Hazen outlasts Killdeer for Region 4 title
KILLDEER -- When Hazen quarterback Wyatt Carr rolled out and connected with wide receiver Quentin Corcoran for a 6-yard touchdown with all zeros on the first half clock, it concluded a 52-point second quarter and put the visiting Bison in front o...
KILLDEER - When Hazen quarterback Wyatt Carr rolled out and connected with wide receiver Quentin Corcoran for a 6-yard touchdown with all zeros on the first half clock, it concluded a 52-point second quarter and put the visiting Bison in front of Killdeer, 27-25.
Most of all, it seemed like just another lead change in a shootout matchup.
The second half, though, was a ceasefire. Carr's crucial third quarter touchdown pass was the only score of the final 24 minutes, and Hazen's defense held on late for a 33-25 final and a Class 1A Region 4 clinching victory.
"Sometimes it just takes a little while to adjust to the speed of the game," said Hazen coach Bret Johnsrud, whose Bison held the Cowboys scoreless in three separate quarters. "We were doing a lot of things really well early, we were just half a step slow to get there. Once we adjusted to that, we felt our guys got up to the speed that we needed to play at. From there we did fine."
The first two quarters could not have been more of a contrast; after a scoreless first quarter served as the calm before the storm, both teams made big plays and mishaps that provided the ammunition for a combined eight touchdowns in the second quarter.
Killdeer's Alex Sadowsky broke the scoreless tie with a 2-yard score 8:28 left in the quarter. Twenty-two seconds later, Carr, who finished with a 306 yards and five total touchdowns, put the Bison on the board with a 77-yard run.
Three minutes later, Dillan Jepson ran 6 yards up the middle for a touchdown. Carr answered back with a 68-yard run. Jepson ran in another from a yard away after a kick return brought the ball to the red zone. Then, Killdeer's Garrett LeMieux scooped up a fumble and ran it back 36 yards. Down two scores, Carr tossed two touchdowns to regain the lead in the final 44 seconds of the half.
It was a 42-minute quarter that saw almost a touchdown per 60 seconds for the final eight minutes and 28 seconds.
The lasting memory of those hectic eight minutes, though, was the Carr to Corcoran score that put the Bison up for the rest of the game.
"After being down two scores there, we knew we had to make a big comeback quick," Carr said. "That definitely swung our momentum. Once we scored that one we had the confidence that just carried over to the second half."
Carr put his team up eight points with 1:17 to go in the third quarter, when he aired out another 49 yard pass to Corcoran.
From there, it became a possession battle, with each attempt to tie the game by Killdeer becoming a little more desperate.
The Cowboys found themselves in the red zone twice in the final five minutes. The first time, Cole Dukart fumbled the ball and gave it back to the Bison.
After an impressive defensive stand, the Cowboys got the ball back and drove to the 12-yard line and had another chance to punch in the potential game-tying score with about a minute left. But a fourth down fade route from Sadowsky was broken up in the endzone by Corcoran.
The Bison offense came out, drained the clock and clinched the victory.
"We just stopped ourselves. We had the opportunity to win the game. Our kids didn't make some plays that needed to be made," said Killdeer coach Lou Dobitz, whose team is playoff bound despite the loss. "But we've got a game next week to play. We're not done. We might get a chance to play Hazen again, but we have to earn that right."
Hazen 33, Killdeer 25
H 0 27 6 0 - 33
K 0 25 0 0 - 25
K - Alex Sadowsky 2 run (Dillan Jepson kick), 8:28
H - Wyatt Carr 77 run (Payton Leintz kick), 8:06
K - Dillan Jepson 6 run (Kick fail), 5:04
H - Carr 68 run (Leintz kick), 3:06
K - Jepson 1 run (Run fail), 2:51
K - Garrett LeMieux 36 fumble return (Run fail), 1:32
H - Jeremy Leintz 14 pass from Carr (Kick fail), :44
H - Quentin Corcoran 12 pass from Carr (Leintz kick), :00
H - Corcoran 49 pass from Carr (Kick fail), 1:17
RUSHING: H, Carr 24-306. K, Jepson 24-151.
PASSING: Carr 8-14-0 166. K, Sadowsky 5-9-0 40 yards.
RECEIVING: Payton Leintz 2-23, Corcoran 3-92, Jacob Scheer 2-43. K, Hoyt Zander 2-23.