Mitchell, S.D. – The Dakota Wesleyan Tigers fell to the Broncos of Hastings College 24-17 in OT. This was the Broncos second straight overtime game of the season with their other coming against Peru State last week. The Tiger dominated the first three and half quarters leading 17-3. In the last 16 minutes and including overtime, Hastings responded with 21 unanswered points on their way to the 24-17 comeback win. Austin Lee was 16-28 for 229 yards, one touchdown, and three interceptions. Jamin Arend had over 100 yards from scrimmage. Kreggor Clark caught his first TD as a Tiger. Defensively, Kale Stevenson did it all with his five tackles, 1.0 sack, 2.0 TFL, and one interception. The Tigers drop to 1-1 (0-1 in GPAC) while the Broncos stay perfect at 2-0 (1-0 in GPAC).
Both teams opened the action with punts on their respective first two drives. Hastings on the first play from scrimmage looked to be off and running but stalled out there with the Tiger defense recovering from the first play mishap. DWU picked up a first down on their first drive as well, but couldn’t mount anything else resulting in a punt. HAS in their third drive was moving the ball in small chunks, putting together a methodical drive. Facing goal to go the defense held strong with their back against the wall holding the Broncos to a short yardage field goal after big tackles from Victor Kniesche, Cody Winslow, Layton Eide, and Gavin Spurrell on first and third down.
Trailing 3-0 early in the second quarter it was the Tigers turn to amp up the offense and mount a drive. DWU picked up three first downs on the drive including two big strikes to Kiel Nelson on first and ten and the bigger of the two coming from Austin Lee to Jamin Arend for 23 yards down the Hastings sideline on fourth and nine to pickup the first down and put the Tigers in first and goal position. Dakota Wesleyan picked up a holding penalty and shortly after Lee was intercepted by Marcus Dustin giving Hastings the ball pick with their slim 3-0 lead and 7:08 left in the half. DWU defense was quick to respond with an interception of their own when Kale Stevenson on the right hash picked off Nappe’s pass to give DWU the ball at the 30.
Lee flushed the interception and stepped up for his team mounting a 10 play, 72-yard touchdown drive that was capped off on a strike to Kreggor Clark from 25 yards out to give DWU a 7-3 lead right before the half. With only one-minute remaining Hastings looked to regain the lead but the Tiger defense had other plans when Kniesche and Ethan McCune got to the quarterback to halt any kind of drive for a 7-3 halftime score. Dakota Wesleyan received the ball out of half and marched down the field, but had to settle for a short yardage field goal giving them a 10-3 lead. DWU defense continued to dominate the line of scrimmage resulting in the Bronco offense having no answer and being forced to punt on their first two drives of the second half.
On the ensuing DWU drive the Tigers jumped to an 17-3 lead using only four plays to go 50 yards for the score. Garrett Mandolfo capped it off with a strong 10-yard touchdown plunge to pad on the Tigers lead. Hastings with the ball and looking to punt again facing a fourth and long, would dig deep in the bag of tricks and run a fake punt reverse that gave them a first down. However, the Broncos were flagged for an illegal blindside block and was a replay of downs. DWU catching the break looked to receive the ball and potentially put the game on ice. Disaster struck when the Tigers, going for the block, was called for roughing the kicker, giving Hastings the ball back and an automatic first down.
HAS didn’t let the opportunity go to waste and make quick work of it going four plays, 60 yards, and just two minutes off the clock to close the gap to 17-9. DWU caught a big break though when the Hastings kicker missed the extra point. DWU mounted another strong drive that stalled out late, resulting in a 30-yard field goal attempt. The attempt would push wide right leaving it 17-9 early in the fourth quarter. Hastings, with the ball and down by eight strung big chunk play after big chunk play to give them first and ten in Tiger territory. Nappe dropped back on first down and appeared to have an open receiver over the middle, but for the second straight game All-American safety Adam DeJong was laying in the weeds and jumped the pass coming up with a clutch interception at the goal line. Dakota Wesleyan punted on their next offensive drive giving the Broncos the ball back with 5:07 left in the game.
Starting the drive at their own 21, the Broncos continued their success on offense finally getting to the warn out Tiger defense with the heat really starting to hit it’s peak at this point in the contest. The Broncos connected on an eight-yard touchdown pass in the back left corner of the endzone with HAS receiver, Ethan Wilborn reeling in his second touchdown, but they still needed the two-point conversion. The Broncos would go back to Wilborn on a WR sweep and with a dive right at the pilon and a brief discussion by the refs they signaled it was good. The Tigers would turn the ball over on their drive but no damage would come from it resulting in overtime.
DWU won the toss and elected to go on defense first. Hastings on offense had continued success and moved the ball down the field, eventually punching it in from one-yard out to go up 24-17. On the Tigers first play in overtime, Lee’s pass was deflected in the air and the Broncos came down with executing the ‘tip drill’ and grabbing the 24-17 win.
Head-to-Head (Hastings College)
- Tigers are now 10-20 all-time against the Broncos
- Dakota Wesleyan fell in last year’s matchup 32-13 at Hastings.
- Dakota Wesleyan football goes on the road for their first road matchup of the 2023 season against GPAC opponent Doane, September 9, with kickoff set for 1 PM.