Killdeer blanks Heart River
BELFIELD — Both times the Killdeer football team has lost this season, it has been via shut out, with the most recent being a 33-0 loss to Dickinson Trinity last week.
On Friday, the Cowboys bounced back and earned a shutout of their own, defeating Heart River 40-0 at Belfield High School.
Senior tight end Garrett LeMieux led the Cowboys with two touchdowns, both which came off passes of 6 yards from junior quarterback Dylan Tabor.
"It's just our line," LeMieux said. "They showed up wanting to play today and gave us a good push ... They brought it today. They were focused."
The line allowed the away team to score twice in every quarter but the third.
The first touchdown was a 41-yard rush from senior running back Cole Dukart with 9 minutes, 29 seconds left in the first.
Tabor followed up by throwing four touchdowns, finishing with 158 passing yards. Riley Reiss and Kacen Gartner scored once each for the Cowboys and led the receivers with 68 and 43 yards, respectively. LeMieux scored his in the second and fourth quarters.
With two minutes remaining in the game, sophomore Kadin Nodland ran 36 yards into the end zone. He ended the evening with 40 yards over six carries.
The Killdeer offense clicked, but the defense fired on all cylinders.
"The pressure the defensive line got on their quarterback was a really important part of that," Killdeer head coach Lou Dobitz said. "Our defensive backs are doing things for us that are good. They're actually going up and getting the football. We've been working on that all year."
Said pressure, put on Cougars quarterback Cauy Shypkoski, resulted in multiple interceptions, two at the hands of Reiss, a junior. Tabor and Dukart earned one each as well.
"Those contributed to a short field so we were able to then score," Dobitz said. "Those were big plays."
Shypkoski, who was moved from running back to quarterback halfway through the season, still values the ground game and attributed 65 yards over 21 carries.
"We knew he would run the football," Dobitz said. "We had to prepare our guys to be disciplined in space. There were a couple times they got us so we weren't disciplined. We knew we needed to tackle them in space and contain them inside."
While the Cougars offense couldn't get into gear, the defense had some shining moments — the biggest being a stop in front of the goal line in the first quarter to keep the score 14-0.
"I think it's a confidence booster for our defense," Heart River head coach Jamie Wyant said. "We struggled a little bit this year but for us to get some stops at the goal line is big. We forced a couple turnovers which we haven't done for a while. It was good to see."
The defense stymied the Cowboy offense in the third quarter completely. Missed tackles were the biggest reason Killdeer kept advancing and scoring.
"It's been an issue for us all year," Wyant said. "We do tackling drills. We have guys in position so they're getting aligned correctly, we just miss tackles. It's been our Achilles heel all year."
Killdeer 40, Heart River 0
HR 0 0 0 0 — 0
K 14 12 0 14 — 40
KD — Cole Dukart 41 rush (PAT no good), 9:29
KD — Riley Reiss 61 pass from Dylan Tabor (Reiss), 4:55
KD — Kacen Gartner 43 pass from Tabor (PAT no good), 8:27
KD — Garrett LeMieux 6 pass from Tabor (PAT no good), 4:29
KD — LeMieux 6 pass from Tabor (PAT no good), 11:07
KD — Kadin Nodland 36 rush (Nodland), 2:00
RUSHING: KD, Cole Dukart 15-141 1 TD, Kadin Nodland 6-40 1 TD, Riley Reiss 3-22, Garrett LeMieux 4-20, Dylan Tabor 5-15, Zack Anderson 2-1. HR, Cauy Shypkoski 21-65, Ty Buckman 12-17, Garrett White 2-2.
PASSING: KD, Dylan Tabor 9-14-0 158 yards, 4 TD. HR, Cauy Shypkoski 4-13-4 25 yards.
RECEIVING: KD, Riley Reiss 2-68 1 TD, Kacen Gartner 1-43 1 TD, Cole Dukart 1-17, Garrett LeMieux 4-15 2 TD, Dawson Schmeling 1-15. HR, Logan McMahen 2-27, Jayden Ewoniuk 1-8, Tyler Kahl 1-5.