Tritons host Dakota College

After finding tough sledding in its 2013 opener a week ago, the Iowa Central football team will look to right the ship here today.

Stepping out of league play, the Tritons (0-1 overall) will host Dakota College (1-0).

Kickoff is set for noon inside Dodger Stadium.

Last Saturday, Iowa Central dropped a lopsided 62-10 decision at defending NJCAA national champion and then-No. 4 Iowa Western, marking the fourth straight loss in the head-to-head series for the Tritons.

“Our guys were all jacked up for that first game last week, and there’s no question we got embarrassed,” ICCC head coach Kevin Twait said. “It was just a real difficult loss for us all the way around. We couldn’t stop (the Reivers) and didn’t capitalize in the redzone, either. We got back to the basics of blocking and tackling, though, and had a good week of practice in preparation for (the Lumberjacks).”

Despite committing four turnovers and being held in check by Iowa Western, the Tritons still managed 305 yards of total offense, including 202 on the ground. Kendall Jackson sparked Iowa Central with 53 yards rushing and a touchdown on 18 carries.

Quarterback Desmond Van Arsdale of the Tritons also went 6 of 14 passing for 79 yards. Trentan Bledsoe was the top receiver, pulling down five catches for 80 yards. Kicker Nathan Criswell added a 24-yard field goal and PAT.

On the defensive side of the ball, Iowa Central was gashed by the Reivers for 686 yards of combined offense – 380 rushing and 306 passing. Ethan Herren posted a team-high seven tackles for the Tritons, while D’Shawn Dexter notched a sack and Dan Williams recovered a fumble.

Dakota College, which is located in Bottineau, ND, earned a 20-6 home victory over in-state rival Trinity Bible in its season debut back on Aug. 24. Signal-caller Shazzon Mumphrey, an Iowa Central transfer, went 18-for-36 through the air for 207 yards, with a score and a pick. Delgwan Jackson was his favorite target, hauling in four receptions for 63 yards. The Lumberjacks were limited to just 11 yards rushing on 23 attempts.

“Shazzon is a fine athlete that will pose us some problems with both his arm and legs,” said Twait. “We’re expecting a lot of shotgun (offensive formation) with an empty backfield. (Dakota College) likes to throw the ball all over the yard.”

Iowa Central has prevailed in the three previous all-time meetings (2009, ’10 and ’12) with the Lumberjacks, outscoring the green and white by a whopping combined margin of 180-14. Last fall, the Tritons thumped Dakota College by a 57-7 final. The Lumberjacks are in just their sixth year of existence as an NJCAA independent.