Dakota Starts 2020 Season With 29-20 Win Over Chippewa Valley

Matthew Merrifield, Sports Writer

Last Friday, Dakota opened their 2020 season with a 29-20 victory over district rival Chippewa Valley. Dakota started off quick, taking a 13-0 lead early in the first quarter, however, special teams mistakes by Dakota allowed Chippewa to keep it close. Dakota relied heavily on the run game, with junior, Caiden Sloan getting a majority of the work. Sloan had 23 carries for 101 yards and three touchdowns. Senior, DJ Stepney had just 9 carries for 85 yards, but he came through on defense with two interceptions, including a pick-6 on the final play to seal the victory. Dakota’s defense stepped up and made some big stops down the stretch and forced three turnovers during the game, two interceptions by Stepney and a fumble recovery by junior, Jayden Giles. Senior, kicker Kollin Kralapp came through when it mattered most for the cougars, hitting a 39-yard field goal with 1:06 left in the game to give Dakota a three-point lead, and eventually the win.

This win was crucial for Dakota to win the MAC Red this year especially due to the shortened season, but it also means a lot for the program as it was Dakota’s first regular season win against Chippewa Valley since 2015. Dakota’s next matchup won’t get any easier this week, as they face off against Sterling Heights Stevenson at home on Friday at 7:00 p.m. Dakota will look to redeem themselves after their heartbreaking 38-35 loss to Stevenson last year in the playoffs.