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High school notebook: Heart River learns from mistakes

After starting the season with back-to-back losses, the Heart River football team received its first check in the win column on Friday. The Cougars defeated 9-man, Region 4 opponent Hettinger-Scranton 34-14. Heart River second-year head coach Mik...

Clayton Tangen
Press Photo by Royal McGregor Heart River senior running back Clayton Tangen, middle, rushes for a touchdown against Killdeer on Sept. 6 at the Biesiot Activities Center.

After starting the season with back-to-back losses, the Heart River football team received its first check in the win column on Friday.
The Cougars defeated 9-man, Region 4 opponent Hettinger-Scranton 34-14.
Heart River second-year head coach Mike Williams said turnovers have been the team’s biggest challenge since the first week.
“In the first game of the season, we turned the ball over nine times and anytime you turn the ball over that many times, you aren’t going to win that ballgame,” Williams said.
The Cougars have 15 turnovers in three games.
“The second time we came out, we turned the ball over four times,” he said. “We are getting much better on the turnover department. In third game, we came out and executed our offense, but still turned the ball over two times.”
Despite a 1-2 record, Williams is seeing continued progression.
Heart River allowed 71 points in the first two games against Watford City and Killdeer, but responded with a better defensive performance against the Night Hawks.
“We are getting a little bit better every day and every game,” he said. “We are starting to clean up a bunch of mistakes.”
The Cougars are focusing on Class 1A, Region 4 opponent Garrison-Max this week. Heart River and the Troopers play at 7 p.m. Friday in Belfield.
The game could prove to be an early-season battle for a playoff spot. The Troopers are 2-1 and are 1-1 in Region 4. The Cougars lost their only Region 4 game.
“This game is the most important game of the season,” Williams said. “We got to play the best football game that we’ve played all season to win this ballgame. We know what we got to do, we just have to take it to the field and we got to do it.”
Dickinson High cross country teams exceeding expectations

When first-year head coach Greg Jung took over the Dickinson High boys and girls cross country teams, he didn’t really know what to expect.
The Midgets welcomed their new head coach by winning the boys and girls team titles at the “Orr”iginals Invitational in Jamestown.
Since opening the season with a win, the Dickinson boys and girls have finished in the top five in every invitational.
“As a coach, I’m extremely pleased with our kids and the effort they have put forth this year,” Jung said. “They are such a good group of kids and they work hard every day. It’s so refreshing that kids are ready to come and do hard work to get better. For my first season, it has probably exceeded my expectations of how I thought things would go.”
Senior Jackson Binstock, who is the No. 2-ranked runner in Class A, leads in the Midgets’ boys team.
Elizabeth Yoder leads Dickinson’s girls team. The sophomore is ranked No. 7 in Class A. The Midgets were ranked No. 5 in the Class A coaches poll for the first four weeks of the season. They fell out of the top five in the most recent rankings.
“I knew we had a couple of individuals that I knew could do very well,” Jung said. “For me, I didn’t have any but now the team has put expectations on themselves.”
Richardton-Taylor-Hebron not taking Bowman County lightly

The Richardton-Taylor-Hebron football team is 3-1 in the first four games of the season.
Aside from the 47-18 loss to No. 2-ranked Shiloh Christian, Raiders head coach Travis Olson is pleased with how the team has performed thus far.
“At the time of that loss against Shiloh, that probably did more for our football team than what people realize,” he said. “You play a team like that with that kind of experience and those caliber of athletes, if you go out and play them hard - and I thought our kids did for the most part - you learn a lot from it.”
The Raiders have scored an average of 51.3 points per game and allowed 25.3.
Despite the recent success, Olson said the Raiders aren’t looking past 9-man, Region 4 opponent Bowman County. RTH and the Bulldogs play at 7 p.m. Friday in Richardton.
Due to RTH playing 11-man football in the 2011 and 12 seasons, the teams have only met once in the past 10 years. The lone meeting in 2013 resulted in a 48-20 Raiders win.
The Bulldogs have a 1-2 record after a 36-28 regional win over Mott-Regent on Sept. 5.
“We got a tough road ahead of us,” Olson said. “Bowman is a very improved team. They are somebody that’s just waiting for that big win to happen.
“What (Bowman County) is doing is they are putting their stuff in and they are sticking to it. They are getting better and better at it. That’s something that’s real important about building a program is making a commitment on what you are going to do and just try to do it as well as you can.”

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