In a slug-fest with Waldorf University on Saturday afternoon, fortune did not favor Dakota State in a devastating 17-16 loss. As both teams battled heavy winds, it was the Warriors who took advantage of the wind at the backs to rally for the final ten points in the last few minutes of the game. With winds gusting into the 30’s for most of the game, the Trojans had the wind at their backs for the first and third quarter.

DSU picked up a pair of first quarter field goals from Caleb Nielsen, including a 53-yarder and held the 6-0 advantage throughout most of the first half. The Trojan defense, who forced five turnovers, blocked a punt and came up with a fourth down stop, set up the offense at the nine-yard line but ultimately settled for the second field goal. Waldorf finally broke through late in the first half, getting a tipped 20-yard touchdown pass and held a 7-6 advantage at the break.

The two sides traded turnovers on back to back plays early in the third quarter. The visiting Trojans would regain the lead with another Nielsen field goal and led 9-7 heading to the fourth. That score would hold for most of the fourth until Jason Sakamoto picked up his second interception of the contest and returned it 50-yards for a touchdown, and the extra point gave DSU a nine point lead at 16-7 with just under three minutes to go. Waldorf was able to convert a fourth down on the ensuing drive and then got a 47-yard touchdown pass with just over a minute left to pull within 2.

On the ensuing kickoff, the Trojans committed a mental error and were stuck inside their 10-yard line. With two timeouts left, the Warriors forced a three and out and made Dakota State punt into the wind from the back of the end-zone. A short punt set up Waldorf in field goal range, which they converted to take a 17-16 lead with little time on the clock. Dakota State ran a few plays but didn’t advance the ball over the 50 yard-line.

Dakota State finished with negative 20 yards rushing and finished with 97 total yards of offense. Gustavo Bonilla came up with an interception and Jordan Thomas recovered two fumbles. DSU, now at 2-4 on the fall, will welcome in Valley City State this Saturday for Senior Day.