JAMESTOWN-- The 16th-ranked Dickinson State University Blue Hawks pulled away from the University of Jamestown in the second quarter on two big plays on their way to a 44-13 victory over the Jimmies team Saturday at Rollie Greeno Field.
Hayden Gibson threw touchdown passes of 54 and 77 yards to Nick Kottre and Seth Ewoniuk, and Thomas Sease returned an interception 88 yards for a score to help boost the Blue Hawks 44-point output. The 320 yard effort by Gibson put him over the 2000 yard mark for the year.
The Blue Hawks started slow, fumbling on their first drive of the game. The turnover led to Jamestown taking an early 6-0 lead on a one-yard run by Dylan Klatt with 11:09 left in the first quarter. Thomas Sease blocked the extra point and Jay Liggins scooped up the ball and returned it for two points.
The Blue Hawks again turned the ball over on a fumbled punt return. After the defense held, Deonte Dixon scored on a five yard run with 3:40 left in the first quarter to take a 9-6 lead. Gibson's two touchdown passes of 54 and 77 yards came in the second quarter and pushed the Blue Hawk lead to 23-6 at the half.
"We certainly got off to a slow start with the two turnovers in the first quarter", DSU head coach Pete Stanton said, adding "We were fortunate to be up three points at the end of the first quarter, and the two passing touchdowns were big for us."
UJ opened the second half with a seven play, 71-yard drive capped off by an 11-yard touchdown run Jackson He. Johnson's kick made it 23-13 Blue Hawks. The rest of the third quarter was scoreless before the Blue Hawks took off in the fourth quarter.
Karsten Mack ran in from three yards out with 9:13 in the fourth to make it 30-13, then Sease's interception return pushed the lead to 37-13. Dixon accounted for the final Dickinson touchdown of the day, scoring on a 17-yard run with four minutes left.
Gibson completed 16-of-26 passes for 320 yards. Ewoniuk caught six passses for 135 yards and Kottre finished with three catches for 89 yards. Mack carried 15 times for 104 yards and Dixon totaled 46 yards on eight carries.
Elijah Staton had 12 tackles, 1 pass break up, and 1 forced fumble to lead the Blue Hawk defense. Daniel Moreno added nine total stops and Liggins eight. Cain Boschee had another interception to push his season total to 5. He also had an interception return for a touchdown called back on a penalty.
"We certainly weren't perfect but we put hit some big plays to overcome the early turnovers," Stanton said. "Our guys did a good job of battling on both sides of the ball in the second half and played a great fourth quarter."
A Look Ahead: Dickinson State (7-1, 6-0 NSAA) plays at Dakota State (S.D) in a key NSAA game. With the win, the Blue Hawks can secure the North Star conference championship.