Bowman County hang on for victory with strong defensive stand

The Friday night lights were back on in North Dakota as the high school football season officially got underway.

Carson Massey reaches for the goal line in the second quarter, scoring the first touchdown of the game. (Race Archibald / The Dickinson Press)

Two Class A playoff teams from a year ago, who both lost in the opening round, matched up against each other as Bowman County traveled to Killdeer to take on the Cowboys.

It went down to the wire and had some late drama, but the Bulldogs were able to hold off Killdeer for a 12-7 win.

The Cowboys (0-1) had a chance to take the lead with under two minutes remaining in the fourth quarter as they drove the ball inside of Bowman’s five yard line.

But the Bulldogs’ (1-0) defense stood their ground and forced a turnover on downs, almost ensuring a victory as all they had to do was run out the clock.

However, on the very next play, as Bowman was looking to kill the clock, running back Riggs Rotenberger was stripped by the defense and Killdeer recovered the fumble, giving themselves another opportunity to take the lead.


But the case of fumblitis wasn’t over. On the next play, Killdeer quarterback? Gus Bohmbach put the ball on the floor for the Bowman defense to recover.

It was back-to-back plays where each team turned it over with the game on the line. Both teams experienced the emotional high and low of a potential victory.

“We came together as a team and stayed strong,” Defensive back Clay Heimer said. “We pushed each other through. It was a team effort.”

Bowman wide receiver Clay Heimer makes the catch in traffic. (Race Archibald / The Dickinson Press)

Bowman was in control of the game going into halftime. The first quarter remained scoreless, but the Bulldogs were able to find their groove in the second, as all of their points came in the quarter. A rushing touchdown from tight end Carson Massey and receiving score from wide receiver Clay Heimer put the visitors ahead 12-0. Both of their extra point attempts were missed.

“It comes down to two things,” Walker said. “I have to call better. We had some things on our call sheet that we didn’t call. It also comes down to execution. We missed a couple of big plays in the game with protection breakdowns that we’ll get cleaned up.”

The Cowboys offense couldn't get anything going until the third quarter when Bohmbach broke free for a 55-yard run to spark the Killdeer sideline and faithful home crowd. Their lone score of the game came in the fourth quarter from a short rushing touchdown from Colby Asay to make it 12-7.


It was a one-dimensional attack from the Cowboys who had 190 yards rushing but just 14 yard through the air. Meanwhile for Bowman, they had much more success through the air, with quarterback Quaid Lardy throwing for 218 yards in the air with a touchdown.

One of his favorite targets was Heimer, who made a couple of catches in traffic, and figures to play a big role offensively for the Bulldogs going forward.

“Clay caught 45 balls for us a year ago,” Walker said. “He’s a great football player. He works hard and is a great leader for us. We’ll look forward to big things coming from him in the near future.”

Bowman and Killdeer will see each other again in just a few weeks time, when Killdeer will travel to the Bulldogs’ home field.

“Both of these teams will get a lot better by the time we see each other again,” Walker said. “It will be a cleaner game. They have a good team and their coach does a good job with them. They’re good up front and in the skill positions. We started seven sophomores and hung in there and we’ll get better.”


BC 0 12 0 0 12

KD 0 0 0 7 7


First Quarter

No scoring

Second Quarter

BC - 6 yard run from Carson Massey (extra point missed) 6-0

BC - 30 yard pass from Quaid Lardy to Clay Heimer (extra point missed) 12-0

Third Quarter

No Scoring

Fourth Quarter

KD - 4 yard run from Colby Asay (extra point good) 12-7

Race Archibald is a former sports reporter with The Dickinson Press.
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