By Tom Mix
NDHSAA Media Specialist
FARGO – For the second time in three seasons, the Kindred football team is celebrating an NDHSAA state championship.
Kindred defeated Dickinson Trinity 36-7 in the NDHSAA Division A state title game on Friday, November 10 at the FARGODOME during Dakota Bowl XXXI.
Both Kindred (12-0) and Dickinson Trinity (12-1) entered the 2023 NDHSAA Division A state football playoffs as a seeded region champion. The Vikings held the No. 2 seed and Trinity held the No. 4 seed.
Trinity defeated defending state champion and 2023 Division A, No. 1 seed Velva/Drake-Anamoose/Garrison in the semifinals last week to set up the meeting with the Vikings, who won a football state title in 2021.
On Friday, Kindred took control early, getting a big spark on defense when junior quarterback/linebacker Jake Starcevic returned an interception 48 yards for a touchdown in the first quarter.
Starcevic would also play a big role on the offensive side of the ball for the Vikings. In total Starcevic accounted for three of the Vikings’ five scores in the game adding two rushing touchdowns to his pick-six score earlier in the game.
Starcevic’s third touchdown – a 13-yard rushing touchdown in the fourth quarter – put the Vikings up 36-0.
Trinity scored later in the fourth quarter on a one-yard rush from senior running back Ty Dassinger.
Starcevic finished the game with 117 yards rushing.
Freshman Luke Starcevic caught two passes for 22 yards including a 14-yard touchdown throw from fellow freshman Brooks Bakko.
Kindred junior running back Tyson Johnson added 67 yards on the ground and also scored a touchdown.