MADISON – In a matchup marred by penalties and filled with the passion that is expected when two rivals meet, Dakota Wesleyan snuck out of Madison with a 23-14 win over Dakota State Saturday.
Running back Francois Barnaud continued his stellar play in the Tigers’ second and final non-conference game, carrying the ball 32 times for 272 yards and scoring all three touchdowns for DWU (3-2).
“The o-line blocked great all night long,” Barnaud said standing in the rain on the muddy turf at Trojan Field following the game. “The running game has to get it done on a night like tonight.”
Barnaud’s evening was not all smooth sailing, as the Belle Fourche native fumbled with 4:48 left in the first quarter, leading Tiger coach Ross Cimpl to sit his star.
“Fran is a perfectionist and does not like making mistakes,” Cimpl said.
The time on the bench did wonders for the leading rusher in the Great Plains Athletic Conference.
Once he resumed his duties in the second half, Barnaud was unstoppable, rolling up 192 of his 272 yards in the final 30 minutes.
“In the second half we responded well, came back out and put some points on the board,” Barnaud said. “That fumble early kind of got me down. Coaches wanted me to just get my head straight so I sat down for a few.”
The Tigers got on the board first, when quarterback Jon Bane handed off to Barnaud for a six-yard score.
The bad blood between the teams began to boil following the score, as offsetting unsportsmanlike conduct penalties were handed out a result of an after-the-whistle skirmish.
Four offsetting penalties were called on the Tigers and Trojans in the game. Cimpl also received an unsportsmanlike penalty in the second quarter when he emphatically tried to get the attention of one of his defenders who had just been called for a personal foul. Cimpl said it was the first time he has been called for a penalty as coach of DWU.
The teams combined for 235 yards on 23 penalties – DWU with 13 for 125 yards and DSU with 10 for 110 yards.
“It’s an emotional game,” Cimpl said about the in-state rivalry with players knowing each other from their high school days.
“You don’t want to get showed up by your buddy and we kind of got wrapped up in that at times. But we calmed down and got our heads back into the game.”
The Trojans (1-5) evened the score early in the second quarter on a two-yard run by quarterback Cole Whisenhunt. The game went into the half tied at seven.
“We knew we were good enough to beat these guys and hang with them and we showed that,” DSU coach Josh Anderson said. “They simply made the big plays and we didn’t.”
DWU wasted little time getting its offense moving in the second half. After a quick three and out by the Trojans, the Tigers marched 66 yards in six plays, with Barnaud finishing off the drive on a four-yard run for his second score to make it 14-7.
After a Dan Porter field goal gave DWU its first two-possession lead, the Trojans made things interesting late.
Whisenhunt, who had only thrown four passes through three quarters, led an eight-play, 85-yard drive on the strength of his arm. The senior quarterback completed 4-of-5 passes on the drive and was helped by a Tiger pass interference penalty. Whisenhunt found tight end Bobby Tisch for an 11-yard score with 3:43 left to play.
Up only three, the Tigers needed to grind out the clock to secure the win and turned to a familiar source. After being forced into a third and 12 with less than two minutes left, Cimpl called on Barnaud to carry the ball to force DSU to use his final timeout.
Baraud had no intention of giving the ball back to the Trojans with a chance to win. He took the handoff, broke three tackles and scurried into the end zone from 47 yards out to secure the Tiger win.
“I just didn’t want them to get the ball back and I knew that I couldn’t go out of bounds,” Barnaud said. “In mind I knew I could not get tackled.”
The Tigers head back into GPAC play when they face Doane College at 1 p.m. Saturday in Crete, Neb.
Game Notes – Up next is No. 13-ranked Doane for the Tigers. Doane will likely fall in this week’s poll following a loss to Nebraska Wesleyan 20-19 Saturday. … Tiger quarterback Jon Bane, who led the GPAC in yards per game passing at 295.5 coming into play Saturday, was held to 70 yards on 9-of-21 passing against DSU. … Barnaud is now averaging 191.4 yards per game on the ground through five games. … After playing four of its first five games on the road, DWU will play at Joe Quintal Field in Mitchell in three of its final six.
Dakota Wesleyan 7 0 10 6 23
Dakota State . . . . .0 7 0 7 14
DWU: Barnaud 6 run
(Dan Porter kick good)
DSU: Whisenhunt 2 run (Tanner Hubbard kick good)
DWU: Barnaud 4 run (Dan Porter kick good)
DWU: Porter 28 field goal
DSU: Whisenhunt 11 pass to Tisch (Tanner Hubbard kick good)
Rushing: DWU — Francois Barnaud, 32-272; Arthur Brown, 3-16; Jon Bane, 3-8; Xavier Armijo 1-2; DSU — Kris Dearie, 10-48; Whisenhunt, 17-44; Dylan VandeGarde, 7-29; Jacob Patterson, 5-14; Peter Ktestakis-Malaga, 2-11; Forest Cazayoux, 3-3.
Passing: DWU — Bane, 9-21-0-70; DSU —Whisenhunt, 6-10-0-71.
Receiving: DWU — Brown, 2-22; Muilenburg 4-19; Cody Duerksen, 1-14; Greyson Wooten 1-8; Mitch Breen; DSU — Zach Ely, 1-33; Tisch, 4-31; Shay Bayslinger, 1-7.
Defensive: DWU — Tanner Munk 10 tackles; Brady Bonte 9 tackles, 1 sack; Anthony Cervantes 2 tackles, one sack; DSU – Chad John 11 tackles.