The defense came up large all game and the offense did just enough to give Briar Cliff the win in the home opener for the Chargers Saturday at Memorial Field as BC downed Dakota State 13-10.
The offenses for both teams needed a jolt and got one after a lightning delay midway through the second quarter. The game was scoreless at that point but shortly after the stoppage the Trojans took over in Briar Cliff territory and two runs for 26 yards by Brodie Frederiksen put Dakota State up 7-0.
Briar Cliff immediately responded with a drive that seemed to be capped off by a Jordan Williams 33-yard touchdown run, but the play was called back on a blocking foul and eventually the drive would stall on an incomplete pass on fourth down. The score stayed 7-0 in favor of Dakota State, but Williams would not be done showing off his big play making ability.
The second half started with a pair of rushes by Stanton Lee for 11 yards before Williams got his first carry since the wiped out touchdown. On the carry, Williams once again got behind the defense and would not be caught as he scampered 54 yards for the first BC points. The Trojans would maintain the lead after a missed extra point, however.
The defenses looked to settle back in after the teams traded touchdowns, but Dakota State extended its lead to 10-6 late in the third quarter with a 28-yard field goal from Casey Bourque.
The Cliff offense refused to panic and on the first drive of the fourth quarter the Blue and Gold manufactured a 12-play drive that went 71 yards that ended with a 12-yard run by Lee to give the Chargers their first lead of the game, 13-10.
Lee finished the game as the leading rusher, going for 122 yards on 29 carries. Williams nearly made it two Chargers to eclipse the century mark as he finished the contest with 99 yards on 13 carries. Briar Cliff outrushed Dakota State 232-119 while also gaining more through the air by a 96-70 margin. Frederiksen finished with 107 rushing yards on 21 carries for the Trojans.
“It was a great effort by our players and staff,” said Briar Cliff head coach Dennis Wagner. “The defense played very well and our offense just kept fighting and scored when we had to.”
Dakota State’s offense had two more chances to tie or take the lead but both drives ended on failed fourth down attempts. The game was iced when Robert Robinson recorded a sack on fourth-and-10 with less than two minutes to play. Robinson finished the game with eight tackles including 2.5 for loss. Markel Roby led the home squad in tackles with nine. Dakota State’s Karson Lindblad led all players with 17 tackles in the contest.
The defenses for both sides made things difficult for quarterbacks. Briar Cliff had three sacks and limited Torren Devericks to 9-for-29 passing for 70 yards. Jonathan Santos completed 11-of-19 passes for BC for 90 yards with an interception. Khamren Davenport had more than double the pass receptions as any other player in the game as he hauled in seven passes for 85 yards.
The win marks the sixth-straight victory at home for the Chargers as Briar Cliff returns to Memorial Field next week to take on Dakota Wesleyan. The contest will be the first conference game for both teams as they each enter with a 1-1 overall record. Dakota State dropped to 1-1 with the loss after a double-overtime victory in the Trojans’ opener against Dakota Wesleyan.