MITCHELL, S.D. – The Dakota Wesleyan University football team opened the 2012 season with a big win Saturday night when it defeated in-state rival Dakota State University 40-14 in a nonconference night game at Joe Quintal Field.
Both teams seemed eager to find the end zone early in the game as they combined to score 14 points in the first 29 seconds. The Trojans (0-2) scored on their first play from scrimmage when Carl Curtis threw an 81-yard touchdown pass to Zach Ely 19 seconds into the game, but DWU (1-0) answered with a 75-yard touchdown run by Josh Endres 10 seconds later.
Dakota State went up 14-7 when Brandon Large threw an 82-yard touchdown pass to Stacey Berg less than two minutes later, but that was the last time the Trojans found the end zone. The Tigers tied the score with just under seven minutes to play in the first quarter on a seven-yard touchdown run by Endres, and Andrew DeVaney recovered a Trojan fumble on their next possession to help set up an 11-yard touchdown pass from Jon Bane to Arthur Brown to put DWU up for good.
The Tigers added one last first-quarter touchdown with 24 seconds left in the quarter when Endres ran for his third score of the game, this time on a 69-yard run.
Neither team scored in the second quarter and Dakota Wesleyan looked to end the scoring drought in the third when Endres broke free for a 60-yard touchdown run, but the play was called back due to a holding penalty. Neither team found the end zone in the third, but Bane connected with Michael Brown for a 60-yard touchdown pass with less than 30 seconds gone from the fourth quarter to put the Tigers up 34-14. Anthony Cervantes ended the scoring with a 25-yard interception return for a touchdown on Dakota State’s next possession.
Endres finished the game with 213 rushing yards and three touchdowns. Bane went 16-for-23 for 211 yards and two touchdown passes. Michael Brown led all receivers with 94 yards on four catches and Brown added 40 yards on seven catches. Mitch Breen also caught one pass for 47 yards.
Cervantes paced the DWU defense with 6.5 tackles and 4.5 tackles for a loss of 22 yards. He also had 1.5 sacks and one interception. Freshman Brady Bonte added six tackles, including 1.5 for a loss, and one sack. Crag Henglefelt had 2.5 tackles for a loss and 1.5 sacks and Matt Tuttle had 1.5 sacks.
Dakota Wesleyan ran for 241 total yards to Dakota State’s 74. The Tigers also threw for 211 yards while the Trojans added 278 yards of offense through the air.
Kris Derie led the Trojans with 59 rushing yards. Large went 11-for-24 for 197 yards with two interceptions and a touchdown, and Berg caught five passes for 155 yards. Craig Hertz led the DSU defense with 9.5 tackles and Eric Liles added 7.5.
The Tigers are on the road next Saturday, Sept. 8, when they travel to Seward, Neb., to take on Concordia University. The next home game for Dakota Wesleyan is Saturday, Sept. 15, when the Tigers host Briar Cliff University at 1 p.m. at Joe Quintal Field.