The University of Jamestown football team couldn’t have scripted a better return to Charlotte and Gordon Hansen Stadium than how it happened on Saturday afternoon.
“Let’s roll,” UJ head coach Brian Mistro said. “I am super happy for those guys and they deserve it. I love those kids to death.”
The action began with less than five minutes off the clock.
An offsides penalty called on Mount Marty on 4th and 6 forced a second attempt but a bad snap resulted in a five-yard Johnathan Cardoza-Chicas punt putting the Jimmies on the Lancer’s 22-yard line.
The Jimmies’ first touchdown in the new stadium era came at 10:56 when starting senior quarterback Cade Torgerson let loose on 1st and goal for Steve Justice. Justice, a sophomore receiver, made a one-handed grab to make it a 6-0 ball game. Noah Vogelpohl punched in the extra point from 15 yards out.
“The boys executed what they were taught to do,” Mistro said. “They wanted this, they deserved it and they earned it. All the weeks of prep and everything we’ve been going through, it’s good to see it come to light.”
UJ and Mount Marty both entered the tilt at 0-1, but it was the home team who evened their record at 1-1, defeating the Lancers 35-6 in the teams' Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC) opener. The Jimmies are set to travel to Hastings College next week while Mount Marty is slated to take on Morningside University. Both of next week’s games are scheduled to kick off at 1 p.m.
In an interview prior to the matchup, Mistro said that he would like to see some more consistency from Torgerson in the home-opening tilt, saying that he thought the senior tried to do too much, missing 26 of his attempted passes in the annual Paint Bucket Game at Valley City State University on Aug. 26.
The signal-caller answered his head coach’s call to action.
Officials called pass interference on the Lancers, with about seven minutes to play in the first quarter, allowing the Jimmies to move up to the Lancer’s 15-yard line. The senior picked up a few more yards through the air before he made a three-yard rush. The touchdown score combined with Voegelpohl’s extra point made it a two-score ball game.
Before the first half was out, Torgerson had picked up a pair of touchdown passes and one rushing score. Unofficially, Torgerson was 15 of 26 for 239 yards through the air, in the first half alone. All told the senior recorded 343 yards off 26 completions. The senior also rushed for 12 yards on eight attempts.
“He’s put in the time,” Mistro said of his signal-caller. “He’s stayed every summer, he’s taken every individual rep in our summer (program) … and when you have that many banked reps, then you should see it carry over to Saturdays.
“I am glad we got to see it carry over because we obviously didn’t get to see that the first week. I am super happy for him.”
Seventy-eight of those 343 yards came with less than a minute to play.
Prior to the last drive of the half, Torgerson had some trouble connecting with his wideouts on the deep balls but after Isaiah Roebuck returned a punt to Mount Marty’s 45, the senior seemed to find his rhythm, airing it out to Micah Madyun to pick up 27 yards. Torgerson let loose again to Madyun for 32 more before completing a 14-yarder to Steve Justice to make it 28-0 Jimmies.
Torgerson’s completion to Justice came just 90 seconds after Jamestown native Chris Sayler had made it 21-0 on a two-yard rush.
“Football is a game of momentum,” Mistro said. “When you have the momentum on your side, holy cow it changes the game. For me, that’s a huge deal and a big confidence booster for our guys.
“We sputtered a little bit coming out in the second half, but I tell you what, our guys just had it. They wanted to open this stadium up with a bang and I think we did,”
Madyun was UJ’s leading receiver with seven catches for 101 yards while Justice picked up 63 off seven receptions. Roebuck rounded out the Jimmies top-three with 61 yards on three grabs. Frankie Ingraldi was the team’s leading ground-gainer with 62 yards on 13 touches while Chris Sayler added 14 yards on seven carries to the stat sheets.
The Jimmie defense was hot most of the game, only allowing 37 passing yards and 199 on the ground but Mistro said the team will have to continue to work on minimizing little penalty calls that give teams an advantage. Between the offense and defense, UJ gave up 37 yards on five penalties.
“We can’t have dumb penalties to give them yards,” Mistro said. “Obviously that’s an area we are going to focus on but man they protected the ball, they ran their game pretty well, made key stops when we needed to … and it’s fun to watch when those guys are flying around.”
Making stops and making plays will be integral to any Jimmie success next week on the road against Hastings College.
“They have a new coach -- a guy who’s had some success in this league and they are going to expect to win because that’s what they’ve done against us,” Mistro said. “We have to go down there (thinking) that we are expected to win. Bring it, let’s go.”
University of Jamestown 35, Mount Marty University 6
MM 0 0 6 0 -- 6
UJ 14 14 0 7 -- 35
UJ: 5-yard pass by Cade Torgerson to Steve Justice (Noah Voegelpohl kick good), 10:56.
UJ: 3-yard run by Torgerson (kick good), 5:45
UJ: 2-yard run by Chris Sayler (kick good), 2:25
UJ: 14-yard pass by Torgerson to Steve Justice, 0:52
MM: 6-yard run by William Rauch, 5:45 (Johnathan Cardoza-Chicas kick failed)
UJ: 1-yard pass by Torgerson to Micah Madyun (kick good), 10:40