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Dickinson Trinity football season ends with loss to Hillsboro-Central Valley

BUXTON -- A second-half comeback fell short on Saturday as the Dickinson Trinity football team saw its season end with a 38-26 loss to Hillsboro-Central Valley in the first round of the Class 2A football playoffs.

Hillsboro/Central Valley v DickinsonSaturdayÕs game at Central Valley High School (Jesse Trelstad/Grand Forks Herald)
Hillsboro-Central Valley sophomore running back Rayson Ambuehl shakes off a tackle from Dickinson Trinity sophomore cornerback Kaden Kuntz during Saturday's game at Central Valley High School (Jesse Trelstad/Grand Forks Herald)

BUXTON - A second-half comeback fell short on Saturday as the Dickinson Trinity football team saw its season end with a 38-26 loss to Hillsboro-Central Valley in the first round of the Class 2A football playoffs.

After trailing 30-6 at halftime, the Titans (6-4) chipped away at the lead with a 3-yard rushing touchdown from Hunter Dassinger in the third quarter and touchdown passes from Lucas Jones to Noah Sickler and Kaden Kuntz in the fourth quarter.

Trinity needed one more stop and one more score, though, and it would have been a different ballgame.

Trinity turned the ball over on downs in the red zone near the end of the third quarter, and the Burros (7-2) put a bow on their win with a 14-yard rushing touchdown from Tyler Sunbom in the fourth quarter.

"When they punched that one in, we thought that might be the game, and it did end up being the game," head coach John Odermann said. "Them stopping us from punching it in at the end of the third really flipped it around for them. With those two touchdowns in the fourth quarter, it would have been a different game."

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Odermann credited his team for buckling down in the final two quarters because it didn't look good at the start.

Hillsboro-Central Valley - which advances to play Bismarck St. Mary's next Saturday - took a 16-0 lead in the early going thanks to two touchdowns from quarterback Austin Reed. Reed scored on a 4-yard rush and added a 10-yard pass to Kyle Henningsgard in the first quarter.

"They had huge plays in the first half that put us back on our heels," Odermann said.

In the second quarter, touchdown runs of 1 and 10 yards from Grant Skager were sandwiched around Dassinger's first touchdown of the day, a 1-yard rush, accounting for the 30-6 halftime margin.

"We did an excellent job on defense in the second half, giving our offense an opportunity to win," Odermann said. "We had dug just a little too deep of a hole in that first half, but I was really proud of how our kids played in the second half. They didn't give up. We had an opportunity to win the game, and our kids played their hearts out. They left it on the field. We just came up short."

In the fourth quarter, after Sunbom's touchdown, Jones threw scoring passes to Sickler for 27 yards and Kuntz for 29 yards.

Jones finished 12 of 23 passing for 206 yards and an interception. The senior quarterback ends his season with 17 touchdowns and five picks.

Sickler's touchdown was his ninth of the season. The junior caught three passes for 72 yards in the game. Kuntz rushed 14 times for 118 yards and caught two passes for 48 more. He ends his sophomore season with 14 total touchdowns (eight rushing, receiving) and 990 combined rushing and receiving yards.

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The Titans will lose nine seniors from this team, seven of which were the freshman class from Odermann's first season.

"These are the guys from my first year when we went 0-9 and they could have said, 'You know what? Football's not for me,' and hung it up, and they didn't," Odermann said. "They put our program into the position where it is now, and I think we have a really bright future, and a lot of that credit goes to these seniors."

Hillsboro-Central Valley 38, Dickinson Trinity 26

DT 0 6 6 14 - 26

HCV 16 14 0 8 - 38

First quarter

HCV - Austin Reed 4 rush (Grant Skager run)

HCV - Kyle Henningsgard 10 pass from Reed (Carson Henningsgard pass from Reed)

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Second quarter

HCV - Skager 1 rush (K. Henningsgard pass from Reed)

DT - Hunter Dassinger 1 rush (conversion no good)

HCV - Skager 10 rush (conversion no good)

Third quarter

DT - Dassinger 3 rush (conversion no good)

Fourth quarter

HCV - Tyler Sunbom 14 rush (Landen Reed pass from Austin Reed)

DT - Noah Sickler 27 pass from Lucas Jones (Alex Scherr kick)

DT - Kaden Kuntz 29 pass from Jones (Scherr kick)

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING: DT, Kuntz 14-118, Dassinger 2-5.

PASSING: DT, Jones 12-23-1 206 yards, 2 TDs.

RECEIVING: DT, Sickler 3-72, Kuntz 2-48

Related Topics: PREP SPORTS
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