Jimmies fall to No. 16 Blue Hawks
Dickinson State sophomore quarterback Hayden Gibson tossed for 320 yards and two scores Saturday at Rollie Greeno Field.
But talk after the game mostly surrounded around the Blue Hawks' daunting defense. Dickinson State, ranked 16th in the NAIA, defeated the University of Jamestown 44-13 in the last conference game scheduled to be played between the two programs.
"Our defense is ridiculous," Gibson said. "Just all the turnovers they create, and they make people drive the whole field."
Dickinson (7-1) turned the Jimmies over three times in the second half, which included an 88-yard interception returned for a touchdown in the fourth quarter by senior linebacker Thomas Sease. But it was the Jimmies (1-7) who landed the game's first punch.
Jamestown junior linebacker Caleb Ellingson striped and recovered the ball from Dickinson running back Karsten Mack Jr. on the second play from scrimmage, setting up a 52-yard run down to the Dickinson 1-yard line by the Jimmies' Jimmy Hatch.
Jamestown quarterback Dylan Klatt punched in the 1-yard score on the ground, but the point after kick attempt was blocked and returned for two points by Dickinson's Jay Liggins. Regardless, Jamestown led 6-2 with 11:09 remaining in the first quarter.
"Dickinson has a really tough football team and I'm really proud of the way our guys fought," Jamestown coach Josh Kittell said. "We got up early and they came back. We knew they would, good football teams do that. But we didn't let it completely unravel."
The Blue Hawks would lead 23-6 at the half, due in large to the arm of Gibson. He hit receivers Nick Kottre and Seth Ewoniuk for touchdown passes of 54 and 77 yards, respectively, in the second quarter.
The Jimmies went 0-for-4 on fourth down before the half and had a pair of drives stall inside the the Blue Hawks' 25-yard line. But a nine-play, 72-yard drive by the Jimmies to start the third, capped with a 13-yard TD run by Jackson He, cut Dickinson's lead to 23-13.
That's where the score would stay until the Blue Hawks scored 21 unanswered starting with just over 9 minutes left to play in the fourth quarter.
"Jamestown played hard and did some good things," Dickinson State coach Pete Stanton said. "They took away some things for us on defense and I thought offensively they did a good job.
"Once we made some plays in the third quarter we settled down. But it was one of those games were you never felt comfortable."
Hatch led the Jimmies with 97 yards rushing on 18 carries, but the sophomore running back was helped off the field after suffering an apparent ankle injury with 14:25 remaining in the game and the Jimmies still trailing by 10.
"We stayed within striking distance," Kittell said. "We were down 10 points with 12 minutes left on the clock and had a chance to win in the fourth quarter against a really tough football team.
"That's our goal every week, and now we have to find a way to finish that and keep building off that. But I'm extremely proud of the effort."
The Blue Hawks finished with 470 yards of total offense to 468 by the Jimmies. Dickinson's defense entered the game allowing just 336.1 yards per game, which ranked 17th in the nation.
Stanton, in his 18th year as a coach and fourth as head coach of the Blue Hawks, has memories spanning decades of the Blue Hawk/Jimmie conference football rivalry.
"It's tough for us as a program and it's tough for me personally, being a coach here a long time and as a player playing against them in the Rollie Greeno days in the '80s," Stanton said. "The positive thing is we hope to get a long-lasting, non-conference game. But we've enjoyed the rivalry and it's certainly going to be different."
The Jimmies, who will join the Great Plains Athletic Conference next season, travel to Mayville State (0-8) this Saturday.
Dickinson State 44, Jamestown 13
UJ: Dylan Klatt 1 run (PAT blocked), 11:09.
DS: Jay Liggins blocked PAT return, 11:09.
DS: Deonte Dixon 5 run (Cody Johnson kick), 3:40.
DS: Nick Kottre 54 pass from Hayden Gibson (Johnson kick), 10:40.
DS: Seth Ewoniuk 77 pass from Gibson (Johnson kick), 5:02.
UJ: Jackson He 11 run (Johnson kick), 12:17.
DS: Karsten Mack 3 run (Johnson kick), 9:13.
DS: Thomas Sease 88 INT return (Johnson kick), 5:47.
DS: Dixon 17 run (Johnson kick), 4:00
TOTAL YARDS: DS 470 (320 passing); UJ 468 (229 passing).
PASSING: DS, Gibson 16-26-0 320, 2 TD. J, Jordan Mann 12-21-2 179, Klatt 5-11-0 50.
RUSHING: DS, Mark 15-104, Dixon 8-46. J, Jimmy Hatch 18-97, Tanner Mathern 8-48, He 14-48, Mann 5-17, Josh Verghis 2-13, Klatt 3-7.
RECEIVING: DS, Ewoniuk 6-135, Kottre 3-89, Chase Andersen 2-46, Tyger Frye 2-26, Mack 2-24. J, Branden Edwards 2-65, Zeb Taber 3-49, James Hagen 2-40, Pete Fehr 3-32, Tyler Schurtz 1-17, Hatch 2-12, Verghis 1-10, He 2-7, Allen Jevning 1-(-3).
TACKLES: DS, Elijah Staton 12, Daniel Moreno 9, Jay Liggins 8. J, Aundre Purnell 7, Caleb Ellingson 7.
RECORDS: Dickinson State 7-1, 6-0 NSAA. Jamestown 1-7, 1-4 NSAA.