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Dean, Velva use 2nd half to beat Killdeer

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On the first offensive play of the game, Velva’s Brad Dean took a big hit from Killdeer’s Calum Blankenship.

After a brief stoppage in play, the senior running back was helped up and made his way over to the sidelines.

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His night was finished, right? Dean’s night was far from over.

“I got hit pretty hard in the back and I didn’t know if I could come back in,” he said. “I decided it’s my last year and I’ll come back in and give it a shot.”

Velva, the No. 3 seed from Region 3, used a pair of TD passes from Drew Effertz to Dean and 20 unanswered points en route to a 27-20 win over No. 3-ranked Killdeer on Saturday at the Biesiot Activities Center.

“(Dean) is a kid who has really came to light in his senior year,” Velva head coach Larry Sandy said. “He’s grown into his body finally and his athletic ability and speed have just increased.”

Dean, who caught six passes for 95 yards and ran for 26 yards on nine carries, also nabbed an interception in the final minutes. His pick set up the Aggies’ final touchdown. Effertz, who threw three TDs, went 14 of 19 for 206 yards.

However, the game wasn’t always smooth sailing for the Aggies. In the first half, Velva had to burn its three timeouts in the first 19 minutes of the first half.

Yet, the team was able to pull together in the second half and scored 20-unanswered points. The Aggies’ two final TDs in the fourth quarter were on a Michael Thingstad, who finished with 78 yards on 21 carries, six-yard run and Effertz’s 23-yard pass to Hunter Schreiner.

“The first half we were in the huddle and we were a little upset with each other,” Dean said. “We really didn’t stick together as a team, but in the second half we were a different club and we exploded. That was nice.”

For the Cowboys (7-2), the first half was chalked full of missed opportunities. Killdeer had two fumbles in the redzone. The Cowboys’ head coach Lou Dobitz said those are huge swings in points and momentum.

“Those were huge opportunities to put points on the board and we weren’t able to do that,” Dobitz said.

Killdeer scored the opening TD after blocking a punt from Velva. The Cowboys recovered the blocked punt at the Aggies’ three-yard line. On the first play from scrimmage, Killdeer’s John Knopik knocked in a three-yard TD run.

The Cowboys scored two TDs in the second half. The first was a Trenton Rohr 36-yard pass to Blankenship. Rohr scored the game’s final TD on a six-yard run. Blankenship finished with six catches for 104 yards. Rohr finished 12 of 19 for 146 yards in the air and finished with 116 yards on 19 carries.

“We just want to keep pushing forward and show a lot of heart,” Rohr said. “I give a lot of credit to the guys it just didn’t go our way tonight.”

Though the Cowboys were hoping for a longer playoff run, Rohr said this game will be a good experience for everyone returning next year.

“We have a lot of kids coming back next year at wide receiver, quarterback and running back,” he said. “This is a good lesson for us. We needed this, especially for next year. It’s tough that we couldn’t go farther with these seniors because they were really good to us.”

Velva 7 0 6 14 — 27

Killdeer 6 0 6 8 — 20

First quarter

K–John Knopik 3 run (kick failed), 4:19

V–Drew Effertz 29 pass to Brad Dean (Chris Peterson kick), 1:28

Second quarter

No scoring

Third quarter

K–Trenton Rohr 36 pass to Calum Blankenship (run failed), 10:14

V–Effertz 3 pass to Dean (pass failed), 5:03

Fourth quarter

V–Michael Thingstad 4 run (Peterson kick), 3:05

V–Effertz 23 pass to Hunter Schreiner (Peterson kick), 1:34

K–Rohr 6 run (Rohr run), :03

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING: V, Michael Thingstad 21-79, Brad Dean 9-26. K, Trenton Rohr 19-116, John Knopik 6-41, Lewis Dobitz 10-36

PASSING: V, Drew Effertz 9-14-1, 206; Chris Peterson 1-1-0, 30. K, Rohr 12-19-1, 146.

RECEIVING: V, Dean 6-95, Thingstad 2-88, Hunter Schreiner 2-53. K, Calum Blankenship 6-104, Tuff Kling 1-15, Dobitz 3-13.

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