Round two between the Killdeer Cowboys and Bowman County Bulldogs was on tap Friday night, with them having vastly different seasons so far up to this point.
Bowman came into this one undefeated at 3-0, while Killdeer were searching for their first win at 0-3. They met in the first week of the season in Killdeer, a 12-7 win for the Bulldogs.
The outcome was the same this time around on Bowman soil as they defeated the Cowboys again 26-13.
A pair of non-offensive touchdowns powered the Bulldogs (4-0) to victory. A fumble return by Teigen Marmon and a punt return from Bohden Duffield had the home side up 20-7 in the second quarter in the blink of an eye after being down 7-0 early.
Just like in the first matchup, turnovers plagued both sides early as Bowman fumbled the ball on their second offensive snap. The Cowboys (0-4) were quick to capitalize as Calvin Dobitz rushed for a five yard touchdown to give Killdeer a 7-0 lead. But the Cowboys wouldn’t sniff the end zone again until the fourth quarter where the game was a little out of their reach.
Bowman wouldn’t score until the dying moments of the first quarter, when wide receiver Clay Heimer caught a pass from quarterback Quaid Lardy and evaded some poor tackle attempts and ran 34 yards for a touchdown, crossing the goal line as time expired in the quarter.
Before Lardy threw the ball, Heimer slipped on his route, but was able to adjust to make the catch. He then sped past the defense and showcased his strength as he reached across the goal line to make it 7-7.
The two non-offensive touchdowns happened in quick succession in the quarter which allowed the Bulldogs to set up another scoring opportunity late in the quarter.
Bowman had the ball inside the five yard line with under a minute to go in the first half, threatening to extend their lead. They would get into the end zone as Lardy found his tight end Carson Massey on fourth down, but the play was called back on a penalty, an ineligible man downfield.
It put the Bulldogs further out from the goal line, and spoiled their chance to take a commanding halftime lead.
“I have to do a better job coaching those things,” Bowman head coach Nick Walker said. “We get the ball at the one yard line and go up three scores, that’s a lot different than coming out 20-7 and them having the ball to begin the half.”
Heimer’s number was called again in the third quarter as Lardy delivered a strike downfield to his favorite receiver, who would not be caught on the play, scoring his second touchdown of the game, this time from 58 yards out.
“He’s (Heimer) doing a great job mentoring our younger guys, you can see the ball being spread out more,” Walker said. “Clay has been a great player for us for four years and he’s continuing to lead in what he does.”
The Bowman defense held strong and ensured Killdeer wouldn’t make a comeback, sacking Cowboys quarterback Gus Bohmbach on a fourth down inside the Bowman five yard line with seven minutes to go in the fourth quarter.
The Cowboys would break into the end zone one last time, a five yard run from Dobitz with about three minutes to go, but it was too little too late as the ensuing onside kick was recovered by the Bulldogs. Any chance of a miracle comeback was officially over at that point.
In 2020, Bowman began their season 4-1 before finishing the regular season 5-2. The last time the Bulldogs began a season 4-0 was in 2018 when they reached the Class A semifinal.
“Our kids know we’ve got a lot better football ahead of us but we’ve got to get better in practice,” Walker said. “I thought we played better at times but we didn’t tackle as well as I would’ve liked. We turned them over which basically saved us.”
The next two games for Bowman will be against two of the tougher opponents in the Class B Southwest region - home to Shiloh Christian and away to Dickinson Trinity.
KD 7 0 0 6 13
BC 7 13 6 0 26
KD - Calvin Dobitz five yard run (extra point good) 7-0
BC - Clay Heimer 32 yard catch from Quaid Lardy (extra point good) 7-7
BC - Teigen Marmon fumble return (extra point good) 14-7
BC - Bohden Duffield punt return (extra point no good) 20-7
BC - Heimer 58 yard catch from Lardy (two-point attempt no good) 26-7
KD - Dobitz six yard run (extra point no good) 26-13