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Tiger notebook: Road-weary Tigers take advantage of bye week

Dakota Wesleyan University had an extra week to prepare for Dordt College. But first, the Tigers focused on themselves. The DWU football team is coming off a bye week and will play the Defenders at 1 p.m. Saturday in Sioux Center, Iowa. The No. 1...

Dakota Wesleyan's Jace Pulse runs past Doane's A.J. Allen for a 12-yard touchdown reception on Saturday at Joe Quintal Field in Mitchell. (Ryan Deal/Republic)
Dakota Wesleyan's Jace Pulse runs past Doane's A.J. Allen for a 12-yard touchdown reception during a game earlier this season at Joe Quintal Field in Mitchell. (Ryan Deal/Republic)

Dakota Wesleyan University had an extra week to prepare for Dordt College.

But first, the Tigers focused on themselves.

The DWU football team is coming off a bye week and will play the Defenders at 1 p.m. Saturday in Sioux Center, Iowa.

The No. 16 Tigers (3-2, 1-1 Great Plains Athletic Conference) used the extra time to self-evaluate before turning their attention to Dordt (3-2, 1-2 GPAC).

"That's really what it was about, is what are we doing well?" DWU coach Ross Cimpl said. "What do we really need to work on and for us, it was going against our offense and them going against our defense and not necessarily working on specific Dordt stuff."

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DWU cornerback Cody Bonte said it was nice to have the bye in the middle of the season but the Tigers still treated it like another week.

"It really wasn't a bye week for us and we just took the opportunity to compete against each other," Bonte said.

Ratermann and recruiting

The Tigers used the extra week to get some players healthy and work on getting players for the future.

Cimpl said certain players got some much needed rest and others were able to get more reps in their absence, all with the emphasis of staying healthy.

"I thought our guys practiced hard," Cimpl said. "But on the other side of it. We didn't go to an extreme of anybody getting hurt throughout a practice. From that standpoint, I think we met our goal."

One injury of note is DWU defensive lineman and Colome native Cole Ratermann, who suffered a lower leg injury in the game against Hastings College on Sept. 24. Cimpl said as of right now, Ratermann is not expected to play on Saturday.

The DWU coach staff also used the extra time to hit the recruiting trail on Friday during high school football games.

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"We had a couple guys out watching some games and talking to some kids," Cimpl said. "We are kind of getting to that point now where we are getting guys on campus and looking to add guys to our class."

On the road again

Saturday's game will be DWU's third time on the road in the last four games. The Tigers have fared well on the road this season with a 2-0 record. They went 6-1 last season when not playing at Joe Quintal Field.

"Going into another person's field and really doing well on the road is huge for us," Bonte said. "We like having home games, but we feel like we are pretty confident on the road and we enjoy going on road games."

Cimpl said it is good be locked in and ready for road contests but said it is key to do the same at home. The Tigers are 1-2 at home this season and will play three straight home games starting on Oct. 15.

"That is something we probably need to improve on when we are at home, is having that same amount of focus," Cimpl said.

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