Raiders make grand entrance into 11-man
For one quarter, Richardton-Taylor-Hebron looked like it would be in for a difficult transition to 11-man football.
Eight seconds and a 41-yard touchdown pass into the second quarter, the jitters were gone and the Raiders looked like the same team that was among the state's 9-man elite the past decade.
R-T-H opened its first 11-man season since Richardton played by itself in the early 1980s with a 40-16 Class A nonconference victory over New Town on Tuesday night at the Badlands Activities Center.
"Some of these kids have maybe never seen an 11-man football game live before, so they were tentative," R-T-H head coach Travis Olson said.
Lane Voltz's 41-yard scoring pass to wide-open Chad Gullickson to start the second quarter was apparently all the Raiders needed to get their bearings.
They proceeded to dominate the second and third quarters, building a 27-0 halftime lead and going ahead 40-0 by the end of the third quarter.
"Once we finally got our plays clicking, everyone started working hard, got the blocks and we started scoring," R-T-H senior running back Sean Elkins said.
Elkins was the beneficiary of a few good blocks, rushing for a game-high 138 yards and three touchdowns on 14 carries.
R-T-H (1-0) had 336 total yards and outgained New Town 207-4 in the first half.
Elkins scored on TD runs of 23 and 6 yards in the second quarter and 35 yards in the third.
Kasey Dressler, part of a two-man quarterback rotation with Voltz, scored on a 19-yard quarterback keeper down the left sideline with 10 seconds remaining in the first half.
A safety on a fumbled punt attempt inside New Town's end zone 56 seconds earlier set up late scoring drive.
Voltz hooked up with Cade Kuntz 2 minutes into the third quarter to put R-T-H ahead 33-0, which put the 30-point running clock rule into effect.
Voltz, a 6-foot-1, 147-pound sophomore, and Dressler, a 6-1, 175-pound junior, switched off almost evenly until the fourth quarter.
Voltz was 4 of 6 for 71 yards passing, two touchdowns and nine yards rushing. Dressler was 0 of 2 with an interception but rushed for 34 yards on six carries.
"During the preseason, we worked them back and forth and back and forth and we didn't determine who was going to play," Olson said. "Lane can throw the ball better, Kasey can run the ball better, they both can manipulate the offense as well as the other one. I think it's a good combination."
While it took New Town three-and-a-half quarters, the Eagles finally found some offense in the combination of quarterback Lucas Wollschlager and receiver Josh Badhawk.
Wollschlager found Badhawk three times in the quarter for 119 yards, the Eagles' only completed passes of the game.
The juniors helped the Eagles (0-1) finish with 191 total yards, though much of that production came against the Raiders' backups.
"Those two have been playing together since they were freshman on varsity," New Town head coach Mike Montgomery said. "A lot of our junior class is in that situation, where they were forced into the varsity role as freshmen and they're starting to come of age."
R-T-H hits the road for a 6 p.m. Saturday meeting at Berthold-Lewis & Clark.
"I thought we did play pretty well, considering all factors," Olson said. "We're excited for the next one."
New Town 0 0 0 16 -- 16
RTH 0 27 13 0 -- 40
RTH-Chad Gullickson 22 pass from Lane Voltz (Nathan Ling kick), 11:52
RTH-Sean Elkins 23 run (kick failed), 10:05
RTH-Elkins 6 run (kick failed), 2:41
RTH-Kasey Dressler 19 run (kick failed), :10
RTH-Cade Kuntz 4 pass from Voltz (kick failed), 10:00
RTH-Sean Elkins 35 run (Ling kick), 4:07
NT-Lucas Wollschlager 32 run (Sheldon Standish run good), 7:39.
NT-Josh Badhawk 49 pass from Wollschlager (Standish run), 3:10
RUSHING: NT, Sheldon Standish 12-46, Lucas Wollschlager 11-27, Rodney Dragswolf 1-7, Damien Wilkie 1-(-8). RTH, Elkins 14-138, Trevor Parsons 8-33, Cory Rebel 7-25, Dressler 6-34, Mack Vaagen 5-14, Jadon Schmidt 4-2, Voltz 3-9, Andrew Parsons 2-0, Dillon Patton 1-6, Kellin Wiese 1-4.
PASSING: NT, Wollschlager 3-13-0 119. RTH, Voltz 4-6-0 71, Dressler 0-2-1 0.
RECEIVING: NT, Josh Badhawk 3-119. RTH, Chad Gullickson 1-22, Ty Wheri 1-20, Parsons 1-6, Cade Kuntz 1-4.