In a matchup of undefeated rivals, the Hazen Bison came out on top over the Killdeer Cowboys, ending Killdeer’s chances of getting home field advantage throughout the playoffs.
By COLE BENZ
For the DC Herald
Hazen came into the game ranked number one in the state for Division 1A and coming off back-to-back state championships. The Cowboys, though, are also highly ranked, coming into the game at number 3 in the state.
According to Killdeer Athletic Director Logan Midthun, the Cowboys were hurt by three big plays.
“It was a pretty tightly contested game,” Midthun said. “Hazen had three big offensive plays that kind of killed us.”
The first big play by Hazen came on the very first drive as Connor Doll kept the ball and ran it in from the one yard line for the score.
As the first half was coming to an end, the Cowboys were down 14-0. With roughly 40 seconds left in the first half, Killdeer scored with 3-yard touchdown pass from Trenton Rohr to Dillan Jepson. With very little time left on the clock before half time, Hazen stuck the dagger in Killdeer’s defense. Doll threw to Hunter Steffen, Steffen then ran it 62 yards for the score, ending the half with a score of 21-6 in favor of the Bison.
Each team was held scoreless in the third quarter, but after Lewis Dobitz of Killdeer ran it in from nine yards, Doll had a 71-yard burst for another score, that put Hazen in front with a healthy lead. A safety by Killdeer around the 6:45 mark of the final quarter got the Cowboys closer, but the Cowboys couldn’t muster up anymore scoring, and fell 27-16.
Hazen used its most prime asset to give Killdeer its first loss, their defense.
“That’s what they hang their hat on,” Midthun said. “Hazen always has a well disciplined defense.”
Though the Bison held the Cowboys to under 20 points, Midthun said Killdeer’s offense performed well.
“Our offense played really well,” Midthun said. “Our offense moved the ball really well against them.”
Given that Hazen game into the game on a 28-game winning streak, the stats show Killdeer stayed with them throughout the contest.
As the playoffs open, Killdeer starts tournament play on Saturday, Oct. 25 at 1:30 p.m. at the Cowboy’s home field. Their opening matchup is against Harvey.
If fans want to get another peak at another marquee matchup between rivals Killdeer and Hazen, both teams will have to advance to the state semifinals, which is the earliest the two could see each other according to Midthun.
That game, if both teams make it that far, will be at Hazen.