Bowman County could have used one more quarter, or even another minute.
By Cole Benz
Down 24-12 against No. 2 Oakes with a minute and 40 seconds left in the fourth quarter, sophomore Brody Headley intercepted the ball. The ensuing drive ended with a touchdown from senior quarterback Jacob Svihovec running it up the middle, and the successful 2-point conversion closed the scoring gap at 24-20. The drive though whittled the clock all the way down to just 15 seconds. But Bowman County wasn’t going down without a fight, and recovered the onside kick. The Bulldogs completed two straight passes, and the receiver got out of bounds on each reception, stopping the clock both times.
With a mere three seconds left, Bowman County had just enough time for one more play. The effort was there, but the pass went incomplete as the Bulldogs dropped their season opener.
The contest was a defensive show. Oakes was the first team to get a first down, but that wasn’t until the seven minute mark.
Oakes also struck first, scoring the first touchdown on a reach-over-the-goal line touchdown by senior running back Logan Sell. A successful field goal attempt made it 7-0.
Brody Headley would score on an interception to cut the lead to just one. But the score was called back on an illegal block to the back penalty call.
Shortly after the start of the second quarter, Oakes added to their lead with a made field goal.
The Tornados would add to their lead midway through the quarter on a laser-shot touchdown pass to the left side of the field. The score sat at 17-0 after the extra point.
The Bulldogs found their groove after that. A big pass to senior Matt Osendorf got Bowman County well into Oakes territory. With just under three minutes left in the half, Headley ran one across the goal line for the first Dawg score. They only netted six on the play after the field goal attempt hit the left upright hard (the post was still vibrating even after the ensuing kick).
The defense stepped up for Bowman County on that drive, stopping Oakes on the 12-yard line, forcing a punt.
But with very little time left on the clock, the Bulldogs opted to take a knee and regroup at halftime. They deferred on the coin toss, and would get the ball back to open the second half.
Midway through the third quarter, Svihovec connected on a deep pass to junior tight end Brady Senn. But after two big penalties, the Dawgs found themselves in a deep 2nd-and-30. To add insult to injury, the long snapper hiked the ball out of the punter’s reach.
But Osendorf intercepted Oakes to get possession back. And Svihovec connected with Osendorf from the 6-yard line. The point after attempt was blocked, but the lead was cut to just five points at 17-15.
Bowman County’s momentum was stifled when early on in the fourth quarter Oakes’s Sell scored from six yards away. They opted to kick the extra point and extended their lead 24-12.
The resiliency of Bowman County was on display after a score and an onside kick recovery, but the Dawgs ultimately fell to 24-20.
Though the loss drops them to 0-1 on the early season, Bowman County won’t open up their region play until Aug. 30 when they travel to Dickinson to face the Dickinson Trinity Titans.
PASSING: (BC) J. Svihovic – 16/27 268 YDS, 1TD, 1INT. RUSHING: (BC) Svihovic – 74 YDS, 1TD. B. Headley – 62 YDS, 1TD. RECEIVING: (BC) M. Osendorf – 200 YDS, 1 TD; C. Duffield – 27YDS; B. Senn – 25 YDS; C. Heimer – 16YDS.