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Football - Thu, Sep. 7, 2017

The Valley City State University football team hits the road Saturday for the first time this season.

The Vikings will play a non-conference game Saturday at Hastings College, a member of the Great Plains Athletic Conference. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. in Hastings, Neb.

The Vikings and Broncos met last season for the first time in history. Hastings escaped Valley City with a 35-32 victory after nearly blowing a 23-point lead. VCSU trailed 35-12 entering the fourth quarter, but scored the final 20 points to nearly complete a stunning comeback.

Valley City's local radio station, KOVC 1490-AM, will produce a live broadcast Saturday that can be heard on 1490-AM and also streamed live at http://www.newsdakota.com/kovc-1490am/. Pregame coverage starts at about 12:30 p.m. with kickoff at 1 p.m.

The Basics: VCSU (1-1, 0-1 NSAA) at Hastings College (2-0, 0-0 GPAC) – Saturday, Sept. 9, 1 p.m.

Live Coverage:  Live Audio (KOVC 1490-AM)  |  Live Video  |  Live Stats

The Series: Hastings College leads the all-time series 1-0 after a 35-32 win at VCSU last season.

Last Week: Valley City State (1-1, 0-1 NSAA) is coming off a 30-21 loss to No. 15 Dickinson State last weekend. The Vikings hampered themselves with four turnovers in the loss. Louis Quinones rushed for 111 yards and a touchdown, and freshman quarterback Jalen Pfeifer went 16-for-30 for 252 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions in his collegiate debut. Senior linebacker Nicholas McBeain picked up where he left off last season, racking up 19 tackles. Senior defensive back Jesus Munoz had a big game as well with 14 tackles and an interception return for a touchdown.

Hastings Starts 2-0: Hastings College is 2-0 to start the 2017 season. The Broncos thrashed University of Jamestown in the opener, 31-3, and last week won a 52-35 high-scoring contest at Southwestern (Kan.). The Broncos rely heavily on running back Tahj Willingham, who has racked up 42 carries, 241 yards and four touchdowns through two games. Hastings has sported a run-heavy offense so far this season with 84 rushing attempts and 49 passing attempts.

Last Season: VCSU went 7-3 overall and 5-1 in the NSAA. Hastings posted a 4-7 overall record and a 1-7 mark in the GPAC.

The Coaches: Viking head coach Dennis McCulloch is in his 21st season leading the Vikings. He is the all-time wins leader in program history and has a 120-84 career record. Tony Harper is in his seventh season leading the Broncos and has a 31-32 career record.

National Rankings: VCSU senior Nicholas McBeain leads the nation in tackles per game (19) while Jesus Munoz (14) ranks fifth and Kendrick Lenzen (13 tackles) ranks ninth. Hastings ranks fifth in rushing offense (468 yards), seventh in scoring offense (83 points) and ninth in pass defense per game (125.5 yards/game). Tahj Willingham ranks fifth in all purpose yards (364) and seventh in rushing yards (241).  

Next Week: Valley City State hosts rival University of Jamestown on Saturday, Sept. 16, at 1 p.m. Hastings College is off next week and then starts conference play Sept. 23 at Dakota Wesleyan.