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DWU football gameday: Tigers travel to Madison to take on rival Dakota State for 2022 opener

Everything you need to know ahead of Dakota Wesleyan's first game Thursday.

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Dakota Wesleyan University football coach Ross Cimpl looks on during a 2021 game against Dakota State at Joe Quintal Field in Mitchell.
Mitchell Republic file photo
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Dakota Wesleyan is set to kick off its 2022 campaign with a trip to Madison to take on its rival Dakota State. Here’s everything you need to know ahead of the contest.

When: 7:05 p.m. Thursday

Where: Trojan Field, in Madison.

Records: DWU 0-0 (4-7 last year), DSU 0-0 (6-4 last year)

Coaches: DWU’s Ross Cimpl (49-38, 11th season), DSU’s Josh Anderson (51-88, 14th season)

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All-time series: DWU leads 39-35-1, but the Trojans have won five in a row.

Last meeting: Dakota State 6, Dakota Wesleyan 0 on Aug. 28, 2021 in Mitchell

Tickets: Tickets are $10 per ticket and may be bought on DSU’s website until noon on Thursday, Aug. 25. Gates at Trojan Field open at 5 p.m.

Notes: In the 76th edition of the Dakota State-Dakota Wesleyan rivalry game, the Trojans will put their five-game win streak to the test. ... Most of the recent games have been close, with the last two contests being decided by a total of nine points, including a 33-30 double-overtime DSU win in the last game at Trojan Field in 2021. ... Prior to the Trojans' winning streak, DWU had a five-game win streak of its own that came to a close in 2016 when DSU won 34-30. The two teams will once again battle for the Chamber of Commerce Traveling Trophy when they play Thursday. DSU has won all four games since the trophy was introcued in 2017, with the 2020 game canceled due to COVID-19. ... The game can be watched regionally on Midco Sports Network.

About the Tigers: The Tigers come into 2022 off a 2021 record of 4-7. ... At quarterback, coach Ross Cimpl said Austin Lee will man the duties under center to start the season after winning the quarterback battle during camp. He only appeared in two games last season, completing 45.5% of his passes for 129 yards and a touchdown. He also played one game in 2020 and 2-for-5 passing for 15 yards. ... The offense also returns Jamin Arend, who averaged more than 80 yards per game on the ground last season for the Tigers and led the team in receptions. ... Defensively, the Tigers graduated five linebackers and will look to younger players this season to fill the void on a defense that allowed 26.5 points and 363 yards per game last season.

About the Trojans: The Trojans, picked to finish fourth in the North Star Athletic Association, are coming off their best season in recent years, after finishing 6-4, which marked the first time they’ve been above .500 since 2017. ... Quarterback Zach Brooks returns to the team after leading DSU in passing. He threw for 747 yards on a 47.4% completion rate, while adding 139 more on the ground, which is the most of any returning player. ... Dajshon Keel returns as well and figures to be the No. 1 receiver for the Trojans after his 30 catches for 377 yards and three touchdowns last season. ... DSU rushed for 87 yards per game last season, doing most of its damage through the air, but sophomore Tyce Ortman, the Canistota native and transfer from Northwestern College, will look to change that as he enters the season as the starting running back.

Other GPAC action this weekend

Thursday, Aug. 25

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Mount Marty at Presentation, 6 p.m.

Valley City State (N.D.) at Jamestown, 7 p.m.

Saturday, Aug. 27

St. Mary (Kan.) at Midland, 1 p.m.

Hastings at Trinity International (Ill.), 1 p.m.

Waldorf (Iowa) at Briar Cliff, 6 p.m.

Zech Lambert is a sports reporter for the Mitchell Republic. He graduated from Penn State University in May 2022 and began at the Mitchell Republic in July 2022. He can be reached at zlambert@mitchellrepublic.com or on Twitter @Zech_Lambert.
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