by Turner Blaufuss
With another year of Dragon football in the books, a pair of junior playmakers on the MSUM offense were named first team All-Conference NSIC North. Wide receiver Adam Jiskra and running back Zayne Medhaug turned in memorable seasons that rewrote the record books for the Dragons.
Jiskra was the lone first-teamer on the All-Conference team last season and once again eclipsed 1,000 yards receiving. The versatile receiver set the Dragons’ all-time receiving mark with 2,670 yards this season.
“I didn’t think I’d become the all-time leader in receiving this soon. I was just trying to be the best I could be,” Jiskra said. “I think with my season people could feed off what I do and that helps our team get better.”
Medhaug had his best season as a Dragon as he became the first MSUM back to go over the thousand-yard mark since 1999. Medhaug finished the year with 1,127 yards and 21 total touchdowns. The third-year Dragon also became the first Moorhead player to score six touchdowns in a contest.
“The six touchdowns are still crazy to me, but I knew I could run for a thousand and I just had to prove it. Next year I’ll have to prove it again to show it wasn’t a fluke,” Medhaug said.
Both players contributed to the 13 records MSUM broke this season. The Dragons broke the single game yardage record twice (709, 711) and also put up the most total points (393) and yards in a season (5,694) by an MSUM team. Jiskra and Medhaug both recognize their recent accolades wouldn’t be possible without the rest of the offense.
“It’s an individual award, but it’s obviously not just me,” Jiskra said. “The offensive line has to buy time and the quarterback has to throw a good ball and they played great this year. It’s an individual award, but those guys deserve a lot of credit.”
The record-setting Dragons gave not only their teammates and coaching staff plenty of praise, but also each other. The standouts know their successes go hand-in-hand.
“Toward the end of the season there’d only be four or five guys in the box and that helped Zayne out. Whenever he did well they’d load the box and it would be easier for me to get open. The coaches do a pretty good job of balancing it out,” Jiskra said.
“(Jiskra) had another phenomenal year. He’s one of the best, if not the best receiver in our conference and he proved it again,” Medhaug said. “A lot of teams will just focus on our passing game and I’ll get plenty of yards because they’ll drop a lot of guys into coverage.”
Both of the Moorhead stars have become team leaders. After being thrust into contributing roles their freshman season, Jiskra and Medhaug have taken younger players under their wing.
“There’s a good freshman receiver, Damon Gibson, and I hope he can learn from me and get better. My goal is to help our team get better at the wide receiver position,” Jiskra said.
“The other guys will ask me questions and I’ll tell them what I’ve learned and we try to be the best running back group we can be,” Medhaug said.
The Dragons have taken big steps in their program in the last couple years, and after closing out the season with three straight wins MSUM looks to build off of it.
“It helps with the program because it shows the progress we’ve made. We’re not a team that gets blown out every week anymore. We can win close games and blow teams out too,” Medhaug said.
Quarterback Jake Hodge, offensive lineman Kasey Groettum, defensive back Abe Roehrich and defensive lineman Jake Busse were named to the All-Conference Honorable Mention team.