Bowman secures big victory over Trinity to improve its postseason chances
With only a few weeks left in the season, the playoff race begins to heat up.
As the playoffs loom in the not too distant future, a matchup between Bowman County and Dickinson Trinity had potential playoff implications in the Class B Southwest Region this week. Both teams came into the contest with one defeat this season, each coming against Bismarck Shiloh Christian.
The winner of the game would have the inside track to securing a playoff berth, which go to the top four teams in the region.
The Bulldogs came into Dickinson and despite turning the ball over four times, walked away victorious against Trinity 14-7 Friday night at the Henry Biesiot Activities Center.
Bowman (5-1, 3-1) wide receiver Bishop Duffield scored on a 2-yard run with just over five minutes to play as the visitors took a 12-7 lead. The ensuing two-point conversion was successful after quarterback Quaid Lardy rolled to his right and delivered the ball to wide receiver Brody Headley to make it a 7-point game.
The last chance for Trinity (3-2, 2-2) came after they stalled the Bulldogs on a goal-to-go situation with under two minutes left, but it left them to start their final drive inside their own five-yard line with no timeouts. The Titans’ offense struggled all night as the game ended when quarterback Drew Kovash was intercepted by Duffield.
Bowman could’ve scored on a number of drives, but costly turnovers proved to make the game closer than they would have liked.
The Bulldogs had a much better night offensively, outgaining the Titans 395-192, but coughed the ball up in critical moments.
In the first quarter when Bowman had a 4th-and-1 at midfield, they converted the first down but Duffield put the ball on the ground. Later in the quarter, Lardy threw an interception trying to find his receiver downfield in plus territory.
As the second quarter drew to a close, Bowman was driving when wide receiver Clay Heimer had the ball stripped from him that prevented another score.
Three of their turnovers came in the first half as the Bulldogs failed to take care of the ball. Their lone score of the first half came when wide receiver Bohden Duffield ran in from 5 yards out which looked to tie things up, but the extra point attempt was blocked, keeping the score 7-6. For a while, it looked to be the difference in the game.
As for Trinity’s offense, their points came on the second play of the game. Wide receiver Jake Shobe took a forward toss from quarterback Drew Kovash and ran by the Bowman defense for a 60-yard touchdown run to make it 7-0 just 27 seconds into the game. They provided the early blow, but never capitalized on it.
“We need to have a more hard-nosed mentality on offense,” Trinity head coach John Odermann said. “We need to decide ‘we’re going to ram the ball down their throats’ and I haven’t seen that attitude and approach yet.”
Their struggles came up front as they never got the ground game going after the opening drive. After the long run by Shobe, the Titans had just 7 yards rushing the rest of the way. It became a one-dimensional offense that leaned on the shoulders of Kovash.
“We can’t rely on Drew’s arm to win the game for us,” Odermann said. “We have to be able to get something going in the running game and that starts up front.”
Kovash finished with 125 yards, but also threw 3 interceptions. On the final drive the Bulldogs defense was set up to defend the pass, knowing the Titans needed chunk plays in order to drive the length of the field to score.
Before tonight’s game, Bowman and Trinity were tied with Hazen in the Class B Southwest Region with a 2-1 record in region play, behind Beulah and Shiloh Christian at 3-0. Beulah and Shiloh Christian both won their games Friday night and are in the driver's seat for two of the four available playoff spots in the region.
Hazen was matched up with Shiloh Christian on Friday and lost to the Sky Hawks 37-30. That means Bowman now jumps into the third spot in the region with both Trinity and Hazen at 2-2 in the region, setting up a huge game next weekend between the two in Hazen.
“We’re on the outside looking in,” Odermann said. “This game next week is going to be a big one."
Meanwhile Bowman gets Heart River next week, and finishes their regular season against Hazen and Beulah.
BC 0 6 0 8 14
DT 7 0 0 0 7
DT - Jake Shobe 60 yard run (extra point good), 7-0
BC - Bohden Duffield 3 yard run (extra point blocked), 7-6
BC - Bishop Duffield 2 yard run (Quaid Lardy to Brody Headley for two-point conversion), 14-7
CLASS B SOUTHWEST REGION STANDINGS
1 - Beulah (4-0, 6-0)
2 - Shiloh Christian (4-0, 5-1)
3 - Bowman County (3-1, 5-1)
T4 - Trinity (2-2, 3-2)
T4 - Hazen (2-2, 3-3)
6 - Southern McLean (1-3, 2-4)
7 - Heart River (0-4, 0-5)
8 - Killdeer (0-4, 0-6)