The red-hot Valley City State football team is back on the road this weekend, taking their 6-0 record and No. 15 national ranking to Madison, S.D.
The Vikings square off with Dakota State University on Saturday at 4 p.m. VCSU currently leads the North Star Athletic Association with a 4-0 conference record and a 6-0 overall mark. Dakota State is 3-3 overall and 2-2 in conference play.
Although their record is unblemished all season, the Vikings have been especially good the last two weeks. VCSU has outscored its opponents 93-10 over the last eight quarters of play, handily defeating both Mayville State and Presentation College.
Valley City radio coverage for Saturday's game can be heard on KOVC 1490 AM/96.3 FM and online at www.newsdakota.com. Dakota State University will produce a live video stream and live stats at the link below.
IF YOU GO
Saturday's kickoff is at 4 p.m. from Dakota State University's campus in Madison, S.D. Admission is $8 for adults and $5 for students, senior citizens and VCSU college students with a campus ID.
Valley City State is 24-3 against Dakota State in Dennis McCulloch's 25 seasons as head coach of the Vikings. VCSU has won the last four meetings and is 14-1 over the last 15 contests.
VCSU COACHES CLOSING ON MILESTONE
VCSU head coach Dennis McCulloch is just one win away from reaching 150 career wins at VCSU. McCulloch is in his 25th season leading the Vikings and ranks sixth among active NAIA coaches with 149 career wins. Assistant head coach Gregg Horner and linebackers coach Dave Rausch have been a part of all 149 wins.
DEFENSE LEADS NATION IN INTERCEPTIONS
Valley City State's defense ranks first in the nation in total interceptions, picking off 12 passes so far this season. The Vikings also rank fifth in the nation in points allowed, giving up just 11.7 points per game, and are fourth in rushing yards allowed (57.5/game). In five games against NAIA competition, the Viking defense has given up just four offensive touchdowns.
PFEIFER BECOMES ALL-TIME PASSING LEADER AT VCSU
Jalen Pfeifer became the VCSU all-time passing leader during Saturday's win at Presentation College. Pfeifer has now passed for 8,809 career yards, surpassing the record previously held by Kurtis Walls. Pfeifer is also responsible for the most touchdowns in Vikings history, playing a part in 92 touchdowns (74 passing, 18 rushing) during his Viking career.
VCSU LAST WEEK
A delayed start did not slow down the nationally-ranked Valley City State football team on Oct. 9. After kicking off 90 minutes later than scheduled due to heavy rain and storms earlier in the day, the Vikings needed less than 16 minutes of play to decide their game at Presentation College. A pair of defensive touchdowns and a record-setting day by quarterback Jalen Pfeifer carried the Vikings to a 44-10 victory over the Saints. Martin Jones returned an interception 75 yards for a touchdown, and Ashton Raquino returned a fumble 35 yards for a score as VCSU built a 28-0 lead just 12 seconds into the second quarter.
DAKOTA STATE SO FAR
Dakota State University is 3-3 overall and 2-2 in conference play this season. The Trojans defeated Presentation College (40-13) and Mayville State (20-16) and lost their last two games to Waldorf University (26-21) and Dickinson State (34-14).
VCSU Offense: 32.3 pts/game, 399 yards/game (130 rushing, 268 passing)
Dakota State Offense: 20.3 pts/game, 270 yards/game (99 rush, 171 pass)
VCSU Defense: 11.7 pts/game allowed, 276 yards/game (58 rush, 218 pass)
Dakota State Defense: 21.8 pts/game allowed, 316 yards/game (130 rush, 186 pass)
Valley City State is ranked No. 15 in the latest NAIA Top 25 Poll released on Monday. It is VCSU's highest ranking since Sept. 21, 2015, when the Vikings were also ranked No. 15. A new poll will be released weekly through the end of the season. The NSAA conference champion must be ranked in the Top 20 to receive an automatic bid into the 16-team playoffs.