Sep. 12—DILLON, Mont. — Dickinson State University woes continue early in the 2022 football season as the Blue Hawks dropped their second in a row in a top-25 clash between #16 Dickinson State (0-2, 0-0 NSAA) and #17 Montana Western (2-1, 0-0 Frontier).
The University of Montana Western, the defending Frontier Conference champions tout an offense that led the Frontier Conference in 2021 with 4,675 total offensive yards. On Saturday, the Bulldogs highlighted their offensive firepower on the ground and in the air as they put up 414 rushing and passing yards while holding possession for less time than DSU in a 35-14 victory over the Blue Hawks.
UMW Redshirt senior quarterback Jon Jund sliced the air and racked up 269 yards in a performance that also highlighted their strong run game courtesy of redshirt senior Reese Neville and sophomore Colten McPhee — whose speed and power tallied 145 rushing yards against the Blue Hawks defense.
The Bulldogs would jump to an early lead on a 20-yard rushing touchdown by Jund after the Blue Hawks would be forced to punt on their opening possession.
In a second drive for DSU, consisting of 10 plays, the Blue Hawks gained only 16 yards before handing the ball back to the Bulldogs on a sack induced fumble which would be recovered by Montana Western. It would take the Bulldogs only a single play to make DSU pay when the Bulldogs extended their lead to 14 on a deep pass by Jund to Dylan Shipley, who gained impressive separation on his route.
Third time was not the charm for the Blue Hawks, who would be forced to punt. However the DSU defense proved their reputation true when Jayden Heartwell forced a fumble and recovered it on Montana Western's first play of their ensuing possession.
With momentum on their side, the Blue Hawks would strike while the iron was hot on a 20-yard rushing touchdown courtesy of running back Riley Linder to slice the lead to 14-7.
Moments later the defense would again prove their mettle when they forced Montana Western to punt on a three and out drive. The ensuing punt would see Isaiah Kludt take it to the house in an eyes shifting juke on 90-degree angle where his speed would prove too much for pursuers.
The punt return would tie the game at 14 to bring a conclusion to the first quarter.
The second half would see the Blue Hawks offense stutter and fail to produce any further output against a Montana Western defense that shut down any hopes of a victory with hard-nosed and aggressive play beginning with their core of linebackers. Meanwhile the Bulldog offense would enter the second half firing on all cylinders and put up 21 unanswered points.
The Blue Hawks will play next on the road at Valley City State in their first NSAA Conference match-up at 2 p.m. on September 17 in Valley City.