Trojans Keep Title Hopes Alive With Clutch Drive At Valley City

Dakota State Beats Valley City State 31-28

VALLEY CITY, N.D. – Dakota State (S.D.) shut out Valley City State (N.D.) 21-0 in the first half in the Dacotah Bank/North Star Athletic Association Football conference contest Saturday afternoon at Shelly Ellig Field at Lokken Field.  The Vikings stormed back with a 28-3 run in the second-half for a 28-24 lead with 1:14 remaining.  The Trojans answered back with a game-winning drive that resulted for a touchdown with 13 seconds left and held on to a 31-28 thrilling victory in the 26th all-time meeting.

Dakota State also halted their 10-game losing streak in the all-time series and their third win over Valley City State, with the last win coming in 2007 by the score of 31-21 in Valley City.

DSU won their third straight game and recorded their fifth win in the last six games to raise their overall record to 6-2.  The last time the Trojans went 6-2 record in the first eight games was in 1998 (DSU finished 8-2 that year).  Dakota State also secured their winning season, their fourth straight year for the first time since 1970’s (Trojans had eight straight winning seasons from 1973-80).

Dakota State also lifted their North Star conference record to 4-1, maintaining a sole possession for second-place in the North Star conference standings.  Valley City State fell to 3-5 overall record and 2-4 NSAA conference record.

The victory also gave head coach Josh Anderson his 31st career win, the most all-time wins as the head coach in Trojan Football program history.  The previous head coach to hold the all-time wins mark at Dakota State was Gary Roach with 30 victories from 1989 to 1995.


Valley City State was forced to punt on their first possession of the game after recording 7 plays for 33 yards in 3:17.

Dakota State scored its first points of the game on their first possession after VCSU’s punt.  Hagan Hines recorded a 51-yard touchdown run to give DSU a 6-0 lead with 8:12 to go in the first quarter.  Brywn Ractliffe added the PAT extra-point kick to extend Trojans’ lead to 7-0.

The Vikings were forced to punt again on the next drive on their own 7-yard line.  DSU’s Brock Reinhiller blocked VCSU Marc Wagner’s punt and was recovered by Trojan Curt Boeke on VCSU’s 22-yard line with 6:36 on the clock.

DSU took advantage of the block punt for another touchdown.  Jacob Giles rushed for a 4-yard touchdown, followed by a successful PAT extra-point kick by Ractliffe to put DSU ahead 14-0 with 4:12 left in the first quarter.


Dakota State expanded their lead to 21-0 midway through the second quarter.  The Trojans used 9 plays for 63 yards in 2:50 as Hines rushed for a 4-yard touchdown with 6:11 on the clock.  Ractliffe also made the PAT extra-point kick, producing the single-season school record for most PAT extra-point kicks made.  A 23-yard pass from Giles to Austin Opdahl highlighted the scoring drive for DSU.

The Trojans prevented the Vikings from scoring in the first half, thanks to an interception by Michael Cleveland.  With VCSU’s ball on their own 37-yard line, Cleveland intercepted Jalen Pfeifer’s pass on DSU’s 11-yard line and returned it for five yards with 37 seconds remaining in the first-half.

Dakota State maintained a 21-0 halftime advantage over Valley City State.


Dakota State had the ball to kick off the second-half and used 8 plays for 50 yards in 4:39.  The Trojans were unable to convert their scoring opportunity as Giles’ pass was intercepted by VCSU’s Travon Smith in the end zone with 10:16 on the clock.

Valley City State got on scoreboard on the ensuing possession.  The Vikings used 13 plays for 80 yards in 4:44 as Pfeifer threw a 7-yard touchdown pass to DJ Edwards with 5:32 to go in the third quarter.  Landon Arredondo’s PAT extra-point kick was good as VCSU trimmed DSU’s lead to 21-7.

On the following possession, the Trojans were forced to punt on their own 29-yard line.  Smith of Valley City State blocked Kaden Hight’s punt and was recovered by Tyler Masat as the Vikings retained the ball on DSU’s 3-yard line.

Valley City State answered with a 3-yard touchdown run by Louis Quinones, followed by PAT extra-point kick by Arredondo with 1:24 to go in the third quarter.

DSU maintained a 21-14 lead by the end of the third quarter.  The Vikings outscored the Trojans 14-0 in the third quarter.


Dakota State would answer back with a field goal early in the fourth quarter.  The Trojans registered 12 plays for 78 yards in 4:43 as Ractliffe made a 20-yard field goal as DSU’s lead grew to 24-14 with 11:35 remaining.

Valley City State responded back with a touchdown on the next possession with 12 plays for 73 yards in nearly five minutes.  Pfeifer threw a 13-yard touchdown pass to Jake Peterson, followed by Arredondo’s PAT extra-point kick as the Vikings cut Trojans’ lead to 24-21 with 6:38 left.

After a fair catch by DSU’s Alex Babcock on DSU’s 41-yard line, the Vikings committed a penalty to help the Trojans start their next drive on VCSU’s 44-yard line.  Hines opened up with a 24-yard rush to VCSU’s 20-yard line followed by another penalty committed by Valley City State to move the ball to VCSU’s 10-yard line.

DSU was unable to score at the goal line as they turned the ball on downs on VCSU’s 2-yard line with 4:20 remaining.

Valley City State earned their first lead of the game after recording 11 plays for 98 yards in 3:06 as Pfeifer recorded a 24-yard touchdown pass to Peterson with 1:14 left.  Arredondo’s PAT extra point kick was good as the Vikings earned a 28-24 lead over the Trojans.

Dakota State mounted a furious comeback after VCSU’s touchdown.  Brendon Waldner recorded a 26-yard kick-off return from DSU’s 18-yard line to DSU’s 44-yard line.

Giles opened up the game-winning drive with a 6-yard pass to Mason Leighton to the 50-yard line.  Giles followed up with a 17-yard rush for a first-down to VCSU’s 33-yard line.  Giles threw a 6-yard pass to Brodie Frederiksen.  The Vikings committed a pass interference that resulted a first down for the Trojans on VCSU’s 22-yard line.

Frederiksen rushed for two yards to VCSU’s 20-yard line and then the Trojans called a timeout.  After the timeout, Giles set up for a 20-yard touchdown pass to Opdahl with 13 seconds to go in the game.  Ractliffe converted a successful PAT extra-point kick as Dakota State regained a 31-28 lead.

The Trojans secured the victory as they stopped the Vikings after a lateral pass play, ending the game on the DSU’s 32-yard line.


Giles completed 18 passes in 24 attempts for a total of 238 yards with a touchdown and an interception for Dakota State.  He also rushed 10 times for 56 yards with a touchdown.

Opdahl led the Trojans with eight catches for 131 yards and a touchdown.  Frederiksen added three catches for 31 yards.  Trever Listman had 2 receptions for 20 yards.  Leighton recorded two receptions for 18 yards.  Mitchell Galloway had a catch for 37 yards.  Waldner caught two passes for 11 yards.  He had four kick-off returns of 78 yards.

Hines rushed 18 times for 151 yards with two touchdowns for DSU.  Frederiksen added 21 rushes for 76 yards.

Ractliffe was 4-of-4 on PAT extra-point kicks and 1-of-2 on field goals for Dakota State.  He recorded six kick-offs for a total of 316 yards (52.7 yards per kick-off).

Curt Boeke led the Trojans’ defense with 15 tackles (6 solo, 9 assist).  Danny Jordan and John Trout each tallied eight tackles.  Ryan Dozier had seven tackles.  Marcus Vanden Bosch registered five tackles.  Cleveland recorded an interception.  Reinhiller had a blocked punt.

Pfeifer went 22-of-37 for 255 yards with three touchdowns and an interception for Valley City State.  He ran seven times for 35 yards.  Quinones rushed 17 times for 68 yards and a touchdown.

Peterson caught nine passes for 130 yards and two touchdowns for the Vikings.  Eli Luna added six receptions for 68 yards.

Riley Fredrickson contributed 20 tackles for VCSU.  Kendrick Lenzen added 12 tackles.  Smith also had eight tackles, an interception and a blocked punt.


Both teams registered 24 first-downs in the game.

Dakota State outgained Valley City State 521-370 in total offensive yards.  It was the second straight game and fifth time this season that the Trojans had racked up over 500 offensive yards.

The Trojans averaged 7.1 yards per offensive play (73 total offensive plays).  The Vikings had a 5.4 yards per offensive play (68 total offensive plays).

DSU was whistled for 14 penalties for a total of 125 yards.  VCSU had eight penalties for 75 yards.

Dakota State was 5-of-13 on third-downs.  Valley City State converted 8-of-14 on third-down situations.  DSU was 4-of-6 in the red-zone with three touchdowns and a field goals.  VCSU was 3-of-3 on red-zone conversions with three touchdowns.


Brywn Ractliffe set a new Dakota State Trojan Football single-season record for most PAT extra-point kicks made this season.  He had made 41 PAT extra-point kicks after today’s game, breaking the previous old record of 39 PAT extra-point kicks made by Nic Behrens in 2015.

Jacob Giles became the all-time passing yards in Trojan Football record book.  After recording 238 passing yards today, he had accumulated a total of 7,743 career passing yards at Dakota State.  The previous record holder was held by Justin Thielke with 7,617 career passing yards from 1997-2000.


Dakota State returns home next Saturday their final home game at Trojan Field.  The Trojans host the nationally-ranked No. 16 Dickinson State (N.D.) (7-1 overall record, 6-0 NSAA conference record) in the battle of top two teams in the North Star conference.  Kick-off is set for 12 noon as part of Seniors Day.  Seniors will be recognized at least 30 minutes prior to the kick-off (stay tuned to the DSU Athletics website for more updates).

Valley City State travels to Presentation (S.D.) next Saturday for the North Star conference battle in Aberdeen, S.D.  The game is scheduled for 1 p.m. at Swisher Field.

-Recap Courtesy DSU Athletics

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