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    DSU FB: Trojans shake off slow start for 49-33 victory over Chargers

    SIOUX CITY, Iowa – Dakota State (S.D.) piled up over 600 offensive yards for the second time this season Saturday afternoon, pulling away past Briar Cliff (Iowa) 49-33 in a non-conference football action at Memorial Stadium.  The Trojans are 2-0 record against members of the Great Plains Athletic Conference this season (defeated No. 17-ranked Dakota Wesleyan, S.D. on Aug. 24). 

    Dakota State improved their overall record to 2-1 and concluded their non-conference schedule Saturday.  Briar Cliff, who was playing the first home game at Memorial Stadium for the first time since 2012, remained winless in three games (0-3 overall record).

    DSU improved their all-time series record to 4-1 with BCU.

    FIRST QUARTER 

    Dakota State and Briar Cliff were not able to score in the first quarter.  The Chargers were forced to punt on the first possession of the game. 

    The Trojans began their first drive on their own 35-yard line with 12 minutes and 31 seconds on the clock.  DSU moved the ball to the Briar Cliff’s 9-yard line, highlighted by four straight first-downs by the Trojans.  The Trojans used 9 plays for 56 yards in 2:53, but missed an opportunity to grab the first lead of the game when Brywn Ractliffe’s 26-yard field goal was missed wide right with 9:50 left in the opening quarter. 

    On the Chargers’ second drive of the quarter, DSU’s Dereck DeVries intercepted Diontre’ Collins-Jones’ pass at the BCSU 45-yard line.  DeVries returned it for eight yards to BCU’s 37-yard line with less than nine minutes to go in the first quarter.  DSU was unable to convert their scoring opportunity as the Trojans turned the ball on downs. 

    The Trojans’ defense stopped BCU’s offense from scoring late in the first quarter.  After Noah Ylagan’s 39-yard pass to Miles Jones from BCU’s 37-yard line to DSU’s 24-yard line, DeVries forced a fumble on Joe Heinrichs’ reception and was recovered by Hunter Smith at the DSU’s 23-yard line with 1:56 on the clock. 

    SECOND QUARTER 

    Facing 4th-and-15 situation on BCU’s 29-yard line, the Chargers were forced to punt.  Steven Delia’s punt was blocked by Trojan Brock Reinhiller and was recovered by Austin Opdahl on the 7-yard line and returned it for a touchdown.  Ractliffe’s PAT extra-point kick was successful as Dakota State earned a 7-0 lead with 9:36 remaining in the second quarter. 

    Briar Cliff answered back on the ensuing possession, using 7 plays for 71 yards in less than two minutes.  Ylagan rushed for a 12-yard touchdown, followed by Austin Holloway’s PAT kick to knot the game at 7-7 with 7:37 on the clock. 

    After the Trojans called a timeout on a 3rd-and-13 situation on DSU’s 16-yard line, Jacob Giles connected to Brodie Frederiksen for a 65-yard gain to BCU’s 19-yard line.  Dakota State regained their lead back after a 16-yard touchdown pass from Giles to Mason Leighton with 5:53 to go in the second quarter.  Ractliffe added the PAT extra-point kick to put the Trojans up 14-7. 

    Ylagan ran for a 20-yard touchdown as the Chargers rallied back to tie the game at 14-14.  Holloway made the PAT extra-point kick with 1:44 remaining before halftime.  BCU used 8 plays for 82 yards in 2:08 in the scoring drive. 

    The Trojans began their final drive of the first-half with a 20-yard rushing gain by Frederiksen from DSU’s 20-yard line to their own 40-yard line.  DSU added a 35-yard pass from Giles to Trever Listman from their own 43-yard line to BCSU’s 22-yard line. 

    With 3rd-and-10 situation, Giles threw a 22-yard touchdown pass to Frederiksen with 31 ticks left in the second quarter.  Ractliffe hit the PAT extra-point kick to give the Trojans a seven-point lead. 

    DeVries recorded his second interception of the game when the first-half expired.  He caught BCU Ruelas’ pass in the end zone and returned it for 60 yards to BCU’s 40-yard line when the time expired. 

    Dakota State led 21-14 by halftime. 

    THIRD QUARTER 

    Despite kicking off the third quarter on DSU’s 2-yard line, the Trojans marched down the field to widen their lead.  DSU used 6 plays for 98 yards in 2:48, thanks to a 66-yard rush by Frederiksen (from DSU’s 22-yard line to BCU’s 12-yard line.  Giles threw a 4-yard touchdown pass to Brendon Waldner, followed by a successful PAT extra-point kick by Ractliffe to give Dakota State a 28-14 lead with 12:12 on the clock.

    Briar Cliff would answer back on the ensuing possession, recording 9 plays for 59 yards in 3:55.  Dillon Ruelas connected to Jones for a 17-yard touchdown pass.  Holloway’s PAT extra-point kick was good as the Chargers trimmed DSU’s lead to 28-21 with 8:12 to go in the third quarter.

    The Trojans used the final 3:40 of the third quarter to add another touchdown.  DSU went on to use 11 plays for 70 yards as Giles threw a 13-yard touchdown pass to Listman with no time left in the third quarter.  Ractliffe hit another PAT extra-point kick as the Trojans extended their lead to 35-21 by the end of the third quarter.  A 39-yard pass from Giles to Opdahl was the highlight in the scoring drive. 

    DSU outscored BCU 14-7 in the third quarter. 

    FOURTH QUARTER 

    The Chargers began the fourth quarter with 13 plays for 73 yards in 5:47 for a touchdown.  Kwame Johnson rushed for a 4-yard touchdown with 9:19 remaining in the game.  Holloway missed the PAT extra-point kick as the Trojans maintained their lead at 35-27. 

    Leighton returned a 38-yard kick-off return from DSU’s 5-yard line to DSU’s 43-yard line to start their first drive of the fourth quarter.   Giles found Waldner for a 36-yard touchdown pass to extend DSU’s lead to 41-27 with 8:31 to go.  Ractliffe added the PAT extra-point kick to make it 42-27 in favor of the Trojans. 

    The Chargers were forced to punt on their next possession.  The Trojans added another touchdown on the ensuing drive.  Frederiksen ran for a 12-yard touchdown, followed by Ractliffe’s PAT extra-point kick to balloon DSU’s lead to 49-27 with 4:19 remaining. 

    Briar Cliff cut Dakota State’s lead to 49-33 with 2:35 left.  Johnson recorded a 5-yard touchdown run for the Chargers. 

    The Trojans scored 14 points in the fourth quarter compared to the Chargers 12 points. 

    INSIDE THE BOX SCORE 

    Giles finished the game by completing 26 passes in 42 attempts for 354 yards for the Trojans.  He had five touchdown passes and two interceptions.  He extended his DSU career record of 74 touchdown passes.  Giles also ran eight times for 23 yards. 

    Frederiksen rushed 17 times for a season-high 190 yards and a touchdown or DSU.  He also had three catches for 91 yards and a touchdown.  Hagan Hines added eight rushes for 57 yards.  

    Opdahl caught seven passes for a total of 104 yards for Dakota State.  Listman added six receptions for 73 yards and a touchdown.  Waldner had four catches for 45 yards with two touchdowns.  Leighton also had four catches for 27 yards and a touchdown.  

    Ractliffe was perfect 7-for-7 on PAT extra-point kick for the Trojans.  He is 18-of-18 on PAT kicks this season.  Kaden Hight recorded three punts for a total of 133 yards (44.3 yards per punt). 

    Ryan Dozier led the Trojans’ defense with 12 tackles and half quarterback sack.  Curt Boeke and Levar Colbert each added nine tackles.  Colbert had 1.5 sacks, while Boeke had a sack.  DeVries tallied eight tackles.  He also had two interceptions.  Boeke and Smith each had a fumble recovery.  Dozier, DeVries and Daidrick Kibbie each recorded a forced fumble. 

    Reinhiller registered a blocked punt for Dakota State.  Marcus Vanden Bosch had a quarterback sack. 

    For Briar Cliff, Ruelas went 18-of-28 for 240 yards with a touchdown and an interception.  Ylagan rushed 21 times for 148 yards and two touchdowns.  Johnson added 20 rushes for 57 yards and two touchdowns. 

    Jones caught seven passes for 95 yards and a touchdown for BCU.  Logann Freeman had five receptions for 83 yards.  

    Nate Ericson collected 12 tackles and an interception for the Chargers.  Materno Hassan added eight tackles.  Hank Glaros had a quarterback sack.  Solomon Joseph had an interception. 

    TEAM COMPARISONS 

    Dakota State racked up a total of 628 offensive yards in 79 plays compared to Briar Cliff’s 84 plays for a total of 498 offensive yards.  Both teams had 29 first-downs in the game. 

    The Trojans rushed a season-high 274 yards, while the Chargers rushed 189 yards.  DSU had 354 passing yards.  BCU registered 309 passing yards. 

    Briar Cliff was 7-of-15 on third-down conversions.  Dakota State converted 4-of-12 on third-downs.  

    UP NEXT 

    Dakota State kicks off their North Star Athletic Association football conference season next Saturday (Sept. 16) with a two-game home stand.  The Trojans host Mayville State (N.D.) in the conference’s season opener.  Kick-off is set for 6 p.m. at the Trojan Field (Parents Night will be held).

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