The Dakota State Trojans (0-7 overall, 0-5 NSAA) hit the road for the final time as they head to Valley City, ND to take on the Valley City State Vikings (4-2 overall, 3-1 NSAA).
The final road contest in North Star Athletic Association play for DSU will be against a team they’ve played already this season and have been playing in various conferences dating all the way back in 1986. Vikings lead the lengthy all-time series 29-5.
Valley City State
Valley City State has a well rounded team. When these teams faced off in week four, the Vikings won 14-6 at the Dan Beacom Track Complex.
They came away with five sacks and seven different players, part of a tackle-for-loss in the game. Three of those sacks came from Riley Gerhardt, who also led his team in tackles with 11.
Offensively, Justice Bice was the main threat with 136 yards of total offense with 48 on the ground and 88 through the air in week four. He was the leader in both rushing and receiving categories.
Bice was recently awarded NSAA Player-of-the-Week honors in their last game. A monster night for Bice against Waldorf where he had 20 carries for 113 yards rushing and seven receptions for 114 yards receiving. VCSU rallied from down 24-0 at half and posted 28 unanswered points to come away with the win.
Expect Bice to be a problem again this week. Along with Jahidi West on the defensive side who also got Player-of-the-Week honors the same week as Bice with 14 total tackles and 1.5 tackles for loss against the Warriors.
The Trojans come into today’s game still confident they can garnish wins. The run defense had some trouble last week, while the pass was virtually shut down by DSU.
Defensive Coordinator Anvil Sinsabaugh will have his defense ready for the big test ahead today. The Trojans are led by linebacker JJ Beck who leads the team in tackles with 59. Devonte Murphy leads the team with 9.5 tackles-for-loss. He and linebacker Collin Brueggeman are tied for second in tackles with 39.
The offense looks to kick into gear with some early offense today. Tray Hettick will start at quarterback again for the Trojans. Hettick is 45-for-87 (51.7%) passing for 441 yards. His confidence grows each week and we’ll see how he responds after a rough start to the matchup with Waldorf. In the backfield, Preston Iverson will start and be the main ball carrier.
An area of the game needed where the Trojans must find success today is on third down. They’re just 21-for-69 (30%) on third down in conference. DSU must avoid more three-and-outs than not against a team that has found its offense and will score when given the chance.
Kickoff is set for 4pm on Saturday with pregame beginning at 3:30pm on Jammmin Country 103.