Jacob Giles of Dakota State (S.D.) was honored by the North Star Athletic Association (NSAA) conference Monday as its Dacotah Bank/NSAA Football Offensive Player-of-the-Week.
Giles, 6-foot-2 junior quarterback for the Trojans, led the Trojans to a 34-30 upset road victory at long-time rival Dakota Wesleyan (S.D.) on Friday, Aug. 26. He completed 26 passes in 48 attempts for a career-high 361 yards and threw four touchdown passes. His first three touchdown passes were to Austin Opdahl, while his fourth touchdown pass was the game-winning touchdown to Preston Nordling.
Trailing 10-6 in the second quarter, Giles fired a 62-yard pass to Opdahl as Dakota State regained their lead at 13-10 with 14:01 on the clock. Down 17-13, Giles connected to Opdahl for the second time in the same quarter – a 7-yard touchdown pass to put the Trojans up 20-17 with 4:18 left in the first-half.
Dakota State overtook the lead from DWU late in the third quarter after throwing a 33-yard touchdown pass from Giles to Opdahl for a 27-23 lead with 54 seconds left on the clock.
After falling behind 30-27 in the fourth quarter, the Trojans mounted a furious comeback for the ninth lead change in the game. Facing a third-and-four situation on DSU's 40-yard line, Johnson ran for 26 yards to produce a first-down play on DWU's 34-yard line. Giles then threw a 14-yard pass to Mitchell Galloway for another first-down.
With another 3rd-and-4 situation on DWU's 14-yard line, Giles found Luke Gomez for a 9-yard pass to earn another first down on the game-winning drive. Giles connected to Nordling for a 4-yard touchdown pass with 2:13 remaining in the game for Trojans' 34-30 lead.
The DSU's defense prevented the Tigers from scoring, making a stop at the goal stand on DWU's fourth down situation. It was the first victory since 2004 that Dakota State defeated Dakota Wesleyan and snapped DSU's five-game losing skid versus the Tigers in the series meeting.
It was the second straight year that Dakota State has defeated a nationally-ranked team (defeated No. 24 Dickinson State, N.D. 54-21 on Oct. 17, 2015).
Giles threw over 300 yards for the second straight meeting versus Dakota Wesleyan (23-of-45 for 315 yards in 2015 meeting at the Trojan Field).
Dakota State also produced 34 first-downs in the game, which was the most first-downs in a single game in Trojan Football school history (previous old record was set on Oct. 26, 2013 with 32 first-downs at NCAA Division II South Dakota Mines).
Jacob is the son of Chris and Karen Giles of Madison, S.D. He is an English Education major at Dakota State.
DSU (1-0) remains on the road Saturday evening as they travel to Dordt (Iowa) for another non-conference game. Kick-off is set for 6 p.m. at Open Space Field in Sioux Center, Iowa.