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The first meet of the season for the UND men's and women's cross country teams went as expected. "It was a good starting point," UND coach Dick Clay said. "We'll go from there." The finish line for Sioux cross country, however, won't change at the end of the season. UND will host the Great West Conference meet on Oct.
UND entered its season opener against Drake with questions at quarterback. The Sioux depth at a few other positions posed some questions as well. Not all the questions were answered. But the Sioux still earned a passing grade against Drake, beating the Bulldogs 16-0 on Thursday night before 8,484 fans at the Alerus Center. For the first time in three seasons, the Sioux won their first game. And UND still hasn't dropped a home opener since 1986. The win, however, had its up and down moments. Joey Bradley's debut at quarterback was efficient and the Sioux defense pitched a shutout.
As debuts go, it wasn't a show-stopper. But it was a win. And that was all that mattered to UND's Joey Bradley, who started his first game at quarterback Thursday night in leading the Sioux to a 16-0 victory over Drake at the Alerus Center. The junior college transfer from California ran an efficient Sioux offense, one that relied on Mitch Sutton's running and a short-passing game. The only drawback was a rash of penalties that hindered the Sioux most of the night.
Drake at UND When: 7 p.m. When: Alerus Center. Records: UND 0-0 (3-8 last year); Drake 0-0 (7-4 last year). Team website: www.fightingsioux.com On the radio/TV: The Fox (96.1 FM), Jack Michaels play-by-play; Mike Berg analyst; Todd Shirek sideline; FSSN (Channel 323 GF), Pat Sweeney play-by-play; Mac Schneider analyst. TV coaches show: Sioux Sports Extra, Sundays, 10:35 p.m., WDAY (Channel 8, GF). Coaches show: The Fan (1440 AM), WDAY (970 AM), Wednesdays, 6:30 p.m.
Joey Bradley's introduction to North Dakota came through the movie "Fargo." Ironically, it also came on the day he first heard about UND football. Less than a year ago, UND was not on Joey Bradley's radar. Far from it. But things changed quickly and now Bradley -- the starting Sioux quarterback -- finds himself in the spotlight tonight in UND season opener against Drake at the Alerus Center. The path to UND began shortly after the Diablo Valley College football player attended his film class late last fall in Pleasant Hill, Calif.
No UND player has been on the field more in the last three seasons than Dominique Hawkins. He's been UND's top cornerback and has played on virtually all of the Sioux special teams. In a sense, however, Hawkins had to start over for his senior season. He's been moved to safety, where he'll start Thursday night against Drake in UND's season opener. The move was made to help bolster the depth at safety. "I feel that the transition has gone well," Hawkins said. "I feel comfortable back there with the other safeties. I'll be a little nervous at first.
Last season, UND linebacker Dan Hendrickson wanted to play on every down. He also relished his role on the kickoff team as well, delivering a handful of bone-crunching hits. The Sioux inside linebacker was UND's biggest playmaker on defense, leading the Sioux with 78 tackles -- eight of them for lost yardage. Hendrickson again figures to be one of UND's biggest playmakers as the Sioux open their season Thursday night against Drake. His aggressiveness and versatility, however, may play an even bigger role for the Sioux during their first two weeks of the 2011 season.
There is no doubt that junior Mitch Sutton will be the starting tailback for UND when the Sioux open the season Thursday night against Drake. Sutton, the 2009 Great West Conference rookie of the year, is projected to be UND's go-to back. And sophomore Jake Miller, who played as a true freshman, will be Sutton's backup. The No. 3 running back on the Sioux depth chart, however, is still up in the air. But true freshman Jer Garman is making a strong case to end any doubt about the position. "It's a battle not a lot of people are talking about," UND coach Chris Mussman said of the No.
For the first 10 laps, Mark Dobmeier -- surprisingly -- was not guaranteed another win. Chris Shirek and Wade Nygaard had the cars to beat. "Chris and Wade definitely were the best two cars at the beginning of the race," Dobmeier said. But, as usual, Dobmeier was the car to beat at the end. Dobmeier inherited the lead with 15 laps to go, then cruised to another sprint win Friday night before an estimated 2,000 fans at River Cities Speedway during the track's season championship. It was Dobmeier's 14th win of the season. Dobmeier took over when Nygaard slid off Turn 2. Before his No.
With River Cities Speedway's fourth major night of racing in the rear-view mirror, the track looks ahead to the season's final big show -- the fifth annual John Seitz Memorial Late Model Invitational. The Seitz invitational is scheduled for Sept.