Wolves set Titans back
The rematch of last year's Class AA state championship was nothing but a battle for the No. 3 seed in the West Region on Saturday. The result, however, was still the same. Dickinson Trinity fell to Watford City 16-6 at Whitney Stadium, securing t...
The rematch of last year's Class AA state championship was nothing but a battle for the No. 3 seed in the West Region on Saturday.
The result, however, was still the same.
Dickinson Trinity fell to Watford City 16-6 at Whitney Stadium, securing the Titans' fate as the fourth seed in the West Region.
Trinity must win its last two games against New Town and Standing Rock, who have combined records of 1-13, to officially wrap up a return trip to the playoffs. The Titans would travel to the No. 1 seed in the East.
"We're in and we're on the road and that would have been the case if we won today," Trinity coach Randy Gordon said. "Now we have to take that and ride with it.
"We're going to play the East No. 1 team instead of No. 2. Is that a big difference? Probably not."
Both teams got on the hypothetical scoreboard - Whitney Stadium's was out of commission - in the first half by capitalizing on botched punts.
A bad snap by Watford City gave Trinity the ball on the Wolves' 25-yard line. Senior Kyle Kudrna punched in the first score of the game from 6 yards out, but Trinity failed to make the extra point.
In the second quarter, Titans punter and backup quarterback Aaron Grinsteinner, a sophomore, mishandled the snap and instead of getting off a pooch punt, he threw the ball into the waiting hands of a Wolves defender on the Trinity 29-yard line.
A 28-yard scramble by Watford City junior quarterback Kevin Sanford set up a 1-yard touchdown run by the Wolves star ball carrier, senior Rowdy Lund to put Watford City up 7-6 at halftime.
The senior running back finished the day with 30 carries for 97 yards and was vital to the Wolves' rushing attack in the second half.
"(Lund) is a slasher runner. He is not a power runner," Watford City coach Fred Fridley said. "One thing he did today better than he had in the past was he kept it inside and not breaking it outside for big runs. You have to keep it inside where the block is giving it to him."
Watford City was not only able to eat up the clock, they put together two long drives that resulted in scores.
The Wolves drove all the way down to the Titans' 1-yard line in the third quarter and while they were unable to reach the end zone offensively, the defense picked up a safety two plays later.
After a failed run up the middle only reached the line of scrimmage, Titans junior quarterback Brooks Thorson was sacked in the end zone on the ensuing play to give Watford City a 9-6 lead.
"Our defense deserves a lot of credit for giving Trinity only one touchdown," Fridley said. "I think that is a great thing for them."
Thorson was 7 of 24 for 69 yards and threw two interceptions. His first pick at the end of the third quarter set up the Wolves for their second touchdown of the day.
Trinity reached the red zone twice late in the fourth quarter, once by recovering a fumble, but were unable to score. A Thorson interception on fourth down in the end zone ended the day for the Titans.
"We had our chances," Gordon said. "I was pretty happy that the kids fought and played hard the whole game, right to the end. That was something I don't think we did last week."
Kudrna and junior Kaden Ficek shared the rushing duties on Saturday with sophomore Robbie Morey sidelined with a knee injury.
While Gordon said he was happy with the combined 117 yards on 27 carries by Kudrna and Ficek, he also admitted the Titans could have used Morey's speed.
"Just his quickness might have produced something for us," Gordon said. "That wasn't the difference in the game though so there is no use elaborating on it."