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Dakota State Falls to Dordt 24-7

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SIOUX CENTER, Iowa – Dakota State's football team gained a 7-0 first-quarter lead over Dordt (Iowa) at the Open Space Park Saturday afternoon.  The Defenders outscored the Trojans 24-0 in the final three quarters to earn a 24-7 victory over DSU in both teams' second-ever meeting in series history.


Dakota State dropped their overall record to 1-8.  Dordt, a member of the Great Plains Athletic Conference, recorded their first win this season in eight games (1-7).


The Trojans got on board first in the opening quarter.  After Josh Licht recorded an interception and returned for 13 yards to the Dordt's 31-yard line with six minutes and 23 seconds left, Brandon Large connected to Stacey Berg for a 31-yard touchdown pass.  Nic Behren's PAT kick was successful to give Dakota State a 7-0 lead with 6:18 remaining in the first quarter.


DSU was unable to convert their scoring opportunity in the early second quarter.  Dordt intercepted Large's pass on Dordt's 4-yard line and returned for 64 yards to the Trojans' 32-yard line with 14:38 left in the second quarter.  Barry Dykstra kicked a 29-yard field goal to cut DSU's lead to 7-3 with 11:20 remaining before intermission.


Dordt overtook the lead from the Trojans in the ensuing possession.  Large fumbled the ball on the DSU's 34-yard line as Jonath Gardner recovered the ball and returned for a touchdown with 9:20 left in the second quarter.  Dykstra's PAT kick was good to give Dordt a 10-7 lead.


Dakota State was unable to convert another scoring opportunity late in the second quarter.  With DSU's ball on the Defenders' 10-yard line, Large's pass was intercepted by Josh Nollmeyer with 3:10 remaining before halftime.


DC maintained a 10-7 halftime advantage.


DSU kicked off the second half on their own 25-yard line and marched down to DC's 8-yard line with 14 plays for 64 yards.  The Trojans' fake field goal was unsuccessful as DSU committed their third turnover of the game in the red zone.


After the Trojans turned the ball on downs on DC's 40-yard line, the Defenders scored on the ensuing drive.  Kyle Henricks threw a 54-yard touchdown pass to David Griess to give Dordt a 16-7 lead.  Dykstra's PAT kick was good as the Defenders extended their lead to 17-7 with 3:35 remaining in the third quarter.


Dakota State was unable to convert two scoring opportunities in the fourth quarter.  The Trojans used 10 plays for 49 yards in 2:39 as Dordt recorded an interception from Large on DC's 12-yard line with 8:27 remaining in the game. 


The Trojans prevented the Defenders to score in the ensuing possession.  DSU stopped DC four times inside the 10-yard line with 3:31 left in the game.  The Defenders recorded 10 plays for 54 yards in 4:56.


DSU used 13 plays for 72 yards in 3:07 in the next possession.  The 43-yard field goal by Behrens was missed with 1:23 remaining in the game.


Trai Pickney added another score for the Defenders with 24 seconds left.  He recorded a 71-yard touchdown run to widen DC's lead to 23-7.  Dykstra added the PAT kick to make it 24-7 in favor of DC.


Large was 27-for-54 with 335 passing yards for the Trojans.  He had a touchdown and recorded three interceptions in the game.  John Niesen rushed 18 times for 70 yards.  Bobby Tisch had eight receptions for 98 yards.  Stacey Berg added four catches for 68 yards with a touchdown.  Zach Ely had four receptions for 41 yards.  Wes Dauz recorded three receptions for 83 yards.


Dordt used six different rushers to accumulate a total of 307 rushing yards in the game (56 attempts).  Pickney had eight rushes for 88 yards and a touchdown.  Josh Van Kempen rushed 14 times for 48 yards.  Daniel Fennig added 45 rushing yards.  Henricks recorded 44 rushing yards in 15 attempts.  Lenard Manuel had 11 rushes for 42 yards.  Erin Francis had 19 rushing yards in five attempts.


Henricks was 1-for-9 with 54 yards and a touchdown for the Defenders.  He recorded an interception.


Craig Hertz had 10 tackles for the Trojans.  Eric Liles added nine tackles.  Ben Kullos and Tyler Poggemeyer each recorded a forced fumble in the game.  Josh Licht had an interception and returned for 13 yards.  He also recorded a fumble recovery. 


Dakota State outgained Dordt 452-340 in total offensive yards.  The Trojans had 365 passing yards compared to the Defenders' 54 passing yards.  Dordt outrushed DSU 286-87 in rushing yards.


The Trojans had 23 first-downs in the game compared to the Defenders' 16 first-downs.


DSU converted 7-of-19 in third-down conversions.  Dordt was 5-for-15 in third-down conversions.


Dakota State looks to bounce back in the winning column next Saturday (Oct. 27).  DSU returns home for their final two regular-season games at home.  The Trojans host Jamestown (N.D.) in the battle of former Dakota Athletic Conference (DAC) foes.  Kick-off is set for 1 p.m. in an Association of Independent Institutions (A.I.I.) conference game at the Trojan Field.


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