Oct 12th, 2003 @ 9:35 am | Author: Viking Sports Information
Dickinson State’s offense has been a sight to see this season. The Blue Hawks are ranked among the leaders in the nation in three statistical categories and they weren’t expected to disappoint on homecoming. But against a stingy Valley City State defense, Dickinson State was limited to a season-low 197 total yards, eight first downs and one touchdown.
The Blue Hawks’ sputtering offense didn’t turn out to be much of a problem, however, as the defense carried the load for Dickinson State in a 20-7 DAC-10 victory over the Vikings Saturday at Whitney Stadium in Dickinson.
DSU’s defense set up the home team’s first touchdown and scored the remainder of the points on the afternoon.
The Blue Hawks hounded VCSU quarterback Mark Fabian all day, beginning with the Vikings’ opening drive of the game.
Fabian fumbled the snap on the first play, but Valley City recovered.
On the very next play, Fabian was hit by DSU defensive end Coly Rush and linebacker Phillip Russell pounced on the loose ball to set the Blue Hawks up at the VCSU 16.
Fullback Frank Renner scored from seven yards out on the Hawks’ third play, but it was nullified on a procedure call.
The Blue Hawks struck again on the next play when sophomore quarterback Mike Spargo hooked up with junior receiver Hugo Anderson on an 11-yard touchdown pass for a 7-0 lead at the 10:56 mark.
The Vikings struggled offensively as well, but showed some signs of moving the ball in the second quarter with the wind at their backs.
Early in the second, Valley City picked up two first downs and were knocking on the midfield door when DSU defensive lineman Ross Walker stepped in front of a Fabian screen pass and raced 55 yards for the touchdown.
Walker’s interception return not only gave Dickinson State a 14-0 lead at halftime, but it also provided some relief for the Blue Hawk offense which was held to 72 total yards in the first 30 minutes of play.
Dickinson State failed to score with the wind at its back in the third quarter and Valley City had the same luck until early in the fourth.
Using the wind in their favor, the Vikings cut DSU’s lead in half at 14-7 after Fabian found receiver Kyle Kuznia on a 22-yard touchdown reception.
The Blue Hawks immediately responded with a 69-yard touchdown run by backup quarterback Rafe Espinoza " he replaced starter Mike Spargo on DSU’s third series of the third quarter " but the play was called back on a illegal block penalty.
Dickinson State ended up punting, but Espinoza stayed in the game to lead the Blue Hawks on a key drive late in the game.
The Hawks started their final series at their own 39, but Espinoza’s pass on third down to a wide-open Jace Schillinger was good for 31 yards to move the chains to the VCSU 24-yard line.
From there, Schillinger ran five straight times to the 10, Espinoza advanced the ball to the 6 and Schillinger’s attempt on fourth down went for no gain to turn the ball over on downs.
The drive chewed up four minutes and 50 seconds, leaving the Vikings only four seconds to work with.
Fabian had one last play to tie or win the game, but his desperation pass in the final seconds was picked off by defensive back Kevin McElvaney for a 40-yard touchdown to ice the win.
Valley City (2-3, 2-3) travels to Mayville State next Saturday.