Hazen wins 2nd straight Class 1A title
FARGO – Milnor-North Sargent advanced the ball into the red zone in its first two possessions on Friday, but came away with no points.
The missed opportunities were costly considering the Bulldogs were playing top-ranked Hazen in the North Dakota Class 1A state football championship game.
Instead of falling into an early hole, the Bison recovered and grinded out a 20-0 win over Milnor-NS at the Fargodome.
The victory was Hazen’s 20th in a row and sealed its second consecutive 1A state championship.
“It is a great achievement and it has never happened at Hazen before,” said Hazen senior running back Briar Bornemann, who rushed for 128 yards and two touchdowns. “I’m glad we got it done.”
Milnor-NS (9-3) got to the Hazen 19-yard line in its opening drive, but turned the ball over on downs when senior quarterback Briton Bussman’s pass to senior tight end Wyatt Mund was shy of first-down yardage.
The Bulldogs got the ball back on a fumble recovery, and once again drove into the red zone only to have false start and offensive pass interference penalties on back-to-back plays push them back. That drive stalled on an incompletion on fourth down.
“We shot ourselves in the foot a couple of times early on,” said Bussman, who finished with 108 yards passing. “We could have finished drives, put up some points and tried to get them in a situation they haven’t been in before.”
After a scoreless first quarter, Hazen started to get its running game going.
The Bison (12-0) executed a 16-play, 78 yard drive that junior quarterback Connor Doll finished with a 1-yard touchdown on fourth-and-goal with 2 minutes, 9 seconds left in the first half.
“If they shut us out right there, it is a huge momentum swing,” Hazen head coach Rick Philion said. “I’m just thankful we got it in.”
Mund caught seven passes for 47 yards. Senior running back Andrew Martinson finished with 60 yards on 10 carries for the Bulldogs.
“We were in it,” Milnor-North Sargent head coach Eric Olson said. “We gave them a fight, and that is what we wanted to do. They grinded us down a bit there at the end. I’m happy we didn’t give up any big plays. That’s the thing about Hazen. They can grind it out with long drives and score on big plays.”
Senior Nate Leintz added 98 yards rushing for the Bison.
“They are 12-0 for a reason,” Bussman said. “We knew it would be a tough game, and we tried to grind it out, but they were too much for us.”
H 0 6 0 14–20
MNS 0 0 0 0– 0
H–Doll 1 run (kick failed)
H–Bornemann 7 run (Sommer pass from Doll)
H–Bornemann 1 run (kick failed)
RUSHING: H, Bornemann 26-128, Leintz 13-98, Doll 14-25, Team 4-(-16). M-NS, Martinson 10-60, Morlock 7-13, Yagow 2-4, Noonan 1-(-2), Bussman 7-(-9).
PASSING: H, Doll 4-5-0–69. M-NS, Busmann 12-23-0–108.
RECEIVING: H, Leintz 2-34, Bornemann 1-32, Maas 1-3. M-NS, Mund 7-47, Martinson 3-46, Noonan 1-10, Peterson 1-5.