PREP FOOTBALL: Dingmann scores 4 TDs, Strand gets win No. 200 in 27-13 win for AHSADRIAN — Coming up with a key interception on defense that helped changed the momentum early and then crossing the goal line a total of five times as the featured running back Thursday night, junior Jordan Dingmann celebrated his 17th birthday in style by leading the Adrian Dragons to a well-earned 27-13 victory over the MACCRAY Wolverines in a season-opening Little Sioux Conference high school football game.
By: Lucas Knutson, Worthington Daily Globe
ADRIAN — Coming up with a key interception on defense that helped changed the momentum early and then crossing the goal line a total of five times as the featured running back Thursday night, junior Jordan Dingmann celebrated his 17th birthday in style by leading the Adrian Dragons to a well-earned 27-13 victory over the MACCRAY Wolverines in a season-opening Little Sioux Conference high school football game.
Dingmann scored all four of Adrian’s touchdowns and added a two-point conversion — finishing the game with a team-leading 132 yards on 22 carries — to help the Dragons build leads of 8-0, 14-0, 20-0 (halftime margin) and 27-0 before MACCRAY got on the board twice in the fourth quarter.
Senior fullback Jake Tiede, who was the lead blocker on most of Dingmann’s attempts, rushed the ball 12 times for 62 yards and also tied with senior lineman Jake Diekmann for the team lead in tackles with 12 stops apiece.
Freshman quarterback Logan Rogers completed three of six passes for 50 yards, giving Adrian — which rushed for 305 yards on 52 carries as a team — a total of 355 yards compared to 250 yards for MACCRAY (140 rushing, 110 passing).
“This was a very nice win to start the season,” summed up long-time Adrian head coach Randy Strand, who claimed his 200th career victory with the win (29 years in charge of the Dragons, along with loyal assistant coach Kevin Nowotny). “As for the milestone, I’ve had a lot of help over the years from all the players and coaches that have come through the program. Kevin has been one of the biggest reasons for our success, as he is truly the piston that drives the machine here.”
Dingmann’s big first half sparks Dragons to 20-0 lead
Both teams moved the ball well on the game’s first two possessions, but each drive stalled inside the opponent’s 30-yard line.
Adrian drove from its own 28 to MACCRAY’s 25 (47 yards) on 10 straight running plays, as Dingmann, Tiede and Rogers alternated carries and helped the Dragons pick up a trio of first downs.
Dingmann snapped off a 22-yard burst to highlight the series, but a loss of 10 yards on fourth-and-eight later forced the Dragons to turn the ball over on downs at the 38.
MACCRAY — representing the communities of Maynard, Clara City and Raymond — answered with a five-play, 35-yard march to the Dragons’ 27.
Aaron Jaenisch completed two passes to Taylor Thissen (12 yards and 15 yards) on screen plays and also scampered seven yards on a keeper, but the Wolverines went backward and soon punted from midfield.
Adrian then went three-and-out and punted the ball right back to MACCRAY, but Dingmann intercepted a pass on the Wolverines’ first play of the ensuing possession — initially returning the pick 50 yards for a touchdown.
A Dragons’ penalty on the play brought the touchdown back, but the turnover set up Adrian’s offense at the Wolverines’ 28-yard line with 53 seconds left in the first quarter. Tiede (11 yards) and senior Nate Loosbrock (nine yards) brought the opening period to a close with solid back-to-back gains on the ground.
Dingmann then opened the second quarter with an eight-yard touchdown dash to the left side, following a strong lead block by Tiede into the end zone. Dingmann also scored the two-point conversion on a similar play, lifting Adrian to an 8-0 lead with 11:55 showing on the clock.
“I just stick behind Tiede and try to find an opening,” Dingmann said of his approach to carrying the ball. “The interception I had earlier got me pretty pumped up, and I was able to have a good game running the ball after that.”
Adrian’s defense came up with a pair of stops on MACCRAY’s next two possessions, and the Dragons put together two more scoring drives to take a commanding 20-0 halftime advantage.
The Dragons’ second touchdown — a nifty 10-yard run up the middle by Dingmann at the 6:13 mark (two-point attempt no good) — capped a nine-play, 45-yard series. Rogers fired a 12-yard strike to senior Adam Garms and also gained 13 yards on a keeper along the left sideline to spearhead that drive.
Rogers completed an 11-yard pass to Loosbrock on Adrian’s next possession before breaking several tackles on a 15-yard run — helping set up a seven-yard touchdown by Dingmann (PAT kick no good) with 52 seconds remaining.
“Jordan had a great game, as he was able to find a few creases and get some things done,” Strand said. “I think we outhit MACCRAY a little bit in that second quarter, as our offensive line played pretty well and we got steady contributions from all five of our seniors.”
Most of the third quarter was played near midfield and an interception by junior Jordan Bertrand late in the period helped lead to the Dragons’ fourth and final touchdown of the night.
Dingmann, who got loose for a 39-yard rumble on the ensuing Adrian drive that eventually stalled, scored on a sweet 26-yard touchdown run with 11:28 remaining in the fourth quarter. Tiede kicked the extra point through the uprights to make it 27-0.
MACCRAY scored a pair of late touchdowns to trim the final gap to 27-13. Jaenisch scored on a five-yard run with 7:32 to go (Thissen PAT kick good), and Austin Villarreal crossed the goal line on a five-yard run of his own with eight seconds left (two-point attempt no good).
The accurate passing of both Jaenisch (4-for-5, 36 yards) and Carter Asche (8-for-12, 74 yards) to Thissen for several completions helped spark the Wolverines throughout the game, as did the hard running of Nick Zimmer (eight carries for 52 yards) and Nate Zurn.
“MACCRAY has 17 seniors and is a good team,” Strand said. “We played a solid game against a quality opponent for the first time out, so we are pleased with the win. We’ll take a win any way that we can, and it’s even better when you play well like we did tonight.”
Adrian (1-0) hits the road to play Minneota/Lincoln HI next Friday, while MACCRAY (0-1) hosts Tracy-Milroy-Balaton.
MACCRAY 0 0 0 13 — 13
Adrian 0 20 0 7 — 27