The Killdeer Cowboys are close to heading back to the Dakota Bowl for the second consecutive year and last week’s 1A state quarterfinal home game against Westhope-Newburge-Glenburn didn’t seem like much of a challenge.
By Jarann Johnson
For the DC Herald
Killdeer started the game strongly with a 35-0 lead and won by a final score of 43-0.
Killdeer opened the game doing what they have become well known this season, running the ball and being physical. Killdeer marched 65 yards on 12 consecutive running plays for a touchdown.
The touchdown run was an 11-yard run by senior running back Derek Tabor. Tabor broke one tackle inside the 5-yard line with a spin move on the touchdown run.
Killdeer Head Coach Lewis Dobitz talked about the importance of the first drive. Our first possession was a big one because we converted on a fourth down and then actually went in for a touchdown Derek Tabor scored that first touchdown. In that drive we had some big plays. It was a the first drive of the game but a big thing for us because we were going into the wind. We ran the ball well and scored, Dobitz said.
The Killdeer defense was also ready for their first action of the game, as well, and stopped Westhope-Newburg- Glenburn’s first offensive possession of the game. Killdeer got the ball back and was met in terms of physicality on their second offensive drive of the game.
Westhope forced Killdeer to punt but ran into senior punter Hayes LeMieux, giving Killdeer a new set of downs. Killdeer took advantage of the extra downs and Westhope continued to struggled with discipline.
LeMieux ran for a 15- gain on a quarterback keeper, but was pulled down by an illegal face mask, a penalty, which moved the ball into the red zone at the 20-yard line. A short while later senior full back Zeb Doe bulled, banged and bashed his way into the end zone on a 16-yard run up the middle of the defense.
Senior kicker Dillan Jepson’s extra-point was blocked, leaving Killdeer’s lead at 13-0. Westhope looked better on their third offensive possession of the game but fumbled the ball, giving Killdeer great field position at the 33-yard line.
Westhope’s defense looked close to getting a stop, facing a fourth-and-7, but the Killdeer offense was zoned in. Coach Dobitz called a direct run to the right.
The play worked for an 11-yard gain and put the ball in the red zone at the 20-yard line. The Killdeer offense couldn’t be stopped and LeMieux delivered a 10-yard pass to Jepson, putting Killdeer up 20-0 in the second quarter.
Westhope needed to answer offensively or defensively. Westhope got a defensive stop and was about 10 yards out the red zone but LeMieux wasn’t allowing Westhope to gain any momentum.
LeMieux intercepted a Reece Schell pass and ran it back 85 yards for a touchdown and a 27-0 lead in the second quarter.
On the ensuing kickoff Garrett LeMieux, a sophomore, showed why the apple truly doesn’t fall far from the tree. G. LeMieux, Hayes’ little brother, recovered a fumble and the Killdeer offense didn’t waste time taking advantage.
H. LeMieux ran in a 4-yarder giving Killdeer a 35-0 first half lead. After the game Coach Dobitz talked about what he was thinking when his team jumped out to such a big first half lead.
We’re up 27-0 and they were kind of shocked and I was too because I wasn’t expecting it to be like that. I was really happy and after we got up to the big point difference we just knew we had to manage; take care of the football, and play good defense and for the most part we did, Dobitz said.
Killdeer didn’t let up in the second half and preserved a shutout out win. The final score of the game was 43-0.
Tabor finished with 157 rushing yards and Zeb Doe added 29 rushing yard and two touchdowns to lead the offense. Killdeer will host Velva this Saturday at 1 p.m.
The game will be a postseason rematch of the 2013 state playoffs when Velva came down to the Dickinson State field and defeated Killdeer 27-20 in the opening round of the 1A state playoffs.
Coach Dobitz is pleased with how well his team is playing and said there’s a few thing that would take his team from near perfection to perfection.
We’ve done a good job in the secondary, they have improved a lot. I suppose one thing there, is playing on the balls a little bit better. Again they are young kids, they have done a good job. I guess one other thing is to get everyone completely healthy to play another good game. We are pretty lucky that we have most of our kids healthy. Offensive line needs good work making sure we get everybody taken care of because they can stunt. There’s always things to work we’ll try to do our best, Dobitz said.
Westhope-Newburg- Glenburn 0 vs. Killdeer 42
Wes. 0 0 0 0 00
Kil. 13 21 3 6 043
Kil. Derek Tabor 11 run (Dillon Jepson kick), 8:09
Kil. Zeb Doe 16 run (kick blocked), 1:55
Kil. Jepson 10 pass from Hayes LeMieux (Jepson kick), 9:29
Kil. LeMieux 85 interception return (Jepson kick), 2:34.
Kil. LeMieux 4 run (Jepson kick), :59
Kil. Jepson 30 FG, 5:19
Kil. Doe 10 run (knee), 5:03
Highlights: Derek Tabor 157 rushing yards 1 TD. Hayes LeMieux 1 for 4, 10 yards, 1 TD, 5 rushing yards, 1 rushing TD. Zeb Doe 29 rushing yards, 2 TDs. Team Defense; 3.5 TKFL, 2 Sacks, 5 hurries, 5 passes defended, 1 INT (H. LeMiuex), 1 FR (G. LeMieux).