MADISON, S.D. – Dakota State (S.D.) hosted the nationally-ranked Concordia (Neb.) of the Great Plains Athletic Conference Saturday afternoon at the Trojan Field - the second straight year that the Trojans hosted the Bulldogs in Trojan annual homecoming game. The Bulldogs held a 7-0 halftime lead and shut down the Trojans 24-0.
Dakota State, seeking for their first home victory this season, dropped their overall record to 1-4. Concordia, ranked No. 20 in the latest NAIA Football Coaches' Top 25 national poll, remained undefeated in four games.
DSU started their drive on their own 25-yard line and marched down to the CUNE's 24-yardline. The Trojans were unable to convert their fourth-and-two situation with eight minutes and 24 seconds left in the first quarter. Dakota State used 13 plays for 51 yards with a time possession of 6:36.
Concordia Von Thomas fumbled the ball in Bulldogs' opening drive of the game, forced by DSU's Preston Powell on CUNE's 45-yardline. Matt Groff recovered the fumble as the Trojans regained their possession with 7:05 remaining in the opening quarter.
The Trojans could not be able to convert their scoring opportunity in ensuing drive as they went three-and-out.
On the next drive for the Bulldogs, CUNE used eight plays for 69 yards in 3:34 to score the first points of the game. On CUNE's 48-yardline, Thomas threw a 30-yard pass to Klaus to the DSU's 22-yardline. Thomas added another 15-yard pass to Klaus to move the ball to the DSU's 7-yardline. Trey Barnes rushed for a 7-yard touchdown to give CUNE a 6-0 lead with 2:07 remaining. Adam Meirose added a successful PAT kick to extend their lead to 7-0.
Both teams did not score in the second quarter. Concordia could not convert their scoring opportunity in the late second quarter as the Bulldogs committed a turnover. Groff intercepted CUNE Thomas' pass in the end zone on the 2nd-and-2 situation on the DSU's 22-yardline.
The Bulldogs added a score in the early third quarter. Thomas connected to Connor Kayton for an eight-yard touchdown pass to widen their lead to 13-0. Meirose added a PAT kick to make it 14-0 in favor of Concordia with 10:47 remaining in the third quarter.
CUNE used six plays for 44 yards in 1:51 in the scoring drive.
After DSU went three-and-out in the ensuing drive, the Bulldogs added a field goal to extend their lead to 17 points. Meirose hit a 28-yard field goal with 4:19 remaining in the third quarter.
Concordia Matt Kenner intercepted Cole Whisenhunt's pass on DSU's 23-yardline and returned for a touchdown in the early fourth quarter. Meirose added a PAT kick to expand CUNE's lead to 24-0.
The Trojans used seven plays for 47 yards in 3:28 on the next drive of the game. DSU fell short on the 4th-and-3 situation on CUNE's 32-yardline and was turned on downs on CUNE's 30-yardline with 8:49 left in the game.
DSU's Whisenhunt completed five passes in 16 attempts for 55 yards with two interceptions. Kris Dearie rushed 11 times for 57 yards. Dylan VandeGarde added 10 rushing attempts for 40 yards.
Bobby Tisch recorded two catches for a total of 13 yards for the Trojans. Brendon Waldner added a reception for 30 yards.
Tyler Poggemeyer led the Trojans' defense with a game-high 11 tackles. Perry King, Chad John and Ben Kullos each had 10 tackles. John, Ridge Lindberg and Hank Tolleson each had 0.5 quarterback sack for 1.7 yards loss.
Groff had a fumble recovery and recorded an interception for DSU. Aaron Gronwald and Trevor Kenobbie each had a forced fumble. Growald and Josh Licht each had seven tackles. Licht had 1.5 tackles-for-loss for a total of 4.0 yards.
Trevor Cassels recorded eight punts for a total of 274 yards and a net punt average of 34.3 yards.
Thomas was 14-for-27 with 129 passing yards with a touchdown and an interception for Concordia. He threw to 10 different receivers in the game. Klaus caught three passes for 50 yards. Chavarius Curry-Felix and Kayton each added two receptions. Barnes rushed 13 times for 74 yards and recorded a touchdown for the Bulldogs. Thomas added 12 rushes for 63 yards.
Darnell Woods and Langston Jones each had 10 tackles for CUNE. Dylan Heithoff added nine tackles and recorded two quarterback sacks for a total of 18-yards. He had a forced fumble. Nakemm Evans had nine tackles and a quarterback sack. Tait Sibbel had an interception.
Joe Marshall punted six times for a total of 193 yards. He had a net punt average of 32.2 yards.
CUNE outgained the Trojans 310-214 in total offensive yards. The Bulldogs rushed 39 times for 181 yards compared to DSU's 51 rushing attempts for 159 yards. Concordia recorded 129 passing yards, while the Trojans had 55 passing yards.
The Bulldogs had 19 first-downs in the game compared to the Trojans' 12 first-downs.
DSU had a time possession of 32 minutes and 1 second in the game. Concordia held the ball for 27 minutes and 59 seconds.
CUNE converted 5-for-14 on third-down conversions compared to DSU's 5-for-18 third-down conversions.
The Trojans could not convert their three attempts on fourth-down conversions. Concordia went 1-for-2 on fourth-down conversions.
DSU recognized the members of the 1973 DSC Football team during the halftime ceremony. The 1973 DSC football team celebrated their 40th anniversary of capturing their first-ever South Dakota Intercollegiate Conference (SDIC) regular-season champions in Trojan Football program history. They were the honorary captains during the coin toss prior to the game.
Dakota State looks to bounce back in the winning column next Saturday. The Trojans host their long-time rival Dakota Wesleyan in a non-conference game. Kick-off from the Trojan Field is set for 7 p.m.