ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Bison freshman quarterback Lance making most of time studying under Stick

FARGO -- It was early Monday morning, around 7, when North Dakota State head football coach Chris Klieman saw his starting quarterback in the Bison football locker room complex. Easton Stick was studying the Youngstown State defense.

We are part of The Trust Project.

FARGO -- It was early Monday morning, around 7, when North Dakota State head football coach Chris Klieman saw his starting quarterback in the Bison football locker room complex. Easton Stick was studying the Youngstown State defense.

Klieman and Stick talked for a little over an hour at about 9 a.m.

"I went down there at noon and he's still dissecting the game plan, dissecting what Youngstown is doing," Klieman said. "His preparation is phenomenal."

That preparation is something true freshman quarterback Trey Lance has noticed this season. He arrived on campus in June from Marshall, Minn., with limited playbook knowledge, like any other high school quarterback. In fall practice in August, he was still learning the footwork of being under center. At Marshall High School, he operated mostly in the shotgun formation.

"I'm learning new stuff every day, especially from Easton," Lance said. "There's a limitless amount of information in his head it seems like."

ADVERTISEMENT

Klieman revealed this week that Lance and redshirt freshman Holden Hotchkiss are taking the same number of practice snaps as the No. 2 quarterback. That would represent a promotion for Lance as the No. 1-ranked Bison get ready to take on Youngstown State in Missouri Valley Football Conference play Saturday afternoon at Gate City Bank Field at the Fargodome.

Lance played the fourth quarter last week in the 59-14 blowout win at the University of South Dakota. Klieman said that decision was made during the course of the second half in consultation with quarterbacks coach Randy Hedberg and offensive coordinator Courtney Messingham, when it appeared the Bison had the game in hand.

"We decided collectively that this would be a great time for him to get a little more experience," Klieman said.

It was Lance's second appearance this season. NDSU is using the new NCAA rule that allows a player who hasn't redshirted up to four games without losing a season of eligibility. The Bison are hoping Lance won't go past the four.

Lance said he's not worried about that rule, saying he prepares each week like he's going to play. The week starts for all four quarterbacks -- Stick, Lance, Hotchkiss and Noah Sanders -- at 7:30 a.m. Monday when they go over the previous game and the next Saturday's opponent.

Lance, Hotchkiss and Sanders leave for class at some point. Stick, who has already graduated and is taking classes toward a master's degree, has a lighter class schedule so he'll stay around.

"We just go through every play, little detail stuff that he notices that we don't pick up on, or would even think of picking up on," Lance said. "He's been through it for five years and in the Valley those opponents that he's really familiar with. Youngstown, for example, is one of the best teams we play schematically in the Valley. I could never have imagined the film study, the mental side of the game. It's a completely different game from high school for sure."

The 6-foot-3, 215-pound Lance has been productive in his limited playing time. He has 82 yards and two touchdowns on eight carries, including a 23-yard run last week when he fumbled the center snap, picked it up, saw a big hole and scored. Lance said it should have been running back Adam Cofield's six points.

ADVERTISEMENT

"The offensive line did a great job blocking, he would have scored untouched," Lance said.

Later in the quarter, Lance got in-game kudos from his sideline, especially Stick, when he turned into a lead blocker on a running play. It was a play the quarterbacks probably don't see often in their early Monday morning think-tank sessions.

"Those three are down there being a sponge to Easton," Klieman said. "That's great for our program and great for those guys to be able to listen to Easton, bounce things off of him so they feel more comfortable when their time does come."

 

UP NEXT

Who: Youngstown State at NDSU

When: 2:30 p.m. Saturday

Where: Gate City Bank Field, Fargodome

ADVERTISEMENT

TV: KVLY (NBC Network)

What To Read Next
Featuring prep basketball results from throughout the region, boys and girls hockey scores, area college basketball conference standings, and much more!
Featuring area prep hockey results, boys and girls basketball scores, local boys wrestling results, and much more!
Hull was a five-time 50-goal scorer, led the NHL in goalscoring seven times, twice won the Hart Trophy and was voted a First-Team All-Star on the left wing 10 times.
Featuring men's and women's tennis results, area college basketball conference standings, and much more!