarter.


When Dakota State was forced to punt from DSU's 49-yard line, Hight punted for 50 yards with the ball going out-of-bounds on SAU's 1-yard line.

The Fighting Bees were forced to punt from SAU's 10-yard line, Rowe recorded a 26-yard punt to SAU's 36-yard line to give the Trojans a scoring opportunity.

DSU opened the drive with a 36-yard touchdown pass from Giles to Opdahl for the first lead of the game.  Ractliffe added a successful PAT extra-point kick as the Trojans earned a 17-13 lead with 10:29 on the clock in the third quarter.

Saint Ambrose quickly answered with a touchdown on the ensuing possession.  The Fighting Bees used 4 plays for 69 yards in 1:09 after Romani's 2-yard touchdown pass to Ferger with 9:18 on the clock.  Rowe's PAT kick was good as SAU regained their lead to 20-17. 


Dakota State prevented Saint Ambrose from scoring in the early fourth quarter.  With third-and-five situation on DSU's 13-yard line, Danny Jordan intercepted Romani's pass in the end zone and called for a touchback with 13:32 remaining in the game.

With the Trojans starting their drive on their own 12-yard line with 9:33 on the clock, the Trojans used 11 plays for 88 yards in the scoring drive with a touchdown.  Giles threw a 39-yard touchdown pass to Leighton, followed by Ractliffe's PAT extra-point kick to give DSU a 24-20 lead with 6:27 left.

Saint Ambrose answered back on the next possession.  Hopps recorded a 24-yard touchdown run, while Rowe's PAT kick was good as the Fighting Bees earned a 27-24 lead with 2:04 remaining.  SAU used 10 plays for 69 yards in 4:19 in the scoring drive.

Dakota State was unable to score on the ensuing possession, securing the victory for the Fighting Bees.


Giles was 19-of-36 for 200 yards with three touchdowns for the Trojans.  Opdahl had four catches for 98 yards and two touchdowns.  Leighton had two receptions for 45 yards and a touchdown.  Alex Babcock added three receptions for 31 yards.

Hines rushed nine times for 77 yards for DSU.  Brodie Frederiksen added 28 yards in six rushing attempts. 

Hight recorded nine punts for a total of 376 yards and averaged 41.8 yards per punt for Dakota State.  His two punts went inside the opponents' 20-yard line.

Baily Edwards led the Trojans with 13 tackles.  Ryan Dozier added 12 tackles.  Jordan and DeVries each had 11 tackles.  Curt Boeke registered nine tackles.  DeVries had a fumble recovery and returned it for 26 yards.  Jordan and Daidrick Kibbie each had an interception.  Montana Jackson and Davis each registered a forced fumble.

Romani was 16-of-35 for 223 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions for Saint Ambrose.  Ferger had five catches for 86 yards and two touchdowns.  Lucas Boraas had two receptions for 45 yards. 

Hopps ran 27 times for 172 yards and a touchdown for the Fighting Bees. 

Kobe Easley, Dillon Valdez and Grant Wallace each had seven tackles for SAU.  Wallace and Chris Overton each had a quarterback sack.

Saint Ambrose ran for 302 yards in the game compared to Dakota State 107 rushing yards.  The Fighting Bees recorded 223 passing yards while the Trojans had 200 passing yards.

SAU registered 32 first-downs and a time possession of 37 minutes, 29 seconds.  DSU had 14 first-downs and maintained the ball for 22 minutes, 31 seconds.

Saint Ambrose was 8-of-20 on third-down conversions.  DSU was 3-of-14 third-down conversions.


Dakota State stays on the road next Saturday (Sept. 9) as they visit Briar Cliff (Iowa) of the Great Plains Athletic Conference.  It will be the final non-conference game of the season for the Trojans before they begin their North Star Athletic Association conference play.

Kick-off is set for 1 p.m. at Memorial Field in Sioux City, Iowa.

Nick Huntimer, Dakota State University Sports Information Director

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