Jake Peterson had a career day with four touchdowns and the Valley City State defense held Dakota State's high-powered offense to just 298 yards Saturday as the Viking football team defeated the No. 19-ranked Trojans, 41-22 in Madison, S.D.
The Viking defense held Dakota State's highly-touted offense far below its season averages of 41 points and 483 yards per game. It was VCSU's 10th straight win over Dakota State dating back to the 2008 season.
VCSU improves to 4-3 overall and 3-1 in the North Star Athletic Association. Dakota State drops to 5-2 overall and 2-1 in conference play.
It is the 117th win at VCSU for head coach Dennis McCulloch and moves him past Jim Dew for the most wins in program history.
The win was highlighted offensively by career days from receiver Jake Peterson and tight end Tayler Lentz. All four of Peterson's catches went for touchdowns, including a 61-yarder and a 43-yarder in the second half. He finished with 132 yards receiving. Lentz had two touchdowns in the game, including a 2-yard catch less than five minutes into the game that put VCSU up 7-0. He added a short touchdown run in the fourth quarter.
After Lentz' opening touchdown, quarterback Kurtis Walls found Peterson for two scores in the first half and the Vikings built a 21-6 halftime lead. Dakota State cut the lead to 21-14 early in the third quarter, but Walls and Peterson hooked up for a 61-yard score just a minute later, part of 14 straight VCSU points that pushed the lead to 35-14.
Dakota State got back to within 35-22 early in the fourth, but Walls and Peterson again connected for a 43-yard touchdown – the final score of the game with 8:17 remaining.
Walls finished 16-for-24 passing for 277 yards and five touchdowns. Jacob Duilio had 17 carries for 80 yards, part of a balanced rushing attack for VCSU. Louis Quinones had eight carries for 69 yards and Anthony Logan had 10 carries for 62 yards. Colby Lum finished with four catches for 53 yards.
The Vikings racked up 240 yards rushing and 277 yards passing for a 517-yard outburst. VCSU limited Dakota State to 134 yards on the ground and just 164 yards passing.
Dakota State quarterback Jacob Giles, who led the nation with 25 passing touchdowns entering Saturday, was held to just 164 yards and one touchdown pass. He went 22-for-42 and threw one interception, which was picked off by Beau Winchester.
Nicholas McBeain racked up 14 tackles and a sack to lead VCSU's strong defensive day. Jesus Munoz had 11 tackles. Travon Smith posted a big game with nine tackles, a forced fumble and a blocked kick. Andre Peppers added nine tackles.
Up next: Valley City State (4-3, 3-1 NSAA) hosts Presentation College at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 22.