Olson, Endres lead DWU past Briar Cliff 24-13Trailing by 10 points early, backup quarterback Joey Olson and the Dakota Wesleyan University offense stuck to the game plan.
By: Luke Hagen, The Daily Republic
Trailing by 10 points early, backup quarterback Joey Olson and the Dakota Wesleyan University offense stuck to the game plan.
The strategy was simple: Hand the ball off to running back Josh Endres, work in some play-action passes and move the chains to move down the field.
Olson stepped in for starter Jon Bane, who was out with a concussion, and rushed for a first-half touchdown and tossed a second-half score. Most importantly, he led the Tigers past Briar Cliff 24-13 Saturday in a Great Plains Athletic Conference football game at Joe Quintal Field in Mitchell.
“We had confidence in what Joey can do, and we wanted to get him in a rhythm early,” said DWU coach Ross Cimpl, whose team is 3-0 and has a bye next weekend. “We weren’t nervous about him throwing the ball. He’s got some things to work on like everyone else, but for getting thrown in there and for his first college start, he did a very good job.”
Briar Cliff quarterback P.J. Quiroga fired two quick slants to Bryce Harshman that went for touchdowns to give the Chargers a 13-3 lead with 13:57 left in the first half.
But after the Chargers took a two-score lead, Endres — who finished with 36 carries for 198 yards — recorded his sixth TD of the season on a 5-yard run on third-and-goal to pull the Tigers within 13-10.
Then Olson got a little more comfortable.
The sophomore from Piedmont drove DWU down the field on a 12-play, 57-yard drive that ended in a quarterback sneak on the ½-yard line on fourth-and-goal. Once Olson finally came out from under the pile of players on the goal line, his helmet was off and the Tigers held a 17-13 lead they never relinquished.
“I just knew we were going to rely on the run game and get that going,” Olson said. “Everything just fell into place after that.”
Olson was 13-of-28 passing for 172 yards with an interception right before halftime and a 31-yard touchdown pass to Derek Carlson early in the fourth quarter that gave the Tigers their final 11-point edge.
On Briar Cliff’s first possession of the fourth quarter, the Tigers forced a three-and-out. Carlson caught Olson’s nice spiral down the sideline with 13:08 left in the game for the TD.
“(Olson) did obviously what they needed him to do,” Briar Cliff coach Tom Rethman said. “They needed him to get that play action, move the chains and let Endres carry the rest.”
Olson was able to lean on Endres often. The Tigers cruised in the ground-game battle, outgaining the Chargers 204 yards to 68.
Endres had 36 of the Tigers’ 43 carries.
“Having the line dominate like they did and being able to give it to Josh Endres any time makes my life a whole lot easier,” Olson said.
Last week, Endres had 41 carries in the Tigers’ win over Concordia. In the past two weeks, he’s rushed the ball 77 times and now has 577 yards in three games this year.
Arthur Brown had five receptions for 78 yards and Carlson had three catches for 51 yards. Brown also had a punt return for a touchdown that was called back on a penalty.
For Briar Cliff, Quiroga was 20-of-37 passing for 208 yards and two touchdowns. Seven receivers caught passes from the Charger backup, who will start the rest of the season in place of an injured Kevin Van Egdom.
Quiroga outshined Olson early, but Cimpl dialed up more pressure defensively and the Tigers’ offense found ways to score.
“When you fill in and can step away with a win, that’s all that matters, right?” Rethman said.
NOTES: Endres was slow to get up on the final play of the first half. Olson was intercepted, and after the play was over, Endres laid on the field for a while. “Fortunately, he got the wind knocked out of him,” Cimpl said. “It was a tough play, and he’s doing everything he can and kind of got crack-backed on. It was one of those things where you hold your breath a little bit, but in the back of your mind you know he’s going to do everything he can to get on the field.” … DWU kicker Dan Porter knocked through a 27-yard field goal in the Tigers’ opening drive of the game. He had a 23-yard attempt blocked in the fourth quarter. … Mike Barnaud led the Tigers with 10.5 tackles, Brady Bonte had 6.5 tackles and an interception and Anthony Cervantes had 4.5 tackles and a sack.
DAKOTA WESLEYAN 24,
BRIAR CLIFF 13
Briar Cliff 7 6 0 0 – 13
DWU 3 14 0 7 – 24
DWU: Dan Porter 27 field goal
BCU: Bryce Harshman 4 pass from P.J. Quiroga (Andrew Harris kick)
BCU: Bryce Harshman 3 pass from P.J. Quiroga (Andrew Harris kick failed)
DWU: Josh Endres 5 run (Porter kick)
DWU: Joey Olson 1 run (Porter kick)
DWU: Derek Carlson 31 pass from Olson (Porter kick)
Rushing: DWU — Josh Endres 36-198; Arthur Brown 3-6; Andre Lopez 2-3; Joey Olson 2-(-3); BC — Jared Williams 21-59; Robert Wilson 6-15; Andrew Harris 1-5; P.J. Quiroga 1-(-11).
Passing: DWU — Joey Olson 13-28-1-172; BC — P.J. Quiroga 20-37-1-208.
Receiving: DWU — Arthur Brown 5-78; Derek Carlson 3-51; Michael Brown 3-30; Travis Salmonson 1-8; Josh Endres 1-5; BC — Michael Becker 5-63; Bryce Harshman 5-37; Tyler McGhee 4-59; Jared Williams 2-6; Troy Dobbins 2-4; Brad Van Dusen 1-22; Kenny Thompson 1-17.
Defensive: DWU — Mike Barnaud 10.5 tackles; Brady Bonte 6.5 tackles, interception; Josh Thompson 6 tackles, forced fumble; Anthony Cervantes 4.5 tackles, sack.