In their first season since moving up to the Class A football division, the Shiloh Christian Skyhawks won their first six games. But not their seventh.
By Cole Benz
For The Pioneer
In a battle of two of the top Region 4 teams, the Bowman County Bulldogs came away with the 34-6 win over the parochial school on their home field on a cool Friday evening thanks to a big game by senior Jacob Svihovec. Svihovec would run for 217 yards and four touchdowns.
After averaging more than 38 points per game through the first six of the season, the Skyhawks were only able to put up a meager six points against a stout Bulldog defense. And their lone score wasn’t even a result of a successful offensive drive; it was the result of a Svihovec fumble and Skyhawk recovery in the endzone.
For the first drive of the game, Shiloh Christian kept running to the left side, a strategy they employed to what looked like an attempt to stay away from senior defensive lineman Nate Boehm. At 6-foot-3 and 240 pounds, they were right to shy away from Boehm, who tackled a Skyhawk runner for a loss on the first play they ran his direction.
Boehm would have two solo tackles and two sacks on the night.
The offense ran through Svihovec for most of the game as Bowman County couldn’t get much going early against a Skyhawk defensive line anchored by a 6-foot-3, 325 pound junior lineman.
Regardless of the size of their front line, they didn’t see conditioned enough to stop Svihovec. He carried the ball early and often, especially after sophomore speedster Brody Headley went down with what appeared to be an ankle injury. Though he would eventually return and ran for 61 yards and a touchdown. Junior Colby Schaaf filled in as the lead back until Headley was able to return. Schaaf ran for 13 yards and was an integral part of the blocking scheme for Svihovec.
Svihovec tiptoed through the line like he was walking on hot coals. And even when he couldn’t find a hole, he and his line muscled through the defense multiple times.
Bowman County’s run game was working so well that they limited the amount of throws the coaching staff called for Svihovec. He completed four passes on just eight attempts. One, his longest, hit senior Matt Osendorf for 33 yards. Osendorf was the leading receiver for the Bulldogs with 35 yards on just three catches. Junior Caleb Duffield returned to catch one pass for two yards after missing the previous four games. He was injured in the season opener against Oakes.
On the defensive side of the ball Svihovec, Duffield, and senior Mitch Stuber each finished with four tackles, while Headley grabbed an interception. Senior Andrew Narum finished the game with three tackles for a loss and a forced fumble. Junior Brady Senn also recorded a tackle for a loss.
The Bulldogs are home again to face Richardton-Taylor-Hebron, then finish the season against New Salem/Almont in New Salem on Friday, Oct. 19 before the playoffs start Oct. 26.
GAME STATS–Passing: Svihovec (4-8-37 1TD). Rushing: Svihovec (29-217 4TD), Headley (14-61 1TD), Schaaf (4-13). Receiving: Osendorf (3-35), Duffield (1-2).