Brown looking to keep DWU's offense rolling against Briar Cliff todayThe smile on Arthur Brown’s face grew large when asked about his part on offense.
By: Luke Hagen, The Daily Republic
The smile on Arthur Brown’s face grew large when asked about his part on offense.
This season, the sophomore has been a dual-threat for Dakota Wesleyan University. He’s seen time at running back, wide receiver and he’s also returned kicks.
Heading into the Tigers’ 1 p.m. Great Plains Athletic Conference matchup today against Briar Cliff (0-2) at Joe Quintal Field, Brown is leading the league in receptions with 14. But he’s expecting to play a larger role in DWU’s ground attack today.
“I’m just doing my part for the team,” Brown said. “This week, we’re kind of low on running backs so I’m going back to that a little more, but I’ll still play in the slot.”
Brown has caught 14 passes for 119 yards and two touchdowns as the Tigers’ leading offensive threat, while All-American wideout Anthony Muilenburg has been sidelined for the team’s first two games recovering from ankle surgery. Muilenburg is out again this week, but so are starting quarterback Jon Bane and back-up running back Francois Barnaud.
But as one of the consistent members of DWU’s offense, Brown will continue to line up in several roles today, looking to help the No. 22-ranked Tigers move to 3-0.
“Arthur has done a good job playing offense for us and playing a lot of different positions for us,” DWU coach Ross Cimpl said. “At the end of the day, he’s probably the most tired because he’s involved in everything.”
Today, Brown will be catching passes and receiving handoffs from sophomore quarterback Joey Olson, who has 13 career attempts at the college level. Last year, the 6-foot-3, 220-pound Sturgis High School graduate saw playing time in three games as a freshman. His most extensive work came in a blowout win over Dordt when he was 5-of-8 passing for 42 yards and a touchdown.
Bane has never missed a start in two-plus seasons with DWU and is out after suffering a concussion in last week’s win over Concordia.
Brown says that won’t be a problem and DWU’s offense should stay on track.
“We’re going to do a lot of three-step routes and try to incorporate the run game in, too,” Brown said.
Last year as a freshman, Brown — a Rosemead, Calif., native — had 32 rushes for 134 yards and caught 16 passes for 155 yards.
This season Brown has been used primarily as a receiver, but he also has six rushes for 18 yards.
“He’s a pretty football-savvy type of kid,” DWU coach Ross Cimpl said. “He knows what the offense needs to do.”
While DWU isn’t starting its top quarterback, Briar Cliff will be going to its No. 2 option as well. Sophomore P.J. Quiroga will start under center for the Chargers.
Quiroga started for Briar Cliff in the team’s opener against Doane, but played only two series and was pulled for Kevin Van Egdom. Last week in a loss to Graceland, Van Egdom was hit and dislocated his shoulder. He now needs season-ending surgery.
Quiroga is 9-for-22 passing this season for 106 yards and no touchdowns.
“We really don’t doctor the game plan down when P.J. is in there,” said Rethman, whose team is averaging 22.5 points per game. “ … We just expect P.J. to go out and do his job and do the best he can. That’s all we can ask from any of them.”
Cimpl expects Briar Cliff’s offense to have a balanced attack. Leading the Chargers in receiving is Bret Van Muyden at 13 catches for 150 yards. Bryce Harshman has eight catches for 177 yards and a touchdown and Michael Becker has eight catches for 96 yards.
At the running back, Briar Cliff sends Jared Williams to the field averaging 4.2 yards per carry. He’s rushed 47 times this year for 197 yards and two touchdowns.
Last season DWU defeated Briar Cliff 45-14 in Sioux City, Iowa, but Williams had 17 carries for 98 yards.
“He could start on any other team in the league,” Cimpl said. “I think they’re going to feed him. We had a tough time with him last year with how hard he ran.”
Looking to slow down Williams today is Brady Bonte, DWU’s freshman linebacker who’s leading the team with 20 tackles. Mike Barnaud has 15 tackles and one sack and Craig Henglefelt, Anthony Cervantes and Jeff Maassen each have 14 tackles.
Last week it was DWU’s secondary that shined on defense. Senior Dustin Bergmeier had three interceptions and freshman cornerback Josh Thompson had the game-sealing interception to preserve the 26-23 victory with 21 seconds left in the game.
And since Briar Cliff is starting a backup quarterback today, does Rethman expect more pressure and intensive blitzing from DWU’s defense?
“I don’t know if that’s possible,” Rethman said. “I would expect them to come after us fairly decent, but that’s no different than what they’ve been doing since coach (Cimpl) has been there.”
And if the Tigers aren’t able to contain Quiroga and Williams defensively, the team will likely need big games from Brown and Endres with Bane and Muilenburg out.
Endres is averaging 5.8 yards per carry and leads the NAIA with an average of 189.5 yards per game. He’s scored five touchdowns on the season, all coming on the ground.
After Arthur Brown, Michael Brown has pulled in eight catches for 153 yards and two touchdowns for the Tigers. Besides the two Browns, no DWU receiver has caught more than five passes or eclipsed 50 yards receiving.
That’s not enough to make Rethman breathe easy. He says DWU will be the best team his Chargers have lined up against after today.
“With them offensively, they’ve got a lot of things going on this year,” Rethman said. “It starts with Josh Endres, but they’ve got a heck of a quarterback, quality receivers and they do a good job up front. It’s going to be a heck of a test for our defense.”
When/Where: 1 p.m. today at Joe Quintal Field in Mitchell.
Last meeting: Dakota Wesleyan beat Briar Cliff 45-14 on Sept. 17, 2011 in Sioux City, Iowa.
Coaches: DWU’s Ross Cimpl, first year; Briar Cliff’s Tom Rethman, fifth year.
Forecast: 81 degrees at kickoff with south winds at 12 mph.
Game notes: DWU starting quarterback Jon Bane is out because of a concussion he suffered in last week’s win over Concordia. Joey Olson will start at quarterback and Steven Batista is the team’s backup … Running back Francois Barnaud is out and could potentially have a season-ending injury, Cimpl said. … Defensive lineman Matt Tuttle is out. … Linebacker Jeff Maassen could start but will have a cast on his arm from an injury he suffered last week.
Dakota Wesleyan projected starters
Position: Name, year, height, weight, hometown
QB: Joey Olson, So., 6-3, 22, Piedmont, S.D.
HB: Josh Endres, Sr., 6-2, 215, Ethan, S.D.
WR: Arthur Brown, So., 6-1, 200, Rosemead, Calif.
WR: Dimitri Fahey, So., 6-2, 165, Rapid City, S.D.
WR: Mike Brown, Jr., 5-9, 190, Palmdale, Calif.
TE: Cody Duerksen, Jr., 6-2, 210, Parker, S.D.
C: Eric Witte, Jr., 6-0, 270, Huron, S.D.
LT: Nathan Little, Sr., 6-3, 290, Aberdeen, S.D.
LG: Kyle Hencke, So., 6-3, 260, Sturgis, S.D.
RG: Skyler Eriksen, Jr., 6-0, 260, Presho, S.D.
RT: Spencer Bloch, So., 6-8, 320, Scotland, S.D.
DL: Eric Gruis, Jr., 6-2, 265, Baltic, S.D.
DL: Preston Liebelt, Jr., 6-0, 270, Prairie City, S.D.
DL: Craig Henglefelt, Jr., 6-6, 250, Alexandria, S.D.
LB: Chris Ferera, Sr., 6-2, 205, Riverside, Calif.
LB: Mike Barnaud, Sr., 5-10, 220, Belle Fourche, S.D.
LB: Anthony Cervantes, So., 6-1, 210, Burbank, Calif.
LB: Brady Bonte, Fr., 6-2, 205, Garretson, S.D.
DB: Andrew DeVaney, Fr., 5-10, 175, Sioux Falls, S.D.
DB: Dustin Bergmeier, Sr., 6-0, 190, Omaha, Neb.
DB: Matt McManus, Jr., 6-0, 175, Alexandria, S.D.
DB: Josh Thompson, So., 5-10, 170, Lead, S.D.
K: Dan Porter, Fr., 6-0, 185, Plattsmouth, Neb.
P: Derek Carlson, Sr., 6-4, 205, Sioux Falls, S.D.
Briar Cliff projected starters
Position: Name, year, height, weight, hometown
QB: P.J. Quiroga, So., 6-1, 200, Donna, Texas.
HB: Jared Williams, Jr., 6-0, 205, St. Louis, Mo.
FB: Brady Van Dusen, So., Sioux City, Iowa.
WR: Bret Van Muyden, So., 6-1, 190, Hawarden, Iowa.
WR: Bryce Harshman, Sr., 5-11, 175, Tucscon, Ariz.
TE: Michael Becker, Jr., 6-4. 220, Norfolk, Neb.
C: A.J. Glaros, Fr., 6-0, 280, Stockton, Calif.
LT: Manny Saint-Louis, Jr., 6-3, 260, Port Charlotte, Fla.
LG: Cody Jordan, So., 6-1, 255, Florissant, Mo.
RG: Jameel Cunningham, Jr., 5-11, 150, St. Louis, Mo.
RT: Wes Bell, Jr., 6-3, 320, St. Louis, Mo.
DL: Eric Jones, Jr., 6-2, 220, St. Louis, Mo.
DL: Alex Herndon, So., 6-1, 260, Crockett, Calif.
DL: Paul Blanchard, Sr., 6-2, 220, Waltham, Minn.
LB: Marcell Moody, Jr., 6-0, 210, St. Louis, Mo.
LB: Alfredo Vizcarra, Jr., 5-9, 225, Houston, Texas.
LB: Julian Lee, Sr., 5-8, 220, Houston, Texas.
DB: Jordan Lester, Sr., 6-0, 215, South Sioux City, Neb.
DB: Harry Hentland, Jr., 5-9, 180, Machesney Park, Ill.
DB: Chance Colvin, Sr., 6-0, 195, Big Pine, Calif.
DB: Troy Hooks, Jr., 5-9, 175, Detroit, Mich.
DB: Marquette Harper, Jr., 5-11, 180, Los Angeles, Calif.
K: Andrew Harris, Fr., 6-2, 170, Northglenn, Colo.
P: Rusty Muncy, Fr., 5-10, 165, Bodfish, Calif.