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The Hettinger-Scranton football team wasn't going to win without big plays down the stretch. So the Night Hawks looked upon their two big playmakers -- junior quarterback Kye Erickson and senior tight end Stephen Kristy. "Making the plays on offense just powered our defense," Erickson said. "We were getting exciting and getting our hopes up.
By Royal McGregor firstname.lastname@example.org The Dickinson Trinity football team knew it was in for battle. Starting the first five minutes of the game with two touchdowns off turnovers made the Titans' job much easier. Class 2A Trinity used a balanced offensive attack and solid defensive play to shut out Class 1A Killdeer 32-0 in the season opener for both teams on Friday at the Badlands Activities Center. "It was fun," Trinity senior quarterback Ben Gordon said. "That was the most fun I've ever had in a football game, because we had a huge wake-up call at halftime.
James Mousseau, Dickinson High's new cross country coach, isn't shy about saying he has some big shoes to fill. The Midgets boys and girls teams embark on a season where there's literally two specific dates in mind -- the West Region meet and the Class A state meet. "Moose made it very clear that we're not training for the meets coming up," Dickinson High senior Meleah Leiss said. "We're training for state. Our first couple meets might be a little rocky, because we've been putting a lot of work in and we're pretty sore. We're just going for Oct.
The Dickinson High football team's first step is out of the way -- preseason. The next step for the Midgets is traveling to nonconference opponent Dawson County, Mont., at 7 p.m. today for their regular-season opener. "This is big opportunity for us," said Dickinson senior Taren Staudinger, a 6-foot, 160-pound wide receiver and defensive back. "We want to see how we've progressed over the years and like coach has said, we are further along right now than they have been in the past couple years.
Midgets' upside: Dickinson High has great speed, decent size and enough experience to make a run at the Class 3A playoffs. Midgets' downside: Despite having a boatload of juniors who have seen plenty of action, the team has only six seniors. The Dickinson High football team is a little older, a little wiser and much stronger. The team has just six seniors but one of them, Jordan Krieg, said there is a different vibe around the team this year.
Wildfire's upside: As always, Mott-Regent has a good amount of talent and experience at the skill positions. Wildfire's downside: Already low on depth, the team has to replace its big three of QB McCahen Schweitzer, WR/S Chad Mosbrucker and TE/LB Tanner Vesledahl. The usual suspects showed up to Mott-Regent football team camp and head coach Ron Benson said he also had some surprises. Mott-Regent is returning a solid group of veterans and hopes to battle for a playoff spot after finishing the 2011 season with a 8-3 record, a third-place finish in 9-man, Region 4 and a loss to Region 4 champi
Cowboys' upside: Built around all-state senior Brock Pittsley, Killdeer has talented and experienced offensive and defensive lines. Cowboys' downside: The team returns very few veterans in the backfield as a new crew takes over. The Killdeer football team is going to have to rely on many young players to fill important voids this season. However, there are two areas where the Cowboys won't need many young players: their offensive and defensive lines. Killdeer has four of its five offensive linemen back and all five of its defensive linemen are returning seniors.
Night Hawks' upside: Hettinger-Scranton has a good collection of talented and experienced skill players as well as experienced linemen. Night Hawks' downside: Depth is a question and there are several young and untested players stepping into the varsity level. Hettinger-Scranton head football coach Randy Burwick feels this is the best team he has had in a long time. To his credit, the Night Hawks have many players coming back with experience, as well as some talented up-and-comers. "We feel real good," Burwick said. "The kids came into camp looking really good and really fit.
Bulldogs' upside: The young team can look to build around two talented sophomore running backs, Chandler Braaten and Bondon Scott. Bulldogs' downside: The team has no depth at all with just 21 players on the roster. The Bowman County football team's first season after losing Scranton, its co-op partner of nine years, was a tough one. Despite a 0-9 season, Travis Hagar said the team is further along now than it was at this point last season. "We're definitely growing leaps and bounds above last year at this time," he said.
Buccaneers' upside: Beach has 33 players out for football and returns a good deal of experience on the line. Buccaneers' downside: They have to replace 3 college-bound players, including lineman Landon Lechler, QB Jake Hardy and linebacker Lloyd Weinreis. In 9-man football, the final product on the field can be a numbers game. The Beach football team has the numbers with 33 players listed on its roster. However, the experience isn't quite there -- yet. "The positive thing is that our numbers are up and we're at 33, which is good for us," Beach head coach Mike Zier said.