Dakota Wesleyan’s defense led the charge for first win of the season

The Dakota Wesleyan University football team spoiled Mount Marty’s inaugural game as a varsity program with a 20-3 win at the Crane-Youngworth Field.

Dakota Wesleyan University's Haustyn Forney hauls in a touchdown pass in front of Mount Marty University' s Dylan Capps during a Great Plains Athletic Conference game on Saturday at Crane-Youngworth Field in Yankton. (Matt Gade / Mitchell Republic)
Matt Gade

YANKTON -- Dakota Wesleyan’s defense proved to be too much Saturday afternoon.

The Dakota Wesleyan football team held Mount Marty to under 100 yards rushing and forced the Lancers to go 3 of 21 on third down, spoiling Mount Marty’s first football game as a varsity program with a 20-3 win at the Crane-Youngworth Field in Yankton.

DWU smothered Mount Marty at the line of scrimmage, forcing them into numerous unsuccessful third and long situations. Head coach Ross Cimpl said winning on first and second down was something they emphasized before coming into this game, especially after last week's loss to Dakota State in the home opener.

GALLERY: DWU football defeats Mount Marty University 20-3 in Lancers varsity football debut

“When you can make a team one dimensional and put them in those obvious passing situations, we can do a lot of different things coverage wise, with pressure and there’s a lot of linebackers on our team I wouldn’t want to block if I was a defensive coordinator,” Cimpl said.


Linebacker Cody Reichelt led the defense for DWU with 11 tackles. He said this win was special, knowing what Mount Marty was playing for and the hunger DWU had for its first win.

“We were pretty sour losing to Dakota State,” Reichelt said. “But we had a great week of practice and it kind of motivated us.”

The motivated Tigers team forced Mount Marty to punt 11 times and picked off Mount Marty’s Davian Guajardo once.

Despite DWU losing time of possession by nearly 16 minutes, the Tigers capitalized when they had opportunities. They started the game with a 31-yard touchdown from Kiel Nelson to Haustyn Forney to take an early lead.

Nelson finished 6-of-23 for 110 yards, with one touchdown and one interception.

In the second quarter, Austin Lee connected with Jakob Oxos for a 70-yard touchdown that gave DWU a 13-3 headed into halftime. Lee went 5-of-10 for 129 yards, with one touchdown and one interception as well.


In the fourth quarter after Mount Marty made a couple of attempts to score in the red zone, Jamin Arend had a 83 yard touchdown run with just 1:54 remaining in the game. He finished with 17 carries for 191 yards.

DWU as a team had 201 yards rushing and 239 yards passing, but is still trying to figure out offensively what team they will be going forward. As of now, the Tigers are playing two quarterbacks and have seven receivers they feel deserve playing time.

Cimpl said he knew coming into this game he was going to play two quarterbacks, attempting to challenge both players and see who’s will win the starting role.

“We want to see who’s going to get the job done and who’s going to get consistent,” Cimpl said. “In order for us to evaluate that, we have to see both of them in a game. We can’t evaluate one guy in a game and the other practice and think that’s the same evaluation. Both those guys did some really good things and both those guys have some things to work on.”

Cimpl doesn’t want to do this long term and understands rhythm and continuity is important when playing that position and leading this team.

“Ideally this is not what we want to do, but if that’s what it’s going to take to win games then that’s what we’re going to do.”

Dakota Wesleyan plays Midland in Fremont Neb. on Sept. 18 at 1 p.m.

Related Topics: FOOTBALL
Branden is a sports reporter that graduated from Purdue University Northwest with a bachelor's degree in communications and a focus in journalism. He joined the Mitchell Republic in June 2021 and covers prep and collegiate athletics. He was also the lead on the Mitchell Republic Full-Court Press, providing a weekly web-exclusive look at high school basketball throughout all of South Dakota. Branden can be reached at and found on Twitter at @bhullreports.
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