Valley City State (N.D.) exploded for a total of 517 offensive yards Saturday afternoon at Trojan Field, earning a 41-22 victory over No. 19-ranked Dakota State (S.D.) in the Dacotah Bank/North Star Athletic Association Football Game-of-the-Week and annual 'Rushing for the Cure' football game. The Trojans' four-game winning streak came to an end, despite only recording a total of 298 offensive yards.
Dakota State fell to 5-2 overall record and 2-1 record in the North Star conference play. Valley City State won their 11th straight meeting over the Trojans, improving their overall record to 4-3 and 3-1 NSAA record.
Both VCSU and DSU went three-and-out on their first drive of the game. After the Trojans were forced to punt, the Vikings put together 4 plays for a total of 49 yards in 2:19 for the first score of the game highlighted by a 34-yard pass from Kurtis Walls to Colby Lum in the drive. Walls threw a 2-yard touchdown pass to Tayler Lentz, followed by a successful kick by Harrison Hammel to put VCSU up 7-0 with 10:10 on the clock in the opening quarter.
Valley City State made it 14-0 later in the first quarter when Walls found Jake Peterson for a 24-yard touchdown with 4:30 on the clock. Hammel's PAT extra-point kick was good. The Vikings used 8 plays for 81 yards in 3:34 in the scoring drive.
VCSU outscored DSU 14-0 in the first quarter.
Dakota State scored its first touchdown of the game on the ensuing possession. The Trojans used 15 plays for 64 yards in the scoring drive in nearly five minutes from late first quarter and early second quarter. Facing fourth-and-goal on the VCSU's 1-yard line, Jacob Giles sneaked inside the end zone for a rushing touchdown with 14:32 on the clock in the second quarter. Nic Behrens' PAT kick was blocked by Viking Travon Smith as the Trojans trailed 14-6.
The Vikings intercepted Giles' pass on DSU's 49-yard line with 8:34 to go in the second quarter. VCSU used a pair of rushing plays – a 15-yard rush by Jacob Duilio and a 24-yard run by Louis Quinones – to set up a scoring opportunity in the red zone. Walls threw a 4-yard touchdown pass to Peterson, while Hammel's PAT kick was good to extend Valley City State's lead to 21-6 with 6:31 to go before intermission.
Valley City State held on to a 21-6 halftime advantage. The Vikings outgained the Trojans 236-119 in first-half total offensive yards. VCSU also had 13 first-downs compared to DSU 4 first-downs.
Dakota State kicked off the third quarter with a touchdown. Curt Boeke recorded a 30-yard kick-off return start their scoring drive on VCSU's 45-yard line. The Trojans used 12 plays for 45 yards in 3:52 as Robert Johnson ran for a 1-yard touchdown. Giles connected to Austin Opdahl to convert their 2-point PAT play as the Trojans trimmed VCSU's lead to 21-14 with 11:08 to go in the third quarter.
The Vikings quickly answered back on the next possession as Walls threw a 61-yard touchdown pass to Peterson on a third-and-seven situation on their own 39-yard line. Hammel's PAT kick was good as VCSU's lead grew to 28-14 with 10:03 to go in the third quarter.
DSU was unable to convert their scoring opportunity after VCSU's touchdown. The Trojans recorded 15 plays for 41 yards in 4:51 as they turned on downs on VCSU's 23-yard line with 5:12 on the clock in the third quarter.
Valley City State's lead ballooned to 35-14 in the early fourth quarter after using 11 plays for 88 yards in 5:17. Facing fourth-and-goal on DSU's 3-yard line, Lentz recorded a 3-yard touchdown run while Hammel's PAT kick was good.
Dakota State cut VCSU's lead to 35-22 on the following possession with 12:27 remaining, recording 8 plays for 67 yards in 2:28. Giles threw a 10-yard pass to Opdahl, while Giles added a successful 2-point PAT attempt. Opdahl's 21-yard receptions and Daulton Mercer's 28-yard catch highlighted the Trojans in the scoring drive.
Walls connected to Peterson for their fourth touchdown of the game on the next drive after the Trojans' touchdown. Peterson caught a 43-yard touchdown pass from Walls as VCSU extended their lead to 41-22 with 8:17 left in the game.
Valley City State secured the game by recording four first-downs – all by rushing plays – in the final drive of the game.
Giles completed 22 passes in 42 attempts for 164 yards with a touchdown and an interception for the Trojans. He also ran 7 times for 21 yards with a touchdown. Johnson rushed 23 times for 75 yards and a touchdown. He tallied four receptions for 26 yards.
Opdahl led DSU with eight receptions for 74 yards and a touchdown. Preston Nordling added five receptions for 20 yards. He also rushed for 30 yards. Mercer had a catch for 28 yards.
Boeke collected 11 tackles for Dakota State. Preston Madden, Alvin Reels, Jr., Darion Office, Thomas Romack and Tyrell Smith each added nine tackles. Cole Potter tallied eight tackles. Dereck DeVries had six tackles.
Walls finished the game by going 16-of-24 for a 277 yards and threw five touchdown passes for the Vikings. He also ran three times for a total of 26 yards.
Eight Viking receivers recorded at least a catch in the game, led by Jake Peterson with four receptions for 132 yards and caught four touchdown passes. Colby Lum added four receptions for 53 yards.
Duilio rushed 17 times for 80 yards for VCSU. Louis Quinones added eight rushes for 69 yards. Anthony Logan ran 10 times for 62 yards.
Nicholas McBeain had a game-high 14 tackles and a quarterback sack for Valley City State. Jesus Munoz added 11 tackles. Smith had a fumble recovery, a break-up pass, a forced fumble, blocked PAT kick and earned nine tackles. Andre Peppers also had nine tackles. Beau Winchester recorded an interception.
VCSU accumulated 277 passing yards and 240 rushing yards in the game. DSU had 164 passing yards and 134 rushing yards. The Vikings had 26 first-downs in the game compared to the Trojans' 16 first-downs.
Valley City State had a time possession of 33 minutes and 21 seconds. Dakota State had the ball for 26 minutes and 39 seconds.
The Vikings converted 7-of-11 third-downs compared to the Trojans' 6-of-18 third-downs. VCSU was 1-of-2 on fourth-downs while DSU was 4-of-7 fourth-downs.