By Brad Mosher
The Cowboys scored first with a touchdown in the first quarter with John Tomjack going in from the three yard line.
The visiting Titans turned a Cowboy turnover in the second quarter into six points with just over eight minutes left in the first half.
After a fumble in Killdeer territory set the Titans up with a short field with just over nine minutes left in the first half, the visitors turned to the air.
The Titans passed their way downfield with senior Bryant Merry catching the ball over the middle just inside the goal line for an 11-yard touchdown.
But Keith Dukart prevented the Titans from tying the game when he blocked the extra point attempt.
The Cowboys maintained the narrow 7-6 advantage through halftime.
But halfway through the third quarter, the Titans hit the scoreboard again to take the lead for the first time in the game.
On a fourth down play from the 12 yard line, Titan quarterback Jake Daniel hit for another passing touchdown with 6:18 left, but moments later missed on a pass for a conversion.
The Cowboys responded with a long drive downfield, ending with Andersen diving in for a touchdown with nine seconds left in the quarter.
Fernando Sandoval added the extra point, giving the hosts a 14-12 lead going into the fourth quarter.
With 9:39 left in the fourth quarter, Andersen hit Gabe Magee in the end zone for another touchdown. The lead expanded to 21-12 with the extra point by Sandoval.
The Titans came right back on the next possession with Carter Ehlis running the ball from the Titan 33 yard line and nearly breaking free for a touchdown.
Only Dawson Schneider was able to stop the run at the Killdeer 19, about 48 yards later.
A penalty against the Cowboys moved the ball halfway to the goal, setting the Titans with a first and 10 at the 11 yard line.
The Titans missed on four straight passes into the end zone, byt the closest the visitors came to scoring was when Daniel hit tight end Nick Deschamp inside the one, but Killdeer’s Andersen stripped the ball away.
Dukart broke up the final attempt in the end zone, forcing the Titans to turn the ball over to the Cowboys at the 10 yard line.
A big run by Tomjack gave the Cowboys some breathing room before Killdeer had to punt.
Then a defensive stand forced the Titans to turn the ball over on downs at their own 42-yard line with just under five minutes left.
The Cowboys kept grinding down the clock toward a victory that head coach Andrew Cook called historic after the game.
Even more important, the coach said, it put the team in control of its own destiny.
“They were two fairly evenly matched teams. We got to play this at home and that mattered a lot,” Cook said.
“Our kids showed up to play. We talked all week about how our season came down to this. There is nothing after this.
“We have Richardton next week, but that was never the focus,” the coach said after Friday’s win.
“The offensive line showed up and played wonderful. The kids are buying into what we are doing,” he said.
Cook also praised the defense for coming up with key stops, especially when the Titans were deep inside Killdeer territory.