DWU football holds on, downs Jamestown at home

The Tigers used a 24-point cushion to fend off the Jimmies at Joe Quintal Field.

The Dakota Wesleyan University football team defeated the Jamestown Jimmies 31-25 on Saturday, November 5, 2021 at Joe Quintal Field in Mitchell. (Matt Gade / Republic)
Matt Gade

The Dakota Wesleyan football team withstood a furious fourth-quarter comeback attempt, defeating Jamestown 31-25 in a Great Plains Athletic Conference contest Saturday afternoon at Joe Quintal Field.

After the Tigers’ defense held the Jimmies scoreless through three quarters, the visitors found the endzone four times in the final frame and possessed the football with a chance to tie or win the game as time expired.

Trailing 31-13 with 5:12 remaining, Jamestown went on a 16-play, 75-yard scoring drive to pull within 31-19. An onside kick recovery gave the Jimmies another possession, which they turned into another touchdown in just 26 seconds. DWU recovered the second onside kick attempt, but turned the ball over on downs and gave Jamestown one last chance to complete the comeback.

But the Tigers’ defense stiffened once more at the game’s most critical juncture, preventing much progress from the Jamestown offense and knocking away a last-ditch passing attempt on the game’s final snap.

“You talk about coaching clichés in terms of playing a 60-minute game, it’s going to take 60 minutes to win, well, it did. It literally did,” said DWU coach Ross Cimpl.


But for as explosive as the Jimmies (2-8, 2-7 GPAC) were in the fourth quarter, DWU (4-6, 4-5 GPAC) was similarly effective in the second period.

“We have a young group on offense that, overall, I thought did some really good things today, and we needed every point that we had,” Cimpl said.

Knotted in a scoreless tie after 15 minutes, the Tigers found the endzone 90 seconds into the second quarter on a perfectly placed 11-yard pass from Cayden Cunningham that Logan Feuerbach hauled in over his shoulder on third-and-goal.

Later in the quarter, after stuffing the Jimmies on a fourth down attempt, DWU needed just two plays and 28 seconds to add to the lead. A 28-yard run by Jamin Arend set up a Cunningham rushing score from four yards out.

Then, just before half, Jamestown looked poised to get on the scoreboard. The DWU defense had other ideas.

Safety Hayden Schmidt intercepted a pass at the Tigers’ 2-yard line and returned it 81 yards, setting up a 26-yard field goal by Trevor Lambert that put DWU up 17-0 at the break.

“I thought [our defense] put a ton of pressure on the quarterback early, and then they just got off the field and gave us an opportunity to have more possessions offensively,” Cimpl said. “… We feed off of those guys and their ability to put us in good positions and get us the ball back.”

DWU added to its lead late in the third quarter when Arend pinballed his way in from 12-yards out to make it 24-0.


Moments later, the Jimmies began their late rally.

Quarterback Cade Torgerson tossed a 33-yard touchdown to Steve Justice 15 seconds into the fourth quarter, then found Ryan Collins from 6 yards out 3 1/2 minutes later, bringing the score to 24-13.

The Tigers looked to have put the game away after a Jamestown fumbled resulted in a 20-yard touchdown strike from Cunningham to Tate Larson with just over five minutes remaining, before another surge in the final moments brought the final to within a single score.

For the Tigers, Cunningham went 12-of-17 passing for 125 yards and accounted for three total touchdowns. Arend ended the afternoon as DWU’s leading rusher and receiver, totaling 128 yards from scrimmage. Jacob Zamora led the Tigers with nine total tackles.

Torgerson completed 40 of 70 attempts for 366 yards and all four Jamestown touchdowns, as four Jimmies receivers went over 40 receiving yards on the afternoon.

DWU hosts No. 3-ranked Morningside, which defeated No. 2 Northwestern (Iowa) on the road Saturday afternoon, in the season finale Nov. 13 at Joe Quintal Field.

Dierks covers prep and collegiate athletics across the Mitchell Republic's coverage region area, focusing on Mitchell High School football and boys basketball and area high school football, volleyball and basketball, as well as Dakota Wesleyan women's basketball. He was also the lead on the Mitchell Republic Gridiron Spotlight, producing video and providing live play-by-play for the traveling weekly prep football broadcast during its first season in the fall of 2021. Dierks is a Mitchell native who graduated from South Dakota State University with his bachelor's degree in journalism in May 2020. He joined the Mitchell Republic sports staff in August 2021. He can be reached at and found on Twitter at @LDierksy.
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