This past Saturday the Trojan football team returned to Madison to take on the Briar Cliff Chargers. This game was the annual ‘’Rushing for a cure game”, sponsored by Colleges Against Cancer, which asked all the fans and players to wear pink to raise cancer awareness. The Trojans snapped a 17 game losing streak, beating the Chargers 24-16.
Right out of the gate, the Trojan defense forced a turnover on the opening play with an interception by Bryce Logan. The offense took full advantage of the turnover and capped a nine-play 72-yard drive with a two-yard dive to running back Kyle Thyen. Briar Cliff came back with 9 plays for 40 yards to miss a 35-yard field goal. On Dakota State’s next offensive possession they stayed hot and put 6 more points on the board with an 11-play 80-yard drive. Following the touchdown the Chargers were knocking on the door again, and the defense came up big, breaking up a 4th and goal situation on the four-yard line. After the Trojans punted, Briar Cliff entered the red zone again, but came up short when Robert Ortiz picked off a pass in the endzone. Dakota State made another long drive right before the half, but could not punch it in.
The Trojans got the ball in the second half. They attempted a 32-yard field goal, which was blocked. Briar Cliff used that momentum and had an 18-play 70-yard drive but DSU stopped them once again on a fourth and goal situation. The offense got the ball back and scored on a 3rd down, 62-yard touchdown pass from Large to Stacey Berg. On the kickoff the Trojans recovered the ball on a surprise onside kick. DSU went up 24-0 with 10 minutes left to play on a six-yard touchdown from Large to Zach Ely.
BCU came out into desperation mode and went to the no-huddle. They finally got on the board when they went on a nine-play 64-yard drive. They converted on the two-point conversion attempt. The Chargers kicked in onside and recovered to get the ball right back and scored again to trim the lead to 24-16. BC attempted another onside kick, which went out of bounds. Kyle Theyn and his offensive line came up huge as Theyn rushed 8 times and picked up two key first downs to seal a Trojan victory.
“We just stayed positive and knew we have been moving the ball all day, so we could close it out late in the game,” said quarterback Brandon Large.
The Trojan offense was lead by Brandon Large who had went 24 for 39 and 275 yards passing with two touchdowns. He also rushed 12 times for 63 yards and a touchdown. Kyle Theyn rushed 22 times for 100 yards in his first career start for the Trojans. Stacey Berg (who returned Saturday from a leg injury) did not see the field much due to precautions, but when he did he made big plays for the offense. Berg had five catches for 161 yards. The cousin connection between Large and Carl Curtis produced nine catches for 63 yards.
“It was nice to have Berg back, his speed really opens up a lot of options in our offense,” said Brandon Large.
Captains Eric Liles and Bryce Logan led the defense. Liles recorded 12 tackles and broke up two passes. Logan had 11 tackles, broke up two passes and recorded one interception. Keith Knudsen added 10 tackles.
“We played well as a team to not give up the big play and to make big plays in the red zone,” said Bryce Logan
Dakota State will return home on Saturday, October 22 as they take on Dordt (Iowa). Saturday they will be recognizing the seniors who will be playing their last games at Trojan Field. Kick off is set for 4pm.