Three weeks ago, Dillan Jepson stood on the sidelines in street clothes at Dickinson State University with an ankle injury watching helplessly as Dickinson Trinity dominated his team in the season opener.
My, have things changed.
The senior running back got better. As soon as he shed his walking boot, he started shedding would-be tacklers and the Cowboys’ ground game started running on all cylinders.
Just ask previously undefeated Lewis&Clark/Our Redeemer football team.
Jepson ran for 189 yards and three touchdowns on runs of 30, 10 and 20 yards and scored another on a 29-yard pass play from Alex Sadowsky as the Cowboys routed Lewis&Clark/Our Redeemer 40-13 on the road.
The Cowboys improved to 2-1 after that opening loss to Trinity and they handed the Lewis&Clark/Our Redeemer its first loss of the season.
“He’s a good kid to have back there,” said Killdeer head coach Lou Dobitz.
Indeed. In the past two game, Jepson has run around and through two stout defenses to the tune of 342 yards and four touchdowns.
But Dobitz was quick to point out that Jepson’s success is the result of outstanding blocking. The Cowboys have dominated the line of scrimmage, opening up huge holes for Jepson and others to run through.
The Cowboys rushed for 305 yards and had 402 yards in total offense. And on defense, the Cowboys were just as dominant, holding Lewis&Clark/Our Redeemer to 97 yards in total offense and three first downs.
“Our line play – both offense and defense – has been really good,” Dobitz said. “We’re still learning.”
Now it’s on to Region 4 play when the Cowboys travel to Standing Rock on Friday. Standing Rock is winless this season and have been outscored 120-0.
Still, the Standing Rock Community High School deserves respect, Dobitz said.
“We just have to focus on doing the things we do well,” Dobitz said. “I want to make sure we have our guys ready to play a great game, regardless of who we’re playing.”
The Cowboys certainly played a great game against Lewis&Clark Our Redeemer.
After the Lewis&Clark/Our Redeemer scored on the first play from scrimmage – a 74-yard run by Alex Nelson – the Cowboys took over.
On its first possession, the Cowboys methodically marched down the field and Jepson punctuated it with a 35-yard scamper for a touchdown.
“We answered them and that was good for our kids,” Dobitz said.
Lewis&Clark/Our Redeemer had no answer for the Cowboys after that.
In the second period, pinned deep in their own end of the field, Jepson broke for a 50-yard run on a third-and-12 play that set up an eight-yard scoring run by Cole Dukart.
Killdeer put the game away in the final 40 seconds of the half when the Cowboys scored two touchdowns. Jepson scored from 10 yards out with 40 seconds remaining, and then seconds later Garret LeMieux returned an interception 20 yards for a touchdown.
Trailing 27-7 in the third quarter, Lewis&Clark/Our Redeemer cut into the lead when Cody Hamilton picked off a pass by Sadowsky and returned it 35 yards for a touchdown.
The home team’s excitement was short lived, however.
Jepson made sure of it, rambling 20 yards for his third touchdown and then caught a pass from Sadowsky for a 29-yard score that sealed the deal late in the period.