Seasons come and go and things often change drastically. This couldn’t be more true between 2018 and 2019. Last year the Dakota Indians met the Stockton Blackhawks in the first round of the playoffs and won with ease, 48-8. This year the Dakota Indians needed a win to keep their playoff hopes alive.
Stockton received the opening kick and didn’t take long to deliver the first punch of the night. After gains of 14 and 13 by Jason Hermann, it was a 30 yard touchdown run by Hunter Hille that would get the Blackhawks on the board with 8:09 remaining in the first. Dakota struggled to move the ball effectively in the first half due in part to the dominating performance by the Blackhawk line. Dakota would manage just two first downs in the half.
Stockton had no trouble moving the ball and finding huge holes for Hermann who ran for 186 yards on 34 carries. It was after a Dakota turnover, Stockton would find themselves knocking on the door from the Dakota 33 and just two plays later, the endzone off a 6 yard run by Jaden Rice making the score 14-0 Stockton.
Stockton would out gain the Indians 228- 46 in the first half and never looked back. While the defense for the Indians tightened up in the second half, the offense was never able to establish a rhythm.
The Blackhawks were led offensively by Jason Hermann, who had 186 yards in 34 carries. Garrett Buske was 3-8 for 55 yards. Andrew Haas added two interceptions for Stockton.
The Indians were led on the ground by Evan Riggle who had 27 yards on 9 carries. Josh Clark was 6-14 for 85 yards. Clark also added an interception on defense.
Stockton advances to the playoffs with a record of 6-3 and awaits the announcement of their first round opponent. Tune in tomorrow at 7:30 to our live broadcast of our annual playoff show.