Dordt College

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Dordt College

In five seasons as a varsity football team the Dordt Defenders have won six games, including two the last two years. Of the six wins the Defenders have bested Waldorf three times – including last season’s loss turned into a win because of a forfeit due to the use of an ineligible player by the Warriors – and Dakota State twice. Dordt has just one conference win in its existence – a 17-14 win over Concordia (Neb.) in 2008 – and has dropped 28 consecutive conference games. 

The Defenders have been trying to build and find its identity. In 2013, the program will have eight returning starters on both sides of the ball. The offense will likely be the strength of the team with returning players in skill positions. The Defenders need to find a player to step up and lead at the quarterback position. Dordt pass attempts were completed just 36% of the time while throwing three touchdowns and 22 interceptions. The offense will look to Trai Pickney for some explosion after carrying the ball an average of 6.5 yards per carry last season and five rushing scores. 

Said Coach Youngblood of his offense, “On offense we return most skill positions but we will have to mature quickly on the offensive line as we graduated three interior linemen.”

The defense will need anchored by the fellas on the front line. The unit returns its top four tacklers from a year ago and six of its top 10. Seth Vande Voort is back after leading the defense with 124 tackles. He’ll be joined by a couple other guys who led the team in defensive categories, Sam Ashmore (15.5 tackles for loss) and Jonathan Garner (4 sacks). Experience is key for young programs trying to build and this defense definitely has that, but do they have the personnel to keep fresh legs in the game?

Said Coach Youngblood of his defense, “We have some experience returning on defense, but lack depth other than defensive line.”

Thoughts: Dordt opens the season on the road at Dakota State, a team the Defenders have had success with in the past, and a win start the season would certainly help with confidence. The Defenders have another winnable game in non-conference action Oct. 12 when they host Trinity Bible. The team is still young and will again experience growing pains, but a conference win or two would help boost momentum for the Defenders.