Bulldogs will have hands full against top-ranked Langdon-Edmore-Munich
Continuing what is arguably the greatest season in its program's history, the Bowman County football team showed its resiliency in a comeback victory over Velva, trailing 16-0 in the first quarter before scoring 26 unanswered points and pulling out a Class A Quarterfinal win on Saturday, Oct. 27.
Headed into the final four just two years since its return to the classification, the No. 4-ranked Bulldogs now have to show their might.
Bowman County will travel across the state to face Langdon-Edmore-Munich, the top-ranked team in the state, on Saturday, Nov. 3 in the Class A Semifinals. The winner will earn the right to play for a state championship at the Dakota Bowl six days later.
While this voyage through the postseason is a fairly new experience for the Region 4 champions, the Cardinals are back in familiar territory.
Behind first team All-State quarterback Jacob Delvo, Langdon-Edmore-Munich was 11-0 before falling to Hillsboro-Central Valley by a slim, two-point margin in the state championship game last season.
The Cardinals will look to improve to 11-0 again this Saturday against the Bulldogs, this time with sophomore quarterback Simon Romfo at the helm.
"Their quarterback is a great player. We know that if we can contain him, that we've given ourselves a really good chance," Bowman County head coach Todd Frie said. "He throws a really good ball and he's got a couple of good receivers, too, that run very good routes. We got to be able to stop that. They got a really good running back, too."
Romfo has completed 64 percent of his passes this season (133 of 207) for more than 2,000 yards through the air. Junior wide receiver Sean Gette leads the team with 46 catches, while fellow junior wideout Jackson Delvo has 31 grabs. Sandwiched in between the two outside threats is sophomore running back Grant Romfo, Simon's twin brother, who has 35 catches out of the back field.
Featuring a short and intermediate passing attack, the Cardinals have scored 28 or more points in nine of their 10 games this season. Meanwhile, the Langdon Area-Edmore-Munich defense has been just as strong, holding teams to single digits in all but two contests.
"They execute well. It's nothing we haven't seen before, but they are really good at what they do," Frie said. "Defensively too, we've seen similar defenses, but they just play really well. We know if we are going to beat a team that executes well, we have to execute well ourselves."
Bowman County will begin its travels on Friday morning before making a stop at Bismarck Century to practice. From Bismarck, the team will drive to Devils Lake, where they will spend the night. The following morning, the Bulldogs will drive the final hour and 15 minutes to Langdon, arriving 90 minutes before kickoff.
Awaiting them is a person with ties to Bowman. Cardinals head coach Josh Krivarchka grew up in Lisbon, but his grandparents are from Bowman, and his father and uncle played football for the Bulldogs.
"It's pretty neat, both my dad and his brother kind of talked about it when the playoffs began where if we both won our respective games, we'd meet (Bowman County) in the semifinals, which is where they both went to high school and played," Krivarchka said. "They all plan on coming up to the game this weekend."
When asked where his family's allegiances lay for this game, the Cardinals head coach answered laughing, "I think family is a lot closer than their past."