The following for the Bowman County Bulldogs football team has been fantastic all season, and that did not slow down one bit when the Bulldogs traveled over six hours to take on Langdon-Edmore-Munich in the semifinals of the Class A 11 Man Football Playoffs on Nov. 3.
By Jake Kulland
Special to the Bowman Pioneer
Fans began showing up at the Langdon football field two and a half hours before game time. In an instant classic type of game, the Bulldogs led for much of the contest, but lost 22-19. Bowman County ends the best season in program history with a record of 10-1. The Cardinals advanced to their second straight Dakota Bowl in a rematch with Hillsboro-Central Valley on Nov. 9 at 9:10am.
The game got off to a great start for the Bulldogs, as they scored on their second drive of the game on a great read and run by quarterback Jacob Svihovec, who was bounced an inside run outside and then dashed 42 yards to the end zone to give Bowman County a 6-0 lead.
The score stayed like that until late in the second quarter. The Cardinals turned the ball over twice in the first half on a fumble and a tipped pass interception. But the Bulldogs would find the end zone once again just before halftime on a beautifully executed pass and catch from Svihovec to Caleb Duffield over the middle from 20 to make the score 13-0 at the half.
The Cardinals have shown all year that they can score in a hurry, and they did just that to begin the second half, scoring twice in the third quarter to take a 16-13 lead.
But there was no quit in Bowman County, as they went back down the field using their power running game, with Svilhovec capping the drive with a one yard run to put his team back on top at 19-16.
The play of the game came early in the fourth quarter, when the Bulldogs stopped the Cardinals on a long drive, snuffing it out at the Bowman County 15 yard line. But on the very next play, the short passing game that the Bulldogs ran great all day ending up in Grant Romfo jumping a short pass route and getting an interception and a pick six to give the Cardinals the lead for good. Bowman County had opportunities down the stretch but could only muster three first downs in the game’s final 10 minutes.
After the game we caught up with Bulldogs Head Coach Todd Frie, how had this to say about the game: “We knew coming in that Langdon/Edmore/Munich was a very talented team with plenty of playoff experience. They were last year’s state runner-up and came into the game 10-0 this season. They had won 21 of their previous 22 games and 30 of their last 33. They have good skill position players and lineman that get off of the ball very quick. We came out and played a very good first half to build the 2 score lead. With the type of offense they run, that lead could diminish quickly and it did. They made a couple of big plays to go out in front 16-13. We had to regroup and put something together and our guys did just that going down on a long drive to grad the lead back 19-16 late in the 3rd quarter. A few missed opportunities and turnovers in the 4th quarter were too much to overcome but the guys fought until the very end and left everything on the field. “
About the 14 seniors that played their last football game in Bowman County uniform, Coach Frie said this, “This group of seniors is a very special group. They have matured a lot since I first met them and are turning into fine young men. They are outstanding leaders, hard workers, extremely talented, and role models for the underclassmen on the team and all younger students in the school. We will miss all of them tremendously next season. They went a combined 5-12 their freshman and sophomore years but finished their last 2 seasons 15-4. They have laid the foundation to the future of the program that we are trying to build in Bowman County and have set the bar really high. These players have impacted me for the rest of my life and I could not be more honored and proud to be called their coach.”
And finally, we asked him to recap the Bulldogs magical season: “This was a season for the history books in Bowman County. I have received far too much credit for what has taken place here the last few months. The assistant coaches, Jason Bullis, Nate Kees, Chris Johnson, and Nick Walker need just as much credit as I do. They have put in countless hours of time and effort to make this season possible and I am honored to be able to work with them. The parents/community and fans also deserve credit. They packed the stands at home games and outnumbered the opposing team’s fans when we were on the road. Even this past weekend in Langdon, a 6.5 hour drive for them, our fans outnumbered the hometown crowd by what appeared to be a 3 to 1 ratio. Incredible! The boys fed off of the crowd all season and it helped us comeback from big deficits twice at home against good opponents. The community send-off before the semi-final game is another example of the support the community had for this team. People lined the streets for several blocks last Friday morning and gave the players and coaches memories to last forever. I wish I could thank you all in person but this may be the best I can do. Last, most certainly not least, is the 39 players on the team. These guys deserve credit for the dedication, commitment, and desire it takes to make up a team like this one. Every player, seniors down to freshman, 2 way starters or players that rotated reps on the scout team, ALL have contributed to this team’s success and have played a role in it. Every one of them deserves credit for it and I hope they are receiving it. Coming off of a 5-3 season last year, we had high expectations for this season. We wanted to compete for a Region Championship in a very competitive region. We accomplished that with a 7-0 regional record. Another goal was to host a home playoff game. Our boys played well enough to earn themselves 2 home games, winning both of them. Our last goal coming into the season was to play football in November, putting us in the State semi-finals or further. We were able to accomplish that goal as well. The last game of the year didn’t play out the way we would have liked it to in the second half but these boys have nothing to hang their heads about. They have achieved more than many thought possible this year and have made memories that won’t be forgotten. The 2018 Bowman County football team will be talked about for a long time here.”
Bowman County 19
BOW 6 7 6 0 –19
LEM 0 0 16 6 –22
BC — Jacob Svihovec 42 run (kick failed)
BC — Caleb Duffield 20 pass from Svihovec (Jaxson Fischer kick)
LEM — Grant Romfo 2 run (Sean Gette pass from Simon Romfo)
LEM — S. Romfo 54 pass to Gette (G. Romfo pass from S. Romfo)
BC — Svihovec 1 run (pass failed)
LEM — G. Romfo 16 interception return (run failed)
RUSHING — BC: Jacob Svihovec 20-129, Adam Powell 17-50; LEM: Simon Romfo 18-49, Grant Romfo 11-35
PASSING — BC: Svihovec 15-28-2, 149 yards; LEM: S. Romfo 10-18-1, 149 yards; Jackson Delvo 1-1-0, 29 yards
RECEIVING — BC: Caleb Duffield 6-68, Corban Massey 1-26, Matt Osendorf 3-24, Brian Anaya 2-21, Jason Ortiz 3-10; LEM: Sean Gette 3-97, G. Romfo 3-33, Noah Anderson 3-27, Delvo 2-21