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    DSU shot down in Sioux City

    Photo courtesy of Sioux City (Iowa) Journal

    Morningside senior linebacker Marshall Tuttle strips the ball from Dickinson State senior running back Jeremy Herr, left, on Saturday afternoon in the first round of the NAIA playoffs.

    Photo courtesy of Sioux City (Iowa) Journal

    Dickinson State senior quarterback Cody Holland, left, throws a pass while being pressured by Morningside senior linebacker Marshall Tuttle on Saturday afternoon during Morningside’s 38-17 victory over DSU in the first round of the NAIA playoffs at Elwood Olsen Stadium in Sioux City, Iowa.

    By the Dickinson Press Staff

    SIOUX CITY, Iowa — For the third consecutive year, the Dickinson State football team’s season ended in the first round of the NAIA playoffs.

    Morningside freshman quarterback Jordan Jacupke threw three touchdown passes and running back Mike McNulty rushed for two more as the seventh-ranked Mustangs advanced to the quarterfinals with a 38-17 victory over the ninth-ranked Blue Hawks on Saturday afternoon at Elwood Olsen Stadium.

    The Mustangs’ offense put DSU in a hole early.

    Jacupke, a freshman who was 19 of 27 for 265 yards passing and rushed for 41 yards, hit Joel Dixon for a 25-yard touchdown on Morningside’s first offensive series. Kyle Christensen then took a screen pass 20 yards for a touchdown two plays after DSU running back Jeremy Herr fumbled the team’s ensuing series.

    Morningside (10-1) went ahead 24-3 midway through the second quarter following a 44-yard field goal by C.J. Gradoville, the Mustangs’ all-time leading scorer, and McNulty’s 2-yard TD run.

    DSU quarterback-turned-tailback Dave Velasquez had a 1-yard touchdown run with 2 seconds remaining in the second quarter to cut Morningside’s halftime lead to 24-10.

    The Blue Hawks (9-2) looked like they would make it a game when quarterback Cody Holland capped a six-play, 56-yard drive with a 4-yard TD pass to Luke Steiner on their first series of the third quarter.

    It was the first career offensive touchdown for Steiner, who starts at defensive tackle but is also a situational tight end.

    Morningside answered with a four-play, 62-yard drive that ended on a 15-yard touchdown pass from Jacupke to Bradley Norwood, giving the Mustangs a 31-17 lead.

    McNulty’s 1-yard touchdown run with just under 12 minutes to play in the fourth quarter capped a nine-play, 63-yard drive that shut the door on DSU.

    The junior rushed for 150 yards on 36 carries, the most any back gained against the Blue Hawks this season.

    While DSU’s defense allowed a season-high 507 total yards, its offense totaled 314 yards, the second-most Morningside has given up this season.

    DSU junior cornerback Sean Russell will finish as the team’s leading tackler after coming up with 17 in the game.

    Russell’s duties increased when senior cornerback Derion Williams was injured on Morningside’s second touchdown pass in the first quarter. The NAIA All-American hobbled to the sidelines, where he spent the final game of his career on crutches.

    Holland was 17 of 31 for 221 yards and rushed for a team-high 41 yards on seven carries. The senior tied a career record for most pass attempts in a game.

    He ends his career 226 of 441 with 3,699 yards passing and 35 touchdowns. Holland’s numbers rank fourth, fifth, fourth and third on DSU’s all-time charts, respectively.

    Every player ranked above him in those categories played more than two seasons with the team.

    The Blue Hawks fell to 5-15 in the postseason.

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