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Riley Linder, Paxton Miller help Dickinson State to season-opening win

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Posted at 5:30 PM, Sep 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-12 19:30:09-04

MADISON, S.D. -- Scobey's Riley Linder scored Dickinson (N.D.) State's first points of the 2020 football season, and the Blue Hawks earned a 26-14 win over Dakota State in a North Star Athletic Association conference game on Saturday.

Dickinson State needed just four plays to cover 65 yards on its first drive, utilizing the thunder-lightning backfield combination of Linder and Alec Lovegren, a Sidney product. Lovegren took a pass from quarterback Drew Boedecker 43 yards to get the Blue Hawks to the 5-yard line. Linder found the end zone on the next play to give Dickinson State a quick 7-0 lead.

The Blue Hawks would take a 14-0 lead later in the first quarter when Isaiah Kludt returned a Dakota State punt for a touchdown, but Dakota State responded with consecutive scores to tie the game at 14-14 going into the halftime break.

Boedecker, who got the starting nod at quarterback after a camp battle with Shelby's Aaron White, passed for two touchdowns in the second half to help Dickinson State secure the win. He was 14-of-19 passing on the day for 196 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. Linder led the Blue Hawks' rushing attack with 79 yards on 18 carries. Lovegren had eight yards on two carries but added 50 receiving yards. Tyger Frye, the former Billings Senior standout who set numerous Dickinson State receiving records last season, finished with four catches for 30 yards.

After giving up the two long scoring drives in the first half, the Dickinson State defense put the clamps on. The Blue Hawks had three interceptions in the game, including one by linebacker Paxton Miller of Savage. Miller and fellow linebacker Aaric Spring, a Billings West alum, also combined for a sack.

The NSAA is one of just a handful of college conferences around the country playing a conference schedule this fall. Dickinson State, coached by Baker native Pete Stanton, has won the past five NSAA conference championships and was picked by coaches as the league's preseason favorite.