Gordon leads late comeback as Titans shock Saints 35-34 in overtimeBISMARCK — When Bismarck St. Mary’s running back Dillon Reiner scored from 7 yards out with 3 minutes, 3 seconds remaining in Thursday night’s game, Dickinson Trinity kicker Conner Friske turned to a senior to express his frustration.
By: Chris Aarhus, Forum Communications
BISMARCK — When Bismarck St. Mary’s running back Dillon Reiner scored from 7 yards out with 3 minutes, 3 seconds remaining in Thursday night’s game, Dickinson Trinity kicker Conner Friske turned to a senior to express his frustration.
“Oh no, another loss,” he recalled.
Meanwhile, Trinity quarterback Ben Gordon watched attentively with 3:03 reverberating in his mind. Then, Gordon led the march.
Trailing by two touchdowns in the final 3 minutes of regulation, Gordon rallied the troops to a pair of scores that included an onside kick recovery. In overtime, Brendin Steiner scored on his team’s first play from 10 yards out, and Friske calmly drilled his fifth extra point as the Titans stunned St. Mary’s 35-34 in Class 2A, West Region football at the Bismarck Community Bowl.
“I believe in us,” said Gordon, who finished 26-of-41 passing for 282 yards and three touchdowns. “I don’t know why it seems to take us until the last three minutes.”
Trinity won a similar game against Carrington earlier this year, in which Friske also kicked the game-winning extra point in overtime. It’s hard to blame the sophomore for believing St. Mary’s clinched the win with a late score. Not many teams rally for two touchdowns in 3 minutes.
Besides, Friske’s levelheadedness paid plenty of dividends. He was hardly fazed by St. Mary’s, which attempted to ice him before he sent the game-tying extra point through the uprights at the end of regulation.
“I just kind of black out before I kick it,” Friske said. “I just take my steps and look up, clear my head and run up and kick it.”
The Titans’ offense moved the ball most of the game, but ran into snags in the red zone. However, Gordon caught fire late in the fourth quarter.
He drove the Titans down the field with 3 minutes to go, completing fourth-down passes to Lane Herberholz and Jacob Good to keep the drive alive. The series was capped by an 8-yard TD run from Steiner and Friske’s kick pulled the Titans to within one score.
The ensuing events put nearly everyone on the edge of their seats.
Trinity sophomore Cole Beck recovered the onside kick, and any remaining momentum shifted away from St. Mary’s, which could have kneeled down to end the game with a safe recovery.
“We were on the attack,” Trinity head coach Randy Gordon said.
His son Ben didn’t waste anytime, either, marching right back down the field and connecting with Isiah Binstock on a 7-yard score in the back of the end zone with no time left on the clock.
“I knew he would be dragging across, so I threw it to the only place he could get it,” Ben said.
After Friske’s kick forced overtime, St. Mary’s scored on its first possession as quarterback Trent Bohan plunged in on fourth-and-goal from the 1-yard line. However, Trinity stopped him short on the two-point conversion, making way for Steiner and Friske’s heroics.
The Titans racked up plenty of highlights on paper as well.
Ben Gordon was 11-of-17 for 119 yards in the final 3 minutes. He also ran 19 times for 92 yards.
Steiner had 12 carries for 100 yards. Good had 10 receptions for 122 yards and Binstock finished with eight grabs for 83 yards. Jacob Volk had six catches for 61 yards.
The Titans had 486 yards of total offense, holding St. Mary’s to 320, though the Saints got 272 on the ground.
St. Mary’s quarterback Trent Bohan had 92 yards rushing and three touchdown runs.
“The kids showed heart,” Randy Gordon said. “These are two huge wins for us in overtime. It’s pivotal for us.”
Trinity 0 7 0 21 7 — 36
St. Mary’s 0 14 6 8 6 — 34
SM–Robert Richter 6 run (pass failed), 10:41.
SM–Trent Bohan 1 run (Bohan run), 2:52.
DT–Isiah Binstock 14 pass from Ben Gordon (Conner Friske kick), 1:23.
SM–Bohan 54 run (run failed), 6:23.
DT–Jacob Good 5 pass from Gordon (Friske kick), 7:58.
SM–Dillon Reiner 7 run (Brian Obritsch pass from Bohan), 3:03.
DT–Brendin Steiner 8 run (Friske kick), 1:07.
DT–Isiah Binstock 7 pass from Gordon (Friske kick), 0:00.
SM–Bohan 1 run (run failed), untimed.
DT–Steiner 10 run (Friske kick), untimed.
RUSHING: DT, Steiner 12-100, Gordon 19-82, Travis Heidt 1-7, Good 1-5. SM, Bohan 15-92, Reiner 16-69, Tobias Maher 10-59, Richter 15-52.
PASSING: DT, Gordon 26-41-1 282. SM, Bohan 4-12-2 48.
RECEIVING: DT, Good 10-122, Binstock 8-83, Jacob Volk 6-61, Lane Herberholz 1-11, Travis Heidt 1-5. SM, Obritsch 3-35, Byrne Curl 1-13.