ABERDEEN, S.D. – Facing a 28-21 halftime deficit Saturday evening at the Swisher Field, Dakota State (S.D.) shuts down Presentation (S.D.) 14-0 in the second-half to earn a 35-28 comeback victory.
The Trojans recorded their first-ever North Star Athletic Association conference football victory and spoiled Saints' inaugural NSAA home football conference game. It was the first-ever meeting for both teams in series history.
Dakota State notched their first victory of the season and improved their overall record to 1-3 and 1-1 NSAA conference record. Presentation suffered their first loss of the season after opening the season with a 2-0 record. The Saints were playing their first-ever NSAA conference football game in team history.
DSU quickly scored its first points of the game on their first play of the game. Cole Whisenhunt connected to Zach Ely for a 66-yard touchdown pass. Tanner Hubbard added a successful PAT kick to give Trojans a 7-0 lead with fourteen minutes and 40 seconds left in the first quarter.
After Presentation went three-and-out on their first drive, Dakota State was forced to punt from their own 1-yardline. Devin Mohn returned a 35-yard punt return for a touchdown with 10:42 remaining in the first quarter. Gavin Voss' PAT kick was good as PC tied the game at 7-7.
Presentation used 13 plays for 65 yards in 5:11 for their next score after the Trojans went three-and-out. Stephen Braswell threw a 6-yard touchdown pass to Anthony Bricker. Voss added a PAT kick to give the Saints their first lead of the game at 14-7 with less than four minutes remaining in the opening quarter.
DSU's defense stopped Presentation on a fourth-and-1 situation on PC's 36-yardline with 11:50 left before intermission. The Trojans went on to score with 9 plays for 36 yards in 3:58 as Whisenhunt rushed for a 1-yard touchdown. Hubbard's PAT kick was good as DSU tied the game at 14-14 with less than eight minutes remaining before halftime.
Dakota State earned their lead back late in the second quarter. Whisenhunt threw a 40-yard touchdown pass to Ely and Hubbard added a PAT kick to give Trojans a 21-14 lead with 3:27 left in the second quarter.
Presentation scored on the next drive of the game. The Saints used three plays for 61 yards in 58 seconds as Braswell threw a 13-yard touchdown pass to Matthew James after DSU was committed a 15-yard penalty. Voss added a PAT kick as the Saints tied the game at 21-21 with 2:29 remaining before halftime.
PC Jordan Taylor intercepted DSU Whisenhunt's pass on the 50-yardline with 1:36 remaining in the second quarter. Braswell connected to Mohn for a 50-yard touchdown pass as the Saints regained their lead for the second time in the game with 1:23 left in the first-half. Voss kicked a good PAT kick to give PC a 28-21 lead.
Presentation held a 28-21 halftime advantage.
Dakota State answered back in the third quarter to tie the game. Facing a third down-and-18 situation on DSUs'18 yard-line after the Trojans were called for a penalty, Whisenhunt threw a 50-yard pass to Ely to give the Trojans a first down on PC's 38-yard line.
Whisenhunt added a 27-yard pass to Bobby Tisch to set up a scoring opportunity for DSU on Saints' 2-yardline. Whisenhunt rushed for a 2-yard touchdown run and Hubbard made the PAT kick as the Trojans tied the game at 28-28 with 4:01 left in the third quarter.
DSU's Preston Powell recovered PC's Camden Thomas' fumble on PC's 18-yardline in the early fourth quarter.
The Trojans went on score by using 3 plays for 18 yards as Whisenhunt threw a 15-yard touchdown pass to Ely. Hubbard added a successful PAT kick to give DSU a 35-28 lead with 11:27 remaining in the game.
Dakota State could not extend their lead to ten points as Hubbard missed a 33-yard field goal with 5:40 left.
Presentation marched down on the field to the red zone on the ensuing drive. The Saints used 7 plays for 63 yards in 2:40, but DSU recovered Mohn's fumble on the PC's 17-yardline with three minutes remaining.
The Trojans committed a turnover with 2:11 left in the game as Whisenhunt fumbled the ball on the DSU's 39-yard line. Mike Smith recovered the fumble for the Saints.
Presentation went three-and-out on the next drive as the Trojans regained their possession on the DSU's 37-yardline with 1:29 remaining in the game.
PC had their last chance in the final drive of the game. DSU's defense sealed the game as Tyler Poggemeyer sacked Camden Thomas on PC's 36-yardline.
There were four ties and four lead changes in the game.
Whisenhunt went 11-for-16 with 234 passing yards for Dakota State. He recorded three passing touchdowns and an interception. He rushed 31 times for 29 yards with two touchdowns. Ely had five catches for a career-high 179 receiving yards with three touchdowns. Tisch added two catches for 40 yards.
Peter Ktestakis-Malaga rushed four times for 35 yards for DSU.
Cooper Hasuman and Ben Kullos each had eight tackles for the Trojans. Preston Powell had six tackles, a fumble recovery and an interception. Poggemeyer recorded a quarterback sack.
Braswell completed 17 passes in 30 attempts for 194 yards with three touchdowns and an interception for the Saints. Mohn rushed 21 times for 83 yards.
James caught seven passes for 83 yards with a touchdown for PC. Mohn added three catches for 68 yards and a touchdown.
Alex Karpstein had 17 tackles and a forced fumble for Presentation. Derek Buthe added 11 tackles and a fumble recovery. Jordan Taylor had an interception.
Dakota State outgained Presentation 359-287 in total yards. The Saints had 22 first-downs compared to the Trojans' 19 first-downs.
The Trojans outrushed PC 125-44. The Saints recorded 243 passing yards while the Trojans had 234 passing yards.
Both teams had three fumbles with two lost fumbles.
DSU had a possession time of 32 minutes and 23 seconds. Presentation recorded a time possession of 27 minutes and 22 seconds.
Dakota State looks to make it two straight wins as they return home next Saturday. DSU hosts Concordia (Neb.) in the annual Trojan homecoming football game. Kick-off is set for 4 p.m. at the Trojans Field in Madison, S.D.