Dordt College News

Defenders Open Football Season Saturday

September 6, 2013

ON THE DOCKET… Dordt College opens the 2013 football season with a road game against the Dakota State Trojans in Madison, South Dakota on Saturday, September 7 at 6:00.  You can hear the game on KDCR 88.5 FM and on the internet at Results at the end of the game can be found online at ; and you can follow us on Twitter at

THE FOE… Dakota State is 0-1 this season after a 56-21 loss to Peru State last Saturday.  The Trojans were 2-9 in 2012 and they were 1-6 against GPAC teams last season. 

Cole Whisenhunt returns at quarterback after seeing time in four games last season.  Bobby Tisch was the top pass catcher one year ago with 58 catches for 651 yards and two touchdowns.  Other than Tisch the skill players for Dakota State have gone through a significant turnover for the Trojans.

Top defensive returners include Josh Licht with 13 solo and 36 assisted tackles and he had four sacks last season.  Blake Kirschenman returns after getting 11 solo and 20 assisted stops in 2012.

THE DEFENDERS…This will the season opener for the Defenders after compiling a 2-9 record last season with one of Dordt’s wins coming over Dakota State. 

The Defenders return several skill players from a team that gained over netted nearly 2100 yards on the ground.  Trai Pickney returns after gaining 545 yards on 84 carries while Lenard Manuel gained 389 yards on 78 totes.  Daniel Fennig gained 368 yards on 60 carries.  Pickney and Fennig caught 15 and 10 passes respectively last season.  Pickney had 255 yards receiving.

Bryce Rusler will start at quarterback after having his season cut short by injury last season. Rusler ran for 213 yards and two touchdowns.  Also returning after an injury shortened season is Courtney Samuel who gained 92 yards in one game last season.

Seth Vande Voort was the leading tackler for Dordt in 2012 and is back to man a linebacker spot after 63 solo and 61 assisted tackles and he had two sacks.  Ray Cleveland returns after grabbing four interceptions and Jonathan Gardner was credited with four sacks and two fumble recoveries.

Heath Bonestroo handled most of the punting last season and had a 37.2 yards per punt average on 41 attempts. Barry Dykstra was 15-17 on point after attempts and 2-5 on field goals.

LAST ACTION… Dakota State faced Peru State on Saturday, August 31 and lost a 56-21 decision.  Peru State ran up a 56-0 score before Dakota State scored three times in the final quarter.  The Bobcats outgained Dakota State 370-199 and they gained 310 yards on the ground.

Cole Whisenhunt was 8-16 passing for 42 yards but threw five interceptions.  His favorite target was Bobby Tisch with six catches for 56 yards.  Two of Dakota State’s scores came via fumble recovery returns.

HISTORY… Dordt College stands 2-0 against Dakota State and beat the Trojans on October 20, 2012 by a score of 24-7.  Dakota State accumulated 452 yards of offense but turned the ball over four times.  Dordt scored 24 unanswered points, scoring ten points in the second quarter with Barry Dykstra kicking a 29 yard field goal and Jonathan Gardner scooped up a fumble and ran it in from 34 yards.  David Griess caught a 54 yard touchdown pass from Kyle Henricks in the third quarter and Trai Pickney put the game away with a 71 yard touchdown run.

Pickney had 88 yards rushing while Josh Van Kempen, Fennig, Kyle Henricks and Manuel all had between 40 and 50 yards on the ground.

Vande Voort had three solo and nine assisted tackles with 2.5 tackles for loss.  Ray Cleveland was in on 11 tackles and Sam Ashmore nine.

Dakota State put up 55 passes and completed 28 for 365 yards and forced three turnovers.  Brandon Large completed 27-54 passes and Bobby Tisch caught eight passes for 98 yards.

AROUND THE CORNER…Dordt will open the home portion of its season on Saturday, September 14 when they host Midland while Dakota State goes on the road to face conference rival Valley City State on the road.

Concordia  0-0/1-0
Midland 0-0/1-0
Dakota Wesleyan 0-0/0-0
Doane  0-0/0-0
Dordt College 0-0/0-0
Hastings 0-0/0-0
Morningside 0-0/0-0
Nebraska Wesleyan 0-0/0-0
Northwestern 0-0/0-0
Briar Cliff 0-0/0-1

August 31
Midland def. Mayville State 31-27
Benedictine def. Briar Cliff 30-9

September 5
Concordia def. William Jewell 30-15

September 7
Tabor @ Nebraska Wesleyan
Dakota Wesleyan @ Wisconsin Stout
Kansas Wesleyan @ Hastings
Dordt @ Dakota State
Northwestern @ Bacone
Valley City State @ Morningside
Doane @ Friends

September 14
Midland @ Dordt College
Northwestern @ Doane
Dakota Wesleyan @ Briar Cliff
Hastings @ Concordia
Nebraska Wesleyan @ Midland

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