Cowboys struggle in season opener

Killdeer looks to rebound

in home opener tonight

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Killdeer’s Hoyt Zander and Alex Sadowsky team up to tackle a Dickinson Trinity runner in the season opener at Dickinson State University last week. The Cowboys will host Des Lacs-Burlington at 6 tonight. (Photo by Jurann Johnson)

DICKINSON – Entering Thursday night’s season opener against Dickinson Trinity, there were two questions. Would Killdeer find an offensive playmaker with Dillan Jepson hurt? And how would Alex Sadowsky’s quarterback debut go?

Killdeer didn’t find a consistent playmaker and Sawdowsky struggled connecting with his receivers, going 5-for-15 passing. Trinity won the game 32-8 at Dickinson State University.

The game started with costly mistakes for Killdeer.

Trinity senior running back Dawson Kram ran the first carry of the game in for a 59-yard touchdown. They missed the extra point attempt because of a bad snap.

Killdeer’s first drive lacked execution. It started with a fumble and a four-yard loss at the 30-yard line, followed by a penalty and missed plays, which forced the Cowboys to punt.

Killdeer’s defense forced a 3-and-out, highlighted by two forceful tackles on run plays. The defensive stand gave the Cowboys a shot of momentum, it was doused when Sadowsky fumbled on a third-down play while he was struggling for extra yardage at the 42-yard line.

Trinity took advantage of the turnover when Kram scored on a 47-yard run at the 4:02 mark in the opening period. A successful two-point conversion made the score 14-0.

Trinity made only one mistake in the quarter – fumbling the ball. But Killdeer couldn’t take advantage.

The Titans came up with another big play early in the second period when quarterback Lucas Jones hooked up with Noah Sickler for a 41-yard touchdown pass. Trinity missed the extra point attempt, but held a comfortable 20-0 lead.

Later in the period, Trinity put together a methodical 60-yard drive that culminated on a nifty 15-yard run by Kaden Kuntz, which featured a lot of jukes and missed tackles. Kuntz’s run gave Trinity a 26-0 lead.

Things continued to unravel for the Cowboys when Garrett LeMiuex fumbled after making a catch and Noah Sickler returned the ball 40 yards for a touchdown, that made the score 32-0.

The second half was better for Killdeer. The Cowboys didn’t give up any big plays and eliminated their mistakes, and avoided a shutout when Sadowsky completed a 12-yard scoring strike to LeMieux, before running in the two-point conversion in the fourth quarter.

“Our offensive line needs to play better. So, we have to get some first downs. Overall our guys who are touching and taking care of the football need to take care of the football. That didn’t happen the first half, second half we played better – we did,” said Killdeer head coach Lewis Dobitz said.

“We talked about some things at half time to get better. They did play better. Defensively, especially in the second half, we played better but overall we played better.

The Cowboys’ struggles in the first half were evident, and Dobitz said there were many mistakes and pointed to youth and inexperience as two keys for the team’s struggles.

“There was many things poor tackling, kids out of position. Young guys because of that, they are still learning and two of the kids on defense are brand new. We are going to learn,” Dobitz said.

Killdeer will try to improve its execution tonight when the Cowboys host Des Lacs-Burlington, whcih comes in after posting a 33-32 victory over Stanley/Powers Lake last week.

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