A blocked field goal as time expired propelled the Dordt College Defender football team to a 14-13 season opening win over the Dakota State Trojans in Madison, South Dakota. The Defenders made two first half touchdowns stand up as they forced the hosts to attempt a 39 yard field goal on the last play of the game in the non-conference tussle.<p>Dordt scored first as they marched down the field on 11 plays to open the game and capped the 81 yard drive with a 25 yard touchdown toss from Bryce Rusler to Darryl Van Grouw. <p>Dakota State drew even with a 46 yard drive that was set up when Dordt's Heath Bonestroo had his punt partially blocked, giving the Trojans prime field position. Cole Whisenhunt tumbled in from five yards out to tie the game with 10:02 left in the half.<p>
It was a gamble by Dakota State that led to Dordt's second score as the Trojans attempted a fake punt near midfield with just under a minute left in the half. The ball carrier, Chad John, was upended after a five yard gain, when he needed 11, by Matt Albert and Gerrit Wybenga. <p>With little to lose, the Defenders took a shot down field when Rusler went to Sam Verhulst and the seniors connected for a 36 yard pass completion. Dordt then scored on a third down conversion attempt when Rusler found Verhulst in the back of the end zone with 15 seconds left in the half and Barry Dykstra's point after attempt was good.<p>
Neither team scored in the third but Dakota State broke through with 8:16 left in regulation when Dordt fumbled a Trojan punt and the hosts pounced on it at the Dordt eight yard line. Justin Summers completed a first down pass to Bobby Tisch to make it 14-13 but the all important point after was wide of the target.<p>Dordt succeeded in marching into Dakota State territory on the next drive, but stalled at the Trojan 14 and Barry Dykstra attempted a 31 yard field goal that had the distance but was just wide to the right.<p>Working against the clock, the Trojans went from their own 20 to the Dordt 23 where they stalled. On fourth down and two, the Trojans elected to kick a field goal and Tanner Hubbard's second attempt of the night was blocked by a gang of Dordt Defenders who came up the middle of the play, securing the win as the ball skipped into Dakota State territory before it was downed.<p>Dordt outgained Dakota State 310-276 but was outrushed 199-188. Dordt had the football for 31:30 of the game. <p>Bryce Rusler completed 8-13 passes for 122 yards and found Verhulst three times for 58 yards while Van Grouw, Daniel Fennig, Erin Francis, Trai Pickney and Lenard Manuel all had one catch. <p>Courtney Samuel ran for 60 yards on 12 carries while Manuel had 43 on nine totes and Pickney had seven carries for 29 yards not including a 75 yard touchdown that was called back by penalty.<p>Dylan Vande Garde ran for 72 yards and Cole Whisenhunt 64 for the Trojans. <p>Cole McClain had nine solo tackles with four assisted stops and Seth Vande Voort had four solo and nine assists. Sean Quinlan was in on 10 tackles and Jake Atkinson seven and Micah Applegate was there for 11 tackles. Camren Pitre had an interception.<p>Dordt is 1-0 and will host Midland on Saturday, September 14 while Dakota State goes to Mayville State with an 0-2 record.