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Trojan Football ends losing streak, survives late Chargers’ rally
October 15, 2011
MADISON, S.D. – Dakota State’s defense shut down Briar Cliff in the first three quarters and maintained a 24-0 lead before the Chargers made their late rally in the game. The Trojans held on and snapped their 17-game losing streak with a 24-16 victory over Briar Cliff Saturday afternoon at Trojan Field. It was the annual ‘Rushing for a Cure’ game, where Trojans’ players wear pink athletic tapes to help raise cancer awareness.
DSU won their first game this season and lifted their overall record to 1-7. It was the first win since 31-27 victory over Mayville State on Nov. 8, 2009 in the inaugural Dakota Athletic Conference bowl game at Fargodome. The Trojans ended their seven-game home losing streak since 42-7 home win over Mayville State on Oct. 31, 2009.
Briar Cliff dropped their overall record to 2-5.
DSU Bryce Logan intercepted Tom Traficanti’s pass in Chargers’ first play of the game. The Trojans started to march down the field as
Brandon Large opened DSU’s first drive of the game by completing three straight passes (including an opening 36-yard pass to Stacey Berg from Trojans’ 28-yard line). Kyle Thyen rushed for a two-yard touchdown to give DSU a 6-0 lead. Dakota State used nine plays for 72 yards in two minutes and 35 seconds in the scoring drive.
The Chargers went on to use nine plays for 40 yards, but Derek Beisner’s 35-yard field goal was missed wide left with 8:51 left in the first quarter.
Dakota State scored in the second drive of the game as they used 11 plays for 80 yards in 4:28. Large rushed for a one-yard touchdown as the Trojans extended their lead to 12-0.
Briar Cliff recorded 15 plays for 51 yards in 7:22 in their next drive. The Trojans’ defense stopped the Chargers’ on DSU’s four-yard line on a fourth-and-goal situation as Logan broke up Traficanti’s pass with 12:01 before intermission.
Robert Ortiz prevented the Chargers from scoring with 7:01 left in the second quarter as he intercepted Traficanti’s pass.
The Trojans were not able to score right with just 53 seconds left before halftime. Dakota State used 16 plays for 94 yards in 6:08 that started on their own three-yard line. The Chargers defense stopped the Trojans on Chargers’ one-yard line as DSU led 12-0 as the halftime buzzer sounded.
Dakota State was not able to convert a field goal to start the third quarter as they used 10-plays for 39 yards in 4:04. Dennis Lechner’s 32-yard field goal attempt was blocked by BC’s Gammal Diaz with less than 11 minutes remaining in the third quarter.
The Chargers recorded 18 plays for 70 yards in 7:37 as DSU stopped BC from scoring for the fourth time in the game. BC was unable to complete a six-yard pass from Traficanti to Bryce Harshman on a fourth-and-goal situation.
Facing a third-and-12 situation for DSU in fourth quarter, Large connected to Stacey Berg for a 62-yard touchdown pass to extend the Trojans’ lead to 18-0 with 13:08 left in the game.
Dakota State successfully recovered the ensuing onside kick and went on to make it 24-0 with less than 10 minutes remaining in regulation. The Trojans used 10 plays for 56 yards in 3:36 as Large threw a six-yard touchdown pass to Zach Ely.
Briar Cliff broke their scoring drought in the fourth quarter. The Chargers used nine-plays for 64 yards in 2:25 as Jared Williams rushed for a 12-yard touchdown. BC converted the two-point conversion attempt as the Chargers trimmed DSU’s lead to 24-8 with 7:07 left in the game.
BC recovered the ball on their onside kick and quickly scored on their next drive. Traficanti threw a 12-yard touchdown pass to Colton Sweesy. Briar Cliff added a 2-point conversion to cut Trojans’ lead to 24-16 with 5:12 left in regulation.
The Chargers attempted the onside kick, but it went out-of-bounds as the Trojans retain the possession. Thyen rushed eight times in the final drive of the game and converted two key first-downs as DSU secured the victory.
Large completed 24 passes in 39 attempts for 275 yards and recorded two touchdowns for the Trojans. He rushed 12 times for 63 yards with a score. Thyen rushed 22 times for 100 yards. Berg had five receptions for 161 yards and a touchdown. Carl Curtis added nine catches for 63 yards.
For Briar Cliff, Traficanti was 23-for-38 with 174 yards. He recorded a passing touchdown and two interceptions. Williams rushed 28 times for 115 yards and a touchdown.
Eric Liles had 13 tackles and recorded two broken passes for DSU. Logan added 11 tackles, two broken passes and recorded an interception. Keith Knudsen had 10 tackles.
Luke Grossnickle produced 12 tackles for the Chargers. Brady Summers recorded a quarterback sack.
The Trojans had 26 first-downs compared to BC 22. DSU outgained the Chargers 448-293 in total yards.
Dakota State maintained possession for 32 minutes and 45 seconds, while Briar Cliff had the ball for 27 minutes and 15 seconds.
BC successfully converted both two-point conversions while DSU went 0-for-4 in the game.
The Trojans were 6-for-14 in third-down situations compared to the Chargers’ 5-for-13. DSU was 3-for-4 in fourth-downs while BC was 2-for-5.
Dakota State will try to make it two straight wins next Saturday, Oct. 22 as they host Dordt (Iowa). Seniors will be recognized prior to the game as they play their final career home game at Trojan Field. Kickoff is set for 4 p.m.
Nick Huntimer, Dakota State University Sports Information Director