Drought in Dickinson Over, Vikes win 23-20
Oct 15th, 2001 @ 9:55 am | Author: Viking Sports Information
Circa 1983; George Bush is the Vice President, Hills Street Blues was named the top TV show and Valley City State defeats Dickinson State at Whitney Stadium 7-6. Fast foward 18 years. Vice President Bush’s son is president, NYPD Blue is atop the TV charts and the Vikings defeat the Blue Hawks 23-20 at Whitney Stadium. The drought at Dickinson is over.
Jeremy Peschel’s 27 yard touchdown pass to Nathan Payne with 2:40 left in the game sealed the first victory in 18 years for the Vikings at Whitney Stadium at DSU to remain perfect on the season and tied atop the standings in the DAC-10 conference.
Although the 23-20 score was not unusual, how the teams got there was.
Dickinson State won the toss and elected to force the Vikings to go into a very strong wind. After a short opening drive forced a punt the Blue Hawks drove into Viking territory before having to settle for aa 32 yard field goal by Jeremy Fagerland.
On the Vikings next possesion, Hawks saftey Ryan Anderson picked off a deep throw by Peschel at midfield and returned the ball 30 yards to put the Hawks in great field position. But the DAC-10’s top defense had other plans as they held the Hawks on three downs to force another Fagerland field goal attempt that went wide right.
The Vikings ensuing drive brought them to midfield again before missfiring on a third and one play and failing to convert a fourth down play with just under a minute to play in the first.
After a first down by the Hawks the Vikings defense stiffened again and force another Fagerland field goal attempt this time into the wind. Hawks hold Jay Sheldon made a nice recovery of a bad snap in time to get the hold down as Fagerland connected from 28 yards to put the Hawks up 6-0.
With the Vikings offense struggling again in the second the Hawks appeared ready to take control of the game as they marched to the Vikings five yard line only to fumble the ball at the one. DSU linebacker Drew Haugland however tackled Tom Johnson for a saftey on the next play to put the Hawks up 8-0.
With less than a minute left in the half VCSU punter James Thornton pinned DSU inside their five yard line and the Vikings defense forced them to punt. With a heavy rush, DSU punter Adam Eckert elected to not punt the ball and his attempt to reach the first down was thwarted by the Vikings Joaquin Estevez at the seven yard line.
Peschel scramble seven yards on the next play to paydirt and then converted the two point play himself to tie the game with 31 seconds left in the first half.
VCSU went ahead with three minutes left in the third on a safety by Brent Miller. Before Miller’s heroics, The Vikings offense had driven the length of the field into the wind only to fumble the ball on the one yard line.
The Vikings lead was shortlived however as DSU provided their own version of driving into the wind scoring on a 29 yard floater from Nick Walker to Hugo Anderson that gave the Hawks a 14-10 lead with fourteen minutes left in the game.
From there the Vikings defense took over limiting the Blue Hawks drives and giving Peschel and company the ball with the wind in the fourth stanza.
Peschel connected with WR Kyle Kuznia for 20 yards on a big third down conversion before the same combination hooked up again from 8 yards out to give the Vikings the lead for good at 16-14.
A sack by Ross Stewart gave the Vikings good field position again and after two running plays gained eight yards, Peschel found Payne from 27 yards out to seal the victory and make the score 23-14 with just under three minutes remaining.
The two teams traded offensive possesion again before Thornton once again pinned DSU at the three yard line with his punt. The Hawks Walker then completed four passes in the last minute of the game including two hail mary passes, the last one in the end zone as time ran out giving the Vikings the win.
On the day Peschel completed 21 of 26 passes for 198 yards and two touchdown passes. Peschel also ran for a score and a two point conversion. Payne caught seven passes on the day while Steve Battle and J.O. Thielges were on the receiving end of four each.
Defensively, cornerback David Rowe and linebacker Josh Komarek each recorded 10 tackles with Ben Aarestad chipping in with nine. Brent Miller and Ross Stewart each recorded sacks.
The Vikings are 7-0 (6-0, DAC 10) on the season and are on the road once again next week to Mayville State. Dickinson drops to 4-3 (4-2, DAC 10)and plays host to Minot State next at Whitney Stadium.
See stats for the game at: vikings.vcsu.edu/football/