DICKINSON- The Blue Hawks football team returned to the field Saturday with a home game against North Star Athletic Association rival the Valley City State University Vikings. DSU took down the Vikings in their second game of the year in early September, winning 30-21 in Valley City. The Vikings come west to Dickinson after their loss this week against Waldorf 39-35. VCSU sits at 2-3 on the year, 1-2 in conference play. The Blue Hawks entered the afternoon match up with a 4-1 record overall, 3-0 in conference play.
The Blue Hawks offense came on the field and started strong in their first drive. A 23-yard run by Karsten Mack Jr. and a 21-yard completion to Jordan Walker highlighted the drive that was capped off with a Dylan Skabo touchdown. The Vikings second drive was stalled again by the stiff DSU defense and a poor 4-yard punt from Landon Arredondo gave the Blue Hawks excellent field position. Vikings responded from the first drive and began to stop the Blue Hawks' attack, giving the Vikings possession. With strong wind playing a factor, Coach Stanton elected to take a timeout with the wind to his teams back and third down for the Vikings. Out of the timeout the Vikings completed a pass to Tayler Lentz and with yards after the catch he went 39-yards. The Blue Hawks were unable to take advantage of the wind and the Vikings took their possession into the second quarter.
The Vikings continued their drive into the red zone looking to put points on the board for the first time in the afternoon. But, the Blue Hawks defense showed why they are one of the toughest in the North Star by clogging up the Vikings push and forcing a field goal. The Blue Hawks took the ball, still leading 7-3, and slowly marched down the field. The possession was extended with a third down reception from Seth Ewoniuk, which he took for 24 yards into the red zone. The pushed closer and closer to the end zone, but they were just short with fourth down looming. The Blue Hawks elected to go for it and a shuffle pass from Hayden Gibson to Randy Ivey found pay dirt and with the extra point extended the lead to 14-3. Vikings' kicker Landon Arredondo was able to knock in another field goal to cut the lead to eight heading into half time.
Coming out of the half the Blue Hawks were putting together a solid drive, marching into VCSU territory. A Gibson pass to Ivey went for 15 yards, but as Ivey was tackled he lost control of the ball and Viking Travon Smith was able to scoop it up and return it for 40 yards before a touchdown saving tackle from Gibson. The Vikings were able to take advantage of the turnover and a pass from Jalen Pfeifer to DJ Edwards gave the Vikings their first touchdown and bring the Blue Hawk lead to just 14-13. The Blue Hawk offensive unit returned to the field and was shut down quickly, forcing a punt. The Vikings had taken the momentum of the game and any score on the drive would give them the lead. The Vikings came out and attempted a running back screen which had burnt the Blue Hawks several times in the game already. This attempt would not end the same, Pfeifer's pass was snatched by defensive lineman Una Masaniai. Masaniai returned the interception inside the five-yard line giving his offense an excellent opportunity. The Blue Hawk offense was able to take advantage of their interception and scramble from Hayden Gibson found the end zone. With the momentum, back on their side the Blue Hawks were able to shut down the Vikings again. With another opportunity DSU's offensive unit was able to strike on their first play with a 33-yard pass from Gibson to Ivey, the duos second touchdown of the game. The teams headed to the fourth quarter with a 28-13 Blue Hawk Lead.
The Vikings were the first to strike in the fourth with another Preifer to Edwards touchdown, bringing the score to 28-20 Blue Hawks. The Blue Hawks defense remained tough shutting down the Vikings. The Blue Hawks took advantage of good field position and Gibson was able to connect with Skabo for a 39-yard touchdown. Back on the offensive side of the ball the Vikings were forced to go into desperation mode going for it on fourths downs. The Vikings were able to complete it on his first attempt but in the second they fell short and turned the ball over to the Blue Hawks. The Blue Hawks closed out the game with a final of 35-20.
Ivey and Skabo were each able to receive two touchdowns from Gibson on the afternoon. Deonte Dixon and Mack Jr. split the load on the ground each rushing for around 60 yards.
The Blue Hawks win is their fifth straight over the Vikings, it brings DSU 5-1 and they remain undefeated in their four conference matchups. The Vikings fall to 2-4 on their, with a 1-3 conference record. The Blue Hawks will take on the Waldorf Warriors in next week's matchup. The Warriors have tallied wins over Presentation College and the Vikings, they will be coming to Dickinson off their game against Dakota State. The Homecoming game will kickoff at 1:00 in the BAC.