Perhaps the biggest contributing factor in the 35-0 win against Southern McLean for Bowman County was the two-hour rain delay.
Only a minute and a half into the second quarter lightning and rain forced the officials to stop gameplay. The break sent the players and crowd into the high school as the Bulldogs carried only a six-point lead.
“There were a lot of things we weren’t doing very good,” head coach Todd Frie said.
Just before the weather delay Bowman County had been stopped on a fourth down, giving the ba’’ back to the Roughriders.
But the long delay allowed Frie and his coaching staff to converse with their players and go over some of the execution of the game plan.
Shortly after the game resumed, the Bulldogs forced a punt. But it was a good kick that set Bowman County back to their own 5-yard line. On the ensuing play a good lead block by junior Colby Schaaf gave sophomore Brody Headley an open hole and he carried the ball clear across the field for a 95-yard touchdown.
“When Headley [is] in the open field, there’s not a whole lot of people that can touch him,” Frie told the Pioneer. “That just sparked us, you know right there. Our defense holds and our first time on offense, [a] 95-yard touchdown run, and we never looked back.”
The touchdown and point after put the Dawgs up 13-0.
Bowman County would rattle off three more touchdowns in the second quarter; a rushing score by quarterback Jacob Svihovec, and two through the air from senior Matt Osendorf and another from sophomore Clay Heimer.
By the end of the first half, Bowman County carried a 33-0 lead.
The rest of the game was quiet. The Bulldog defense did their part and held the Roughriders scoreless, and shortly into the start of the second half Frie started subbing out some of his starters.
“In the second half we got everyone in the game and got experience for everybody,” he said. “Which is an important part of building a program.”
Frie praised his squad, and pointed out the defensive stops towards the end of the game, which included a safety thanks in part to Grant Keys and Mace Stuber, two freshmen.
“We pinned them deep with a good punt again,” he said. “And then the defense stepped up and made a couple of nice plays [to] force the quarterback out the back of the endzone.”
While the Bulldog offense found their groove and tallied 441 yards, the defense held Southern McLean to just 51 yards. The teams had nearly equal plays on the ball at 62 to 60 in favor of Bowman County.
“I think we had a good handle on what they were going to run,” Frie said.
The planning went into the game plan but said that it was up to the players to execute, which they did.
“To hold a team to 50 yards at any level is pretty impressive,” he said.
It was a 6 p.m. MST start time, but with the big delay the ball game didn’t end until about a quarter after 11 p.m.
The win gives Bowman County a 3-1 record with a still-perfect 3-0 regional record.
The Bulldogs travel again to face South Heart on Friday, Sept. 27 but return home the following week to face Shiloh Christian on Friday, Oct. 5.
STATS–Passing: Svihovec (11-18 189 yds, 3TD). Rushing: Headley (14-145 yds 1TD), Svihovec (7-65 yds 1TD), C. Schaaf (10-53 yds). Receiving: C. Heimer (2-82 yds 1TD), M. Osendorf (6-72 yds 2TD), B. Senn (2-22 yds), J. LaFlamme (1-10 yds).