Aug 29th, 2009 @ 4:57 pm | Author: By Ryan Cunningham NewsDakota.com
Valley City--The offense is a work-in-progress, the defense is much improved, but the result turned in the Dragons favor.
MSU-Moorhead grabbed revenge in the back half of the home-and-home series with Valley City State, defeating the Vikings 16-6 at Alex Nemzek Stadium in Moorhead, MN.
The Viking defense rallied to the challenge, limiting the Dragons to just 261 yards of total offense. But the Vikings, with two new single-callers and limited depth at running back, managed just 175 of their own.
The Vikings survived a terrible start to the game, surrendering two quarterback sacks on junior Trent Kosel (Edgeley, ND) on the their second series, which began at their own five yard line. The second resulted in a safety, giving the Dragons a 2-0 lead.
VCSU's defense would force a turnover on the Dragons next series, a pickoff by Steven Edwards (Sr., Houston, TX), and the Vikings would finally get into an offensive rhythm. They held the ball 11 plays, but stalled.
After forcing a three-and-out, the Vikings again went on a lenthy drive, but again stalled after 13 plays. The Dragons drove 14 plays, but missed a 39 yaerd field goal, and the game remained 2-0 deep into the second quarter.
After a quick possession by the Vikings, MSU-Moorhead received a gift in the form of a batted ball meant for Tim Scharpf (Jr., Horicon, WI), but caught on a layout by Matt Birr (Fr., Columbia, MN), setting up the Dragons at the Viking 13.
A play later, Zach Fry (Fr., Milton, WI) hit fullback Tommy Gochis (So., Glenview, IL) out of the backfield for a score, pushing the lead to 9-0 with 1:21 left to the break. The lead held to halftime.
Both teams traded ineffective drives to start the second half, but the Dragons struck first on a nine play, 84 yard drive. Tim Hanson (So., Fontana, CA) had consecutive rushes of 24, 22 and 20 yards, with 74 total on the march. Fry hit Shawn Marlowe (Fr., Oakdale, MN) for a seven yard score with 4:40 left of the third, running the lead to 16-0 Dragons.
Again, the Vikings and Dragons exchanged drives. The Vikings finally struck back after taking over at the Dragon 42. Kosel hit LeTheo Proctor (So., Anchorage, AK) for a 37 yard score with 6:44 left, cutting the lead to 16-6.
It was as close as the Vikings would get, however. The Dragons earned a roughing the punter penalty to extend their next drive, and ran out the clock with Hanson rushing for a first down to seal the win.
Proctor led the Vikings with four catches for 84 yards and the lone Viking touchdown. Jordan Mahar (So., Bowman, ND) and Dustin Renner (So., Britton, SD), led the defense with 6.5 tackles a piece.
The Vikings host Concordia College Saturday, September 12th, at Lokken Field in Valley City. Pregame coverage will begin on Dakota Country Radio and NewsDakota.com at 12:30 p.m., with kickoff scheduled for 1:30 p.m.