Hardrockers top 5 DAC categories
By Brad Blume
Sports Information Director
South Dakota School of Mines
RAPID CITY --- It might have been their first loss of the season, but the South Dakota School of Mines football team still looked pretty impressive this past Saturday when the Hardrockers fell to the Mayville State Comets in triple overtime, 10-7.
Despite losing the non-conference contest, the Hardrockers have built a nice foundation that both the offense and defense can hang their hats on as they head into the Dakota Athletic Conference portion of their schedule.
All eight DAC teams recently reported their statistics from the first three outings where the Hardrockers found themselves toward the top of quite a few lists.
SDM’s Tom Lunzman (38) brings down a Mayville State opponent during play last week in Rapid City. Photo by Beth Honaker
SDM ranked first in five different categories and were ranked second in two others. The Hardrockers topped the list in turnover margin (1.67), in pass defense (allowing 112.3 yards a game), rushing offense (186.3 yards a game and 559 total yards), total defense (giving up only one touchdown and 214 yards a game) and first in scoring defense (giving up just 13 points this season). The Rockers ranked second in scoring offense (scoring 17.7 points a game including tallying 7 touchdowns and one field goal in three games played) and also earned second in total offense (racking up 298.3 yards a game).
Individually, the Hardrockers are making quite an impact as well. Junior transfer Joshua Jones (Long Beach, Calif.) tops the rushing list, scoring three touchdowns this season and totaling 559 yards. He averages 120.7 a game. He is also rated third in scoring (18 points).
Senior Lukas Munsell is also excelling, coming in at the No. 5 spot in rushing with 191 total yard over three games to go along with one touchdown. He is also fifth in receiving yards, scoring a touchdown while catching 13 passes for 162 yards. On top of that the Mills, Wyo., native is third in the DAC on punt returns, totaling 74 yards on five returns.
Defensively, freshman Tom Lunzman (Gretna, Neb.) was a big surprise to start the season, recording four of the teams’ nine interceptions over the first three games and rattling off 88 yards. He also returned an INT for a touchdown. He leads the league in the category. Junior Tyrell Anderson paces the team in total tackles and is ranked fifth in the DAC. The linebacker from Green River, Wyo., has 31 total --- 14 solo on the season. Teammate Zach Marcus, sophomore from Olivia, Minn., is seventh on the list with 29 tackles.
Those kind of accolades should give the young ‘Rocker team the confidence they need as they head into their first DAC game Saturday against winless Dickinson State.
The Blue Hawks lost games to Montana State University – Northern (18-10), Concordia Moorhead University (41-7) and most recently Dakota State (14-12).
Despite their record, the Blue Hawks have one of the better defenses in the league, ranking second to SDM in pass defense allowing just 135 yards a game.
The Blue Hawk defense is led by senior linebacker Lico Sifuentes who is ranked second in the league in tackles and 13th in the nation. He has 34 total, collecting 12 solo tackles. He will be a player that the Hardrockers will need to be wary of.
On the offensive side of the ball for DSU, running back James Macey gets a majority of the carries for the Hawks scoring one touchdown this season while tallying 115 total yards. Quarterback Caleb Midura is also having a decent year, throwing a touchdown pass in each of the first three games. He has completed 47 passes for 214 yards.
Midura’s favorite target is wide out Derek Pauley who has caught two of the three TD passes this year and has also accumulated 123 receiving yards on 10 receptions.
Last season the Blue Hawks faced South Dakota Mines twice, hanging double-digit losses in both outings. This time around the Hardrockers look more solid and it has the makings of a good contest to kick off the conference schedule.
Kick-off is slated for 1:30 p.m. in Dickinson.
Mills Wyo. native Lukas Munsell (with ball) cuts to the outside and snaps off good yardage on the ground during play against Mayville State last Saturday in Rapid City. Photo by Beth Honaker.
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