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Dickinson State upsets No. 5 Northwestern for 1st playoff win since 2004

Posted at 2:25 PM, Nov 18, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-18 16:25:40-05

(Editor’s note: Dickinson State University media release)

ORANGE CITY, Iowa — Records fell as the Dickinson State Blue Hawks soared to a 14-6 victory over No. 5 Northwestern College in the first round of the NAIA football playoffs Saturday.

The first quarter was a defensive show for both teams, but DSU senior Jay Liggins made a statement early on with an interception. The game remained scoreless going into the second quarter.

In the second quarter, Hayden Gibson made a handoff to Amad Andrews and Andrews carried it in for a Blue Hawk touchdown. Cody Johnson’s kick was good and the score was 7-0. With 52 seconds left before the half, Northwestern responded with a touchdown of its own. Northwestern’s point-after attempt failed.

In the third quarter, the Blue Hawk defense continued to shut down the Red Raider offense. With four minutes left, Liggins caught his second interception of the day.

In the fourth quarter, time was on the Blue Hawks’ side. With four minutes left, Red Raider quarterback Tyson Kooima attempted to pass to Jared Nelson, but Liggins intercepted it and ran it back for a gain of 45 yards. This time, the Blue Hawks took advantage of the interception, and a quick hand off to Nick Miller put the Hawks up 14-6 with 1:29 left in the game. With time running out, the Red Raiders attempted a Hail Mary pass and, yet again, the ball found the hands of Liggins. His final interception sealed the victory for the Blue Hawks.

“We are proud of our guys for playing an outstanding game. We did a great job on defense and put some crucial drives together offensively. It was a big win for our program, school, and the city of Dickinson,” said head coach Pete Stanton, a Baker native.

The DSU roster features 45 Montanans, including Billings Senior High School product Tyger Frye, who had eight catches for 112 yards on Saturday.

Notable individual stats:

  • Hayden Gibson threw for 222 yards compared to Tyson Kooima’s 127 yards.
  • Amad Andrews Jr. had 74 rushing yards and one touchdown.
  • Nick Miller had 20 rushing yards and one touchdown
  • Tyger Frye had eight catches for a gain of 112 yards.
  • Kevin Brown led the way with 10 tackles. Daniel Moreno added another eight tackles, and Lewis Dobitz had seven tackles in the game. Jalen Hendrickson had five tackles and Cain Boschee had four.
  • Jay Liggins had six tackles and four interceptions.

Playoff history: The Blue Hawks are now 6-13 for first round and 7-18 overall for the NAIA Football Championship Series.

Records fall:

  • First road playoff win in the program history.
  • First playoff win since 2004.
  • Senior defender Jay Liggins had four interceptions for 91 yards, putting him as DSU’s all-time leader for most interceptions in a single game.

Next on the schedule: The Blue Hawks will travel to Salina, Kansas to take on the Kansas Wesleyan Coyotes on Nov. 24.