Down the stretch: Four to go after bye week for JCWith the first half of the season in the books, the Jimmies are ready for the back half. After going 2-4 in its first six games, Jamestown College had last Saturday off, leaving time for resting and analyzing. It wasn’t like they went on vacation, however.
By: By Dave Selvig, The Jamestown Sun, The Jamestown Sun
With the first half of the season in the books, the Jimmies are ready for the back half.
After going 2-4 in its first six games, Jamestown College had last Saturday off, leaving time for resting and analyzing.
It wasn’t like they went on vacation, however.
The Jimmies practiced every day last week, but the additional down time did give head coach Shawn Frank and his staff time to reassess.
“It was important to stay sharp on both sides of the ball. We went back to some technique things, working on fundamentals. Just trying to keep our guys in the football routine,” Frank said. “It’s good to take a break, so to speak. It’s a grind, and even though we didn’t have a game, we had to make sure we were getting better and taking a step forward.”
The Jimmies got through the first six games quite healthy, which has been a welcomed change from recent seasons when they seemed snake-bitten injury-wise from start to finish.
If that trend continues, combined with the back half of the schedule softening — Dickinson State (1-5), at Valley City State (4-2), at Dakota State (0-7), Mayville State (3-3) — the Jimmies could be primed for a nice sprint to the finish.
“You do have to take them one at a time, it’s the oldest cliché in the book, but it’s true. The most important game is the one that week. This week, it’s Dickinson State,” Frank said. “We have four more opportunities left and we have one goal in mind and that’s to give ourselves a chance to win each game in the fourth quarter.”
Ultimately, winning more games is the objective, but Frank also likes what’s been happening before Saturday afternoon.
“I think we’ve done a good job in preparation: film study, what we’re doing strength and conditioning-wise,” he said. “By no means are we a finished product, but I’m very happy with the strides we’re making.”
r Running game: Lance Johansen (547 yards, 95 ypg) has led a resurgent JC ground game. Johansen ranks in the top 20 in the NAIA in total yards and yards per game. Matt Mithaugen, a senior like Johansen, has over 300 yards and a solid 4.1 ypc average.
r ‘D’ stiffening: The Jimmies have allowed just 47 points combined in their last three games and have held all three opponents under 250 yards of offense. Junior safety J.T. Petsch is 25th in the NAIA in tackles-per-game (9.8). C.J. Costello leads in interceptions (2), Chris Sharp and Dillon Kelly in tackles-for-loss (4.5) and Jarelle Miller in sacks (3).
r “Special” teamer: Senior Craig Anderson is 11th in the NAIA yards-per-punt (42.0). The senior from South Carolina also is perfect on field goals (1-for-1) and extra points (3-for-3).
r Aerial attack: Gus Ramasco has showed promise as a first-year starting quarterback, but the Jimmies have missed on a handful of plays downfield which could have been touchdowns or “splash” plays. They’re averaging 154 yards per game through the air, but increased efficiency in the passing game will be crucial as teams stuff the box to stop Johansen and Mithaugen. Wide out Matt Wilson leads in both receptionts (22) and yards (307).
r Plus-minus: The Jimmies have four interceptions and have forced seven fumbles. They’re plus-2 for the season in giveaway-takeaway ratio.
Sun sports editor Dave Selvig can be reached at (701) 952-8460 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org