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Century leans on depth to defeat Midgets

BISMARCK -- There is no substitution for depth, and Bismarck Century used every bit of it Friday to beat Dickinson 23-3 in a battle of unbeaten Class 3A football teams at the Bismarck Community Bowl.

The constant pounding by Century running back Hunter Babeck finally wore down the fifth-ranked Midgets in the second half.

"We spent a lot of time on the field defensively and at the end you could see they were wearing out," Dickinson coach John Tuchscherer said of his team. "The effort was there, we just made too many mistakes to win the football game."

Dickinson's inability to generate offense proved to be its undoing. The Midgets (0-1 West Region, 2-1 overall) ran the ball just 21 times. Michael McChesney, who didn't touch the ball until the second half, led Dickinson with 25 yards on four carries.

Quarterback Hunter Heckaman had some success through the air but he never could finish a drive. He finished the night 11 for 30 with two interceptions for 150 yards.

Receiver Dylan Skabo was the offensive highlight for the Midgets with four catches for 80 yards.

Century, meanwhile, hammered away with Babeck, who carried 34 times for 197 yards and two touchdowns. As a team, Century (1-0 West Region, 3-0 overall) ran 53 times for 254 yards, including the capper, a 15-play, 95-yard drive in the fourth quarter.

"That last drive we put together in the fourth quarter was what we should have done the first quarter," Century coach Wingenbach said. "We don't play a lot of kids both ways so they should be fresh in the fourth quarter."

Wingenbach said he wasn't aware Babeck carried the ball so much, "Did I really want to run Babeck 34 times? I don't think so."

"That's quite a bit to be running the ball, but we have a good running game," Babeck said. "We have (Zach Sweep) who can step in when I get tired."

The Midgets, who outscored their first two opponents 83-0 never got on track offensively.

The teams exchanged scores late in the first quarter.

Dickinson took a 3-0 lead on Tony Kostecky's 25-yard field goal, a score set up by a Levi Jordheim's interception.

But that lead lasted just a matter of seconds as Century's Aaron Doan took the ensuing kickoff 99 yards for a score and a 7-3 lead with 1:52 left in the quarter. Doan just managed to stay out of the end zone for a touchback, found a seam and outran defenders on his heels.

It stayed that way until Babeck keyed a 51-yard drive late in the second quarter. Babeck, who had 100 yards at half, carried six times on a seven-play drive and scored on a five-yard run with less than two minutes left in the half.

Century's lone first-half scoring drive was mostly Babeck after Century took over on its own 49 following Chris Kraft's interception. Babeck capped the seven-play scoring drive with a 5-yard run with 1:32 left in the half. But the PAT snap was dropped and Century took a 13-3 lead into the break.

Dickinson managed just 12 yards on 14 carries in the first half. Jordheim's booming punts kept the field position game mostly in the Midgets' favor, but the lack of running game kept them from mounting a sustained drive.

Dickinson's only march ended after on a fumble at the Century 11.

Century put the capper on the game when it used most of the fourth quarter to march 95 yards. Babeck capped the 15-play drive with a 4-yard run with less than five minutes to play.

"They started getting tired and we have a lot of guys who aren't two-way starters," Babeck said. "You could see them wearing down."

Century finished the game with 254 yards on 53 carries. Sweep had seven of his eight carries in the second half and ended up with 36 yards.

Dickinson's Dylan Skabo was Heckaman's favorite target. He caught four passes for 80 yards and also intercepted a pass.

It doesn't get any easier for the Midgets who come back to the bowl next week to face top-ranked Bismarck High.

Dickinson 3 0 0 0 -- 3

Century 7 6 3 7 -- 23

First quarter

D-Tony Kostelecky 25 FG, 2:07.

C-Aaron Doan 99 kickoff return (Dominic Neameyer kick), 1:52.

Second quarter

C-Hunter Babeck 5 run (pass failed), 1:32.

Third quarter

C-Neameyer 47 FG, 3:36.

Fourth quarter

C-Babeck 4 run (Neameyer kick), 4:19.


RUSHING: D, Andrew Heckaman 4-11, Michael Cherwinski 5-0, Luke Rovig 8-9, Michael McChesney 4-25. C, Hunter Babeck 34-197, Preston Romfo 4-15, Zach Sweep 8-36, Dalton Feeney 6-6, Dillon Auck 1-0.

PASSING: D, Heckaman 11-30-2, 150. C, Feeney 4-15-2, 39 yards.

RECEIVING: D, Dylan Skabo 4-80, Levi Jordheim 4-56, Jud Mork 1-9, Carter Blackwell 2-5. C, Tyler Rudolph 2-25, Landon Jochim 1-12, Brandon Miller 1-2.