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Final conference game for Jimmies, Blue Hawks

A chapter in the storied football rivalry between University of Jamestown and Dickinson State University comes to an end this afternoon, but the book isn't finished.

The Jimmies and the Blue Hawks will meet up for the final time in North Star Athletic Association conference play today at Rollie Greeno Field, as Jamestown will complete its transition to the Great Plains Athletic Conference next season. Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m.

"It's been a great tradition with a lot of history between the two programs," University of Jamestown head football coach Josh Kittell said. "It's our last conference game against them, but we'll continue to play each other in the future and we'll look forward to that rivalry."

The 16th-ranked Blue Hawks (6-1) are soaring into Jamestown, having won four straight contests by 35 or more points. The Jimmies (1-6) are searching for their first win since defeating Waldorf University 26-19 at Rollie Greeno on Sept. 23.

Last week in Aberdeen, the Jimmies rolled up 516 yards of total offense in a 40-22 loss at Presentation College. Running backs Jimmy Hatch (118 yards) and Jackson He (112) combined for 230 yards on the ground, while quarterback Dylan Klatt completed 17-of-37 passing attempts for 248 yards.

"We gotta find a passing game that's consistent, and when we get down inside the red zone we have to be able to execute our offense when we get there," Kittell said. "We've been good inside the 20s the last few weeks, but we have to find ways to finish drives."

The Jimmies will more than likely see a ton of Karsten Mack this afternoon. The sophomore running back from Dallas, Texas, has rushed for 699 yards and nine touchdowns, while sophomore quarterback Hayden Gibson has passed for 1,735 yards and 17 scores.

The Blue Hawks have allowed just 18.6 points per contest to opponents this season. That's good enough for eighth in the NAIA.

"They're a very, very talented football team and they're executing at a high level right now on both sides of the ball," Kittell said. "We definitely have our work cut out for us, but at the same time it's still football and we still have to line up."

The Jimmies last defeated Dickinson State in 2007, beating the Blue Hawks 34-14 that year.

"If we execute and not shoot ourselves in the foot we can hopefully give ourselves a chance in the fourth quarter," Kittell said. "That's really all we can ask week in and week out."