Jimmies football heads to Dakota Wesleyan with energy in tow

Oct. 27—MITCHELL, S.D. — Fresh off a near-upset win on Oct. 21, the University of Jamestown football team heads to Dakota Wesleyan University at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 28, trying to end their losing streak.

"Our expectations for the week is that our guys are locked in and loaded," Jimmies head coach Brian Mistro said. "I don't think it matters who we play anymore, our guys are ready to go."

The Jimmies head into this game after a 39-29 loss to Morningside University (Iowa) to drop their record to 2-6 overall, and they are on a two-game losing streak. The Tigers also come in on a two-game losing streak thanks to a 21-17 loss to Briar Cliff (Iowa) to fall to 5-3 overall.

"I'd be ignorant to say that our kids are not more confident probably coming off closer games than blowout games which those have been in the past," Mistro said. "But I think if you ask the 146 guys in the room, their expectations were to win those games. I think we want to play well enough to win games and we weren't able to do that."

During the game against the Mustangs, the Jimmies' Colton Schumacher had seven receptions for 117 yards. Schumacher said he wants to be targeted a lot this week but would rather the team have success rather than just him. This season, the Tigers are giving up 227.4 passing yards, and the longest pass that they've given up was 74 yards. Schumacher said he believes the Tigers' defense will try to force the Jimmies to beat them with big plays. Schumacher said he wants the offense to get between 300 and 350 total yards this week.

"I expect them to really cloud down on the flats, so them to take away our quick game a little bit more so we gotta be more productive on the deep balls than we were in the past games," Schumacher said.

The Jimmies and Tigers have played seven times since 2016 with the Tigers owning a 6-1 record. However, the Jimmies erased a 14-point deficit last year to get a 34-30 win.

Mistro said John Grann will start his second consecutive game in place of Ty Monson and Nick Martinez. Last week, Grann went 28-for-53 for 381 yards, three touchdowns and three interceptions.

"Now he's got some more experience and he'll have the ability to learn from those mistakes and I think he doesn't want to throw interceptions," Mistro said. "We also played a really good secondary ... So, again, it's going off doing the things you're supposed to do and prepping the right way so that you don't make those mistakes."

Grann is the Jimmies' third starting quarterback this season after Monson and Martinez and is second on the team for completion percentage, passing yards and touchdowns.

This season, the Tigers' offense has relied heavily on running back Jamin Arend, who has 206 carries for 871 yards and nine touchdowns. One of the players that the Jimmies will be relying on to try to slow Arend down is defensive lineman Caleb Ritter, who has 12 tackles and two sacks over the last two games.

"When it comes to stopping the run, coach (Shane) Clancy's got a good plan for us, try to make at least four of us close up that interior, making them force to bounce into our guys that are going to rally and make that tackle," Ritter said.

The Tigers quarterback Austin Lee has thrown for 1,156 yards for 11 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. In order to force him into mistakes, Ritter said the defensive line needs to get in his face and put pressure on him.

"We just gotta keep our pressure up, as long as we can get home and our DBs (defensive backs) just stay on him, he's gonna toss up a few balls and I know our guys are gonna win them," Ritter said.

In order to get the win, Mistro said his team has to figure out what the Tigers think the Jimmies will do to beat them and work on that area.

".. we have to figure out what they're going to give us and take advantage and exploit that," Mistro said. "If it's in the passing game. then we gotta trust our wideouts and our quarterback to sling it around. If they're going to drop off and lighten the box up, then we have to be able to run the football."