Briar Cliff scored 13 straight points in the 4th quarter to hold off Dakota State 37-31 in the annual “Rushing for a Cure” game. Dakota State dropped their overall record to 2-5, while Briar Cliff improved their record to 3-4.
The Dakota State football team recognized eight seniors on the team. Kris Dearie, Ronnie Jorgenson, John Licht, Perry King, Blake Kirschenman, Cole Whisenhunt and Dylan VandeGarde played their final home college football game at Trojan Field. Also, Chase Casper served as honorary team captain for the Trojan’s and did the ceremonial coin toss. Chase has been fighting T Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia since the fall of last year.
Briar Cliff scored first by going 52 yards in the opening drive. Kenny Thompson rushed for a 1 yard touchdown run and Alex Pujado’ kick was through the uprights to give Chargers a 7-0 lead in the first quarter. Dakota State tied the game on the first play of the second quarter. Cole Whisenhunt threw a 76 yard bomb to Zach Ely for a touchdown. Tanner Hubbard made the PAT kick tying the game up at 7-7. The Chargers had the opportunity to score by traveling 69 yards down the field, but threw an interception to Austin Ross in the end zone giving the Trojans possession of the ball with plenty of time left in the second quarter. Following the turnover, the Trojans moved the ball 68 yards, which was enough for Hubbard to kick a 29 yard field goal to give the Trojans the lead 10-7. It took the Chargers no time at all to tie the score up by kicking a field goal of their own evening the score 10-10. The Chargers went 56 yards during that drive and ended it with a 27 yard field goal. A fake punt on a 4th and 13 allowed Josh Licht to throw a 16 yard pass to Ely for a first down, but Whisenhunt’s next pass to Ely was intercepted by BC’s Rasheed Tynes ending the half.
In the 3rd quarter, both teams starter with a three and out drive. The Chargers punted on their second drive, but had it blocked by Spencer Carlson. Cole Potter recovered the ball on the Briar Cliff 2 yard line. A Whisenhunt 2 yard touchdown run would give the Trojans the lead 17-10 after a Hubbard PAT. Once again, the Chargers took no time at all to tie the game up. A 67 yard touchdown pass from Kevin Van Egdom to Tyler McGhee and a PAT kick from Pujado set the score at 17-17. Dakota State scored on the next drive with a 5 yard rushing touchdown from Dylan VandeGarde. DSU ran 9 plays for 70 yards and made a PAT to give them a 24-17 lead. During the ensuing kickoff, Spencer Carlson forced a fumble on McGhee and the ball was recovered by Cooper Hausman. The Trojans then had a turnover of their own giving Briar Cliff the ball back. The Chargers would once again score to tie the game. A 24 yard pass from Van Egdom to Lavon Wright and a good PAT put the score at 24-24 to end the 3rd quarter. Briar Cliff got the 4th quarter started with a Van Egdom rushing touchdown for 11 yards giving the Chargers a 30-24 lead after a missed PAT by Pujado. The Trojan’s fumbled on their first drive of the quarter giving Briar Cliff the ball back with 13 minutes to go in the game. Briar Cliff scored again to extend their lead to 37-24. Van Egdom threw a 3 yard touchdown to Matt Harshman and Pujado successfully made the PAT. Wisenhunt, on the next drive, threw another bomb to Brendon Walner for a 59 yard touchdown and a good PAT from Hubbard made the game 37-31. Briar Cliff couldn’t score on their next drive and gave the ball back to the Trojans. Dakota State could also not score and Briar Cliff won the game 37-31. Junior Trevor Reddick said “It was a hard fought game and I was glad to be part of such an exciting game.”
Dakota State will conclude their regular season with two games on the road. The Trojans are looking to get back in the winning column as they visit the South Dakota School of Mines. Kick-off at O’Harra Stadium in Rapid City, S.D begins at 2 p.m. CT /1 p.m. MT.
Cole Whisenhunt 18 completions, 34 attempts, 2 interceptions, 2 TDs, 282 YDS Josh Licht 1 completion, 1 attempt, 16 YDS
Zach Ely 5 catches/130 yards
Brendon Waldner 1 catch/59 yards
Bobby Tisch 6 catches/58 yards
Kris Dearie 1 catch/26 yards
Justin Templeton 1 catch/ 4 yards
Dylan VandeGarde 4 catches/21 yards
Jacob Patterson 2 catches/4 yards
Kris Dearie 4 attempts/46 yards
Dylan VandeGarde 12 attempts/32 yards
Cole Whisenhunt 15 attempts/45 yards
Jacob Patterson 10 attempts/25 yards
Austin Ross 1 INT/ 2 tackles
Josh Licht 3.5 sacks/11 tackles Ben Kullos 16 tackles
John Licht won NSAA Defensive player of the week with his performance against the Chargers.