Dakota Wesleyan looks to rebound from disappointing loss to MorningsideThe biggest test the Dakota Wesleyan University football team faces today may not be Doane College, but how it bounces back from last weekend’s 63-7 loss to Morningside College.
By: Luke Hagen, The Daily Republic
The biggest test the Dakota Wesleyan University football team faces today may not be Doane College, but how it bounces back from last weekend’s 63-7 loss to Morningside College.
“What’s done is done, good or bad,” said Dakota Wesleyan coach Ross Cimpl, whose 4-2 team hosts Doane (4-2) at 7 p.m. at Joe Quintal Field in Mitchell. “We have to move on. ... We have to be a mature enough team that says that wasn’t our best game, for whatever reason, and we played a really good team. They were better than us but we have to go to work, move forward and figure out how we’re going to attack Doane.
“The longer we dwell on the Morningside game, the longer it’s going to take to progress as a team.”
But erasing the memory of its most lopsided loss since the 2010 season isn’t going to be easy for DWU. Wesleyan’s defense gave up 644 yards of total offense and the offense found the end zone only one time.
No. 20-ranked Doane College knows the feeling of a tough loss to Morningside as well. Doane, which had a bye week on Saturday, fell to the Mustangs 28-3 on Oct. 6.
“We’re not coming off our best performance of the year, losing to Morningside,” Doane coach Matt Franzen said. “So we need to get back to basics, get back to fundamentals and just plain execution.”
Franzen said his team will look to slow down DWU quarterback Jon Bane and running back Josh Endres, a common trend among Great Plains Athletic Conference teams that face Wesleyan.
Endres, who had a season-low 41 yards last weekend, is averaging 143.8 yards per game to lead the GPAC and has seven touchdowns this season.
Bane fired one touchdown last weekend, but finished 9-of-31 passing for an uncharacteristically low 81 yards. The junior is averaging 277.4 passing yards per game and has 12 touchdowns to five interceptions on the season.
While DWU’s offense has a pair of talented weapons, a big question headed into today will be how Wesleyan’s defense will respond after giving up a season high in points.
Senior Mike Barnaud is leading DWU with 72 tackles, freshman Brady Bonte has 64 and senior Dustin Bergmeier has 38.
“Defensively, after looking at the game, they took it pretty hard,” Cimpl said. “The thing that we tried to get across is that we can just go through the motions and get embarrassed or we can continue to play football.”
Franzen said his team may be able to take advantage of Wesleyan’s poor performance last week, and he hopes to get a quick start against the Wesleyan defense.
“I think there’s going to be a lot of determined guys on the DWU defense,” Franzen said. “But coming off a rough offensive performance against Morningside a week ago, we’re going into this game saying this is a defense that has given up some things recently. If we go in and execute well, there’s a chance we can put up some numbers, yards and points.”
Doane quarterback Jeff Weander has completed 118 of 202 passes with nine touchdowns and seven interceptions. He is averaging 212 yards through the air to complement Doane’s dual-threat rushing attack.
Clayton Moore has 59 carries for 262 yards and three touchdowns and Alex Dose has 61 attempts for 224 yards and three scores.
Doane’s biggest offensive threat could be wideout Tyrone Curry, who’s caught 27 passes for 488 yards and six touchdowns.