Oct. 30—DICKINSON — Oh, it's not a forgone conclusion just yet ... but after Dickinson State's Blue Hawks blanked Waldorf University at home on Saturday, Oct. 28 to the tune of 41-0, this-week's game versus Valley City State at the Biesiot Activities Center could mean yet-another North Star Athletic Conference title for the team. DSU stands at a perfect 6-0 in the conference and Valley City State is a game out at 5-1, so this-weekend's home-matchup could be starkly different to the 34-10 road win for the Blue Hawks over the Vikings on Sept. 30.
Firstly, to address last-weekend's drubbing over the Warriors, the Blue Hawks (7-1 overall) extended their winning-streak to seven games, with the sole, 20-19, loss coming in the 2023 opener away to Rocky Mountain. But when DSU scored two first-quarter touchdowns to get off to yet another quick start, the handwriting was already on the wall 15 minutes into the game after standout junior RB Braden Zuroff ripped off a 10-yard run into the end-zone at the 10:13 mark and Dickinson native Noah Sickler backed that up with a huge 58-yard scoring reception from Will Madler just before the teams switched fields and headed into the second quarter.
From there, it was more of the same as junior signal-caller Madler — who maybe had his most-efficient day under center this year with a 12-of-18 passing performance for 234 yards and 3 TDs — ripped another excellent throw to junior wideout Cameron Sheppard for a 13-yard strike in the second quarter that took the team into the locker room with a 21-0 halftime advantage at the break.
"I think all week we emphasized taking care of the ball, and we made sure that we had plays in that were going to be highly efficient to throw it," Madler said. "And, having a running game like we do, those guys just open up so much in the passing game."
Madler then connected with Sheppard on another score — this-time from 14-yards out — in the third at the 5:52 mark and then Darion Brown trotted into the paint on a 20-yard run in the closing ticks of the third for a 34-0 lead. The capper came in the fourth-quarter on backup QB Bridger Groom's 2-yard touchdown run to close out the scoring.
Regardless of the abundant offensive stats for DSU, the defense again had another exemplary day while limiting Waldorf University to 221 yards of total offense and only 16 first-downs and a below-average day from Warriors QB Jordan Cooper with only 84 yards passing on 7-of-16 efficiency.
The offense did have its kudos, with another 400-plus-yard offense performance in total yards with 439 — 205 on the ground — as Zuroff rushed for touchdown and a team-high 77 yards on 16 carries while Brown delivered 62 on only 7 carries with his scoring run.
"It's pretty good when Braden gets his and I get mine; it's hard not to be cold out here in this but, you know, you try to stay by the heater and get it done," Brown said. "It's always comfortability: Whenever you get your shot you just go and do it. A big credit goes to the O-line, too."
Sickler led the way in receiving with 3 receptions for 81 yards and the score while his Dickinson wideout compatriot Kaden Kuntz currently is off the field and on the mend. But Sheppard performed well in his stead with the 2 scores and 55 yards of his own on a team-high 4 receptions.
The Saturday, Nov. 4 game versus Valley City State will be hosted at 2 p.m. MDT, while the Nov. 11 trip to Dakota State in the regular-season-finale will be at 11 a.m. MST after the clocks change this weekend on Sunday.
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