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Trojans Comeback Falls Short

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MADISON, S.D. – After committing six turnovers and trailing 34-7 through three quarters versus Mayville State (N.D.) Saturday afternoon at Trojan Field, Dakota State staged a furious rally in the fourth quarter.  After the Trojans scored a touchdown with 12 seconds remaining in the game, DSU missed the PAT extra kick as the Comets held on to defeat the Trojans 34-33 in DSU's regular-season finale.

Mayville State scored the first points of the game in the first quarter.  After Dylan Midstokke intercepted Brandon Large's pass with twelve minutes and 20 left on the clock,  Dominique Bradley rushed for a 10-yard touchdown to give the Comets a 6-0 lead.  Mayville State made it 8-0 after a successful 2-point attempt rush by John Poppe with 12:15 remaining in the first quarter.

The Trojans trimmed the Comet's lead to 8-7 with 5:40 left in the first quarter.  Large connected to Carl Curtis for a 27-yard touchdown pass.  Nic Behrens added the PAT kick.  DSU used six plays for 46 yards in 2:37 in the scoring drive.

The Comets made it 14-7 late in the first quarter.  Tanner Carpenter threw a 30-yard touchdown pass to Dantrel Horn with 44 seconds remaining in the first quarter.  The PAT attempt by the Comets was no good.

After DSU committed a turnover with 11:35 remaining before intermission, MSU quickly scored on Bradley's 28-yard touchdown run.  The PAT kick by Jay Dyck was good to extend Comets' lead to 21-7 with 11:26 left in the game.

Mayville State's lead grew to 27-7 with less than four minutes left before halftime.  The Comets' drive started on the DSU's 20-yard line after Trojans' fumble.  MSU used four plays for 20 yards in 2:05 with Jerril Jenkins' five-yard touchdown run.  Dyck's PAT kick was no good.

MSU expanded their lead to 34-7 in the third quarter.  The Comets recorded eight plays for 40 yards in 4:45 in the scoring drive.  Jenkins rushed for a four-yard touchdown run, while Dyck added a successful PAT kick.

Dakota State ended their scoring drought in the early fourth quarter.  Large threw a six-yard touchdown pass to Bobby Tisch with 12:23 remaining in the game.  Behrens' PAT kick was good as DSU trimmed Comets' lead to 34-14.

After the Comets went three-and-out in the ensuing drive, MSU punted for two yards from the Comets' 16-yardline and gave the Trojans a head start on the MSU's 18-yard line with 10:43 left in the game.  Large quickly threw an 18-yard touchdown pass to Curtis to cut their deficit to 34-20 with 10:38 remaining.  Behrens' PAT kick was no good.

DSU's defense shut down the Comets for another three-and-out in the next drive, the Trojans rallied back with another score.  John Niesen ran for a 10-yard touchdown run with 6:26 remaining in the game.  The PAT kick by Behrens was good as DSU cut MSU's lead to 34-27.  The Trojans used six plays for 64 yards in 1:47 in the scoring drive.

The Comets recorded their third straight three-and-out in the fourth quarter.  DSU regained their possession with 3:58 left on their own 16-yardline.  The Trojans used 14 plays for 84 yards to add another score from Niesen (1-yard touchdown run) with 12 seconds left in the game.  Behrens' first PAT kick attempt was no good, but penalties on both teams forced to retry the PAT attempt.  The second PAT attempt by Behrens was no good as Mayville State held on to a 34-33 lead.

Mayville State was hit by two 15-yard penalties to give DSU a kick-off line at the MSU's 35-yardline.  The onside kick attempt by DSU was unsuccessful as the Trojans fell short in the regular-season finale.

Dakota State outscored the Comets 26-0 in the fourth quarter.

Large completed 22 passes in 36 attempts for 175 yards with three touchdowns and recorded three interceptions for DSU.  Curtis had seven receptions for 77 yards with two touchdowns.  Tisch had eight catches for 60 yards.  Niesen rushed 17 times for 85 yards with two touchdowns.  Kris Dearie had nine rushing attempts for 43 yards.

Bradley ran 32 times for 125 yards and recorded two touchdowns for the Comets.  Jenkins added 16 rushes for 72 yards and recorded two touchdowns.  Carpenter was 2-for-7 for 36 yards and a touchdown.  Horn had one catch for 30 yards with a touchdown.

Eric Liles recorded 22 tackles in the game for the Trojans, one tackle shy of tying the DSU school record for most tackles in a single game with 23 set by Noah Sanders.  Liles broke the school record for most tackles in a single season with 127, previously set by Max Hodgen with 119 in 1994.  Craig Hertz added 14 tackles and finished with 117 tackles this season.  He recorded four tackles for a loss of 9.8 yards.

Rashad Flanders had eight tackles for the Comets.  Josh Jefferies and Midstokke each had seven tackles.  Midstokke, Renard Bryant and Jason Holmes each recorded an interception.

DSU outgained Mayville State 331-229 in total offensive yards.  The Comets rushed 54 times for 193 yards compared to the Trojans' 34 rushes for 156 yards.  Dakota State had 175 yards passing, while MSU recorded 36 passing yards.

The Trojans recorded 20 first-downs in the game compared to the Comets' 10.

Mayville State scored 21 points off turnovers in the game.

The Comets had a possession of the ball for 35 minutes and 28 seconds.  DSU had the possession time of 24 minutes and 32 seconds.

Dakota State finished their 2012 season with an overall record of 2-9 and 1-2 in the Association of Independent Institutions (A.I.I.) conference record.  Mayville State improved their overall record to 4-5 and 1-3 in the A.I.I.
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