DICKINSON, N.D. - For the third straight year, the Dickinson State Blue Hawks are in the NAIA playoffs. This year, they will travel out west to play a very good, and former conference rival, Southern Oregon team.
The last time these two teams played each other was in 2013, so it’s easy to say they don’t know much about each other going into Saturday’s game.
"You know after watching film, they're very athletic, both sides of the ball, they've got a pretty good secondary and they're very fast,” said DSU’s sophomore quarterback Hayden Gibson. “We've just got to be disciplined, take care of the ball, win the turnover battle, and control the time on the clock."
While the Raiders have a strong team all around, the Blue Hawks have been preparing for playoffs all season. Head Coach Pete Stanton says that as long as they play like they have, and stick to their assignments, they should be alright.
"I think we have to just go and be ourselves on both sides of the ball. You know we got here by playing good football, and staying together as a team and executing. You know offensively it's going to be, obviously important that we're balanced, and obviously they're very athletic, and we have to hold onto the ball on offense. And then defensively, same thing. You know they have a very dynamic quarterback who likes to throw the ball downtown, and we just have to put ourselves in a position where we can get some pressure, and we can play good pass defense," said Stanton.
The Blue Hawks and the Raiders will battle it out on the football field this Saturday for the first round of the NAIA playoffs in Ashland, Ore. Kick-off is at 2:00 p.m. MT.