VCSU: Madison, S.D. – The Valley City State football team opened conference play with a narrow road victory Saturday, defeating Dakota State 14-6 in Madison, S.D.
Justice Bice scored both of VCSU’s touchdowns, and the Viking defense tallied 12 tackles for loss in a low-scoring contest that the VCSU never trailed in.
Bice caught a 49-yard touchdown in the first quarter to give the Vikings an early 7-0 lead. Clinging to a 7-6 lead in the fourth quarter, the Vikings put together a game-clinching 80-yard drive. Quarterback Avery Thorsgard completed four passes for 73 yards to move the Vikings down the field, and then Bice capped the drive with a 5-yar touchdown run to give VCSU a 14-6 lead with 10:25 remaining in the game.
The Viking defense took care of the rest, shutting the Trojans down and sealing the victory with a pair of fourth-quarter defensive stops. The Vikings held Dakota State to just 215 total yards of offense and totaled 12 tackles for loss – including five sacks. Riley Gerhardt led the Viking defense with three sacks, setting a new career record at VCSU with 49.5 career tackles for loss.
VCSU improves to 2-1 overall this season and is now 1-0 in conference play. Dakota State drops to 0-4 overall and 0-2 in the NSAA.
Valley City State’s offense managed 255 yards Saturday, including 175 through the air and 80 on the ground. Thorsgard completed 14 out of 19 passes for 175 yards and one score. He also rushed 12 times for 35 yards. Bice totaled 136 all-purpose yards, rushing 16 times for 48 yards and catching six passes for 88 yards. Austin Young had four catches for 54 yards.
Gerhardt finished with 11 tackles and three sacks to pace the Vikings defensively. Jahidi West had eight tackles, and Ashton Raquino finished with seven stops. Emanuel Spiyee and Levi Olson each had six tackles, and both Spiyee and Taquez Chatman had a sack.
Neither team committed turnover and both teams punted five times. Dakota State’s six points came on two field goals by Aidan Jahns.
Up next: Valley City State hosts Mayville State on Saturday, Sept. 23. Kickoff is at 2 p.m. from VCSU’s Shelly Ellig Field.