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Vikings run away from Warriors in Dacotah Bank/NSAA Bowl

By Matt Oliver

FARGO, N.D. – Valley City State University piled up 598 yards of total offense and ran away for a 56-7 win over the Waldorf College football team during Sunday’s Dacotah Bank/North Star Athletic Association (NSAA) Bowl game.

The Vikings (7-3) took control, erupting for 28 points in the first quarter at the Fargodome. They faced a third-and-nine situation on their opening possession, but went in front as Kurtis Walls delivered a 74-yard touchdown pass to Colby Lum.

“They executed and we had so many mistakes,” Waldorf coach Kent Anderson said. “We have to try to find ways to improve that.”

Miscues were too much for the Warriors (2-7) to overcome as Valley City State added two more touchdowns in the second quarter to build a 42-0 halftime advantage.

“We don’t handle the adversity when we get down, we don’t handle adversity after mistakes and they compound and multiply because of that,” Anderson said. “I’m not doubting anyone’s efforts, I’m just very critical of our mental toughness.”

The Vikings visited the end zone twice in the third quarter, amassing 56 unanswered points.

Kevin Pollock led Waldorf with 130 rushing yards and a touchdown. The 5-foot-7, 199-pound freshman running back from Miami scored on a 10-yard carry with 4 minutes, 16 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter.

Freshman quarterback Brandon Butts completed 15-of-29 passes for 115 yards. The Warriors were held to 259 yards of offense.

Waldorf sophomore Torrey Green caught five passes for 59 yards. Junior LaMont Johnson hauled in a 15-yard reception and junior LaRyan Fletcher added an 11-yard catch.

Walls turned in an efficient passing performance, going 12-of-19 for 266 yards and two touchdowns. Josh Hansana also passed for 38 yards and a touchdown, completing 2-of-4 passes as Valley City State accounted for 304 yards through the air.

Jacob Duilio powered the ground game for the Vikings, running for 141 yards and a touchdown. Hansana and Walls scrambled for 72 and 32 yards, respectively. Brandon Sellers provided 41 yards, including a 3-yard TD run.

Five Valley City State players rushed for touchdowns. Zackary Schmidt, Tate Aronson and Marcus Singleton also punched the ball into the end zone for the Vikings, who rolled up 294 rushing yards.

Valley City State forced three turnovers. Juwuan Pugh and Nicholas McBeain came away with interceptions while Ethen Preston recovered a fumble.

During a Sept. 19 conference matchup, the Vikings pulled past Waldorf for a 35-14 win at Forest City. Despite Sunday being the second meeting between the two teams, Valley City State brought the same approach in all facets of the game. Everything just seemed to click for the Vikings.

“They did exactly the same thing,” Anderson said. “They didn’t change anything that they had done all year and they executed.”

Freshman Wesley Charles and junior Trent Jones led the Warriors with eight tackles apiece. Charles forced a fumble, which was recovered by Jones.

Waldorf freshman Jacob Louisius recorded seven tackles and junior Rigo Verdin collected five tackles. Senior Jamaar Crayton made four stops and broke up a pass.

It was a game where the Warriors found themselves going in the wrong direction, but there’s still one contest remaining this season. Waldorf looks to put one in the win column, closing out the year against Trinity Bible College (0-9) in Saturday’s 1 p.m. kickoff at Ellendale, North Dakota.

“I’m happy that we have a chance to correct some of those things and hopefully end on a positive note,” Anderson said. “This football team needs that.”

It will be Senior Day for the Lions and the Warriors know they’ll have to come prepared to bounce back from the tough loss in the Dacotah Bank/NSAA Bowl.

“We have to respond,” Anderson said. “I always tell the team that how you respond is very, very important not just in football, but in everything in life.”