One week after the Bulldogs made history by hosting their first home playoff game in school history, Bowman County is re-writing the history books once again.
By Chris Slone
This time, despite battling a wind advisory and a 16-0 first-quarter hole, the Bulldogs were left celebrating another historic moment — their first victory in the quarterfinals in school history.
As the clock hit zero and Corbin Massey was crossing the goal line for a meaningless, yet celebratory touchdown, Bowman County found itself in the semifinals with a 26-6 victory over the previously one-loss Velva Aggies.
“This is our goal. This is what we talked about 10 or 11 months ago at our fall sports banquet,” Bulldogs Head Coach Todd Frie said. “We talked about playing November football. I know I said that before in newspaper articles, but here we are. We’re playing football in November. To be down 16-0 against a team like that, and to fight through that and to comeback, I’m just so proud of these guys.”
Velva took an early lead after Jersey Selzer connected with Hayden Lee on a 54-yard touchdown strike on the first play of the game. After the first quarter, the Aggies had a commanding 16-0 lead.
Adam Powell got the Bulldogs on the board in the second quarter on a 1-yard touchdown run. Bowman County (10-0, 7-0) still trailed 16-6 after a failed two-point conversion.
“We didn’t run the football well at all today,” Frie said. “We got beat up front several times today and our line is well aware of that. It came down to a couple of big plays. That catch by sophomore Caleb Duffield right before the half was huge. When you had the wind, you had to use it. We knew it would be tough to throw into the wind. But our game plan changed as the game went along. We had to keep adjusting and that’s what makes coaching a challenge.”
Duffield caught a 27-yard pass down the right sideline from Jacob Svihovec with 25 ticks left before the intermission.
“That set us up to get the ball the second half and hopefully go into the wind and drive the ball,” Frie said. “When you get into the wind like we were, even getting a couple of first downs was big. Matt Osendorf did a heck of a job today punting into the wind. Several times today, he had 25 or 30-yard punts, and that’s huge — that’s two or three first downs they wouldn’t have had to get if we would have gone for it. It was just a total team effort.”
Bowman County kept the game scoreless in the third quarter as the Bulldogs had to go into the wind. That defensive effort gave Bowman the opportunity to control the game in the fourth with the wind at its back.
Midway through the final quarter, Svihovec found the end zone from 10 yards away. That score gave the Bulldogs a 20-16 lead. On the final play of the game, with Velva deep in its own territory, Selzler threw a desperate pass, which was picked off and returned for a touchdown by Massie to begin the celebrations.
With the victory and Langdon’s victory over Kindred, Bowman will travel to Langdon Saturday. Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m.
“We knew if we won and they won, that’s where we’d be,” Frie said. “They are an outstanding football team. They were a state runner up last year and they were young last year. They had a lot of talent and a lot of underclassmen on that team, so for them to be where they’re at doesn’t surprise me at all.”
Velva — Lee 64 yd pass from Selzier (conversion good); 11:46
Velva — Floerence 8 yd pass from Selzier (conversion good); 1:32
Bowman — Powell 1 yd run (conversion no good); 9:20
Bowman — Duffield 27 yd pass from Svihovec (Fischer kick); :25
Bowman — Svihovec 10 yd run (Fischer kick); 6:46
Bowman — Massey INT return; 0:00
Rushing — Vevla: Florence 29-87, Frankl 3-7, Fahy 4-6, Selzler 4-(-9); Bowman: Svihovec 17-76, Powell 17-60, Madrigal 3-8, Ortiz 1-0.
Passing — Velva: Selzler 7-16-94; Bowman: Svihovec 2-10-45.
Receiving — Velva: Lee 3-78, Florence 2-13, Fahy 1-3, Frankl 1-0; Bowman: Duffield 1-27, Ortiz 1-18.
Velva 8-2 (6-1); Bowman County 10-0 (7-0).