O'Brien, Schoch race Cougars past Bulldogs

BELFIELD -- If Heart River's offensive line continues to block the way it did Friday night, there's no telling what the Cougars' running backs can accomplish.

Channing Wagner
Press Photo by Dustin Monke Heart River senior Channing Wagner, left, sacks Bowman County senior quarterback Kyle Palczewski during Friday night's Class A, Region 4 game in Belfield.

BELFIELD -- If Heart River's offensive line continues to block the way it did Friday night, there's no telling what the Cougars' running backs can accomplish.

Junior Dalton O'Brien and senior Jared Schoch each carried the ball six times and made each touch count.

O'Brien scampered 174 yards for three touchdowns -- and added a 74-yard touchdown reception -- and Schoch rushed for 111 yards and two touchdowns as the Cougars flat out dominated Bowman County 47-0 in the first Class A, Region 4 football game played between the Highway 85 rivals in three years.

"Really the bottom line, I guess, is our offensive line did a really good job opening those holes," Heart River coach Dave Hendrickson said. "And those holes were huge. The running backs hit them and they've got speed when they hit the holes."

O'Brien, a 140-pound wingback, had touchdown runs of 23 and 55 yards in the first quarter.


He helped put Heart River ahead 20-0 with 34 seconds remaining in the quarter when he caught a pass over the middle from quarterback Jarek Haverluk and fought off two Bowman County defenders before scampering to the end zone for his third score of the night.

On the second play of Heart River's second series of the second quarter, O'Brien busted free for his fourth score of the night. The junior juked, cut and broke tackles on his way to a 70-yard touchdown run that gave the Cougars a 27-0 lead with 4:10 remaining in the first half.

O'Brien racked up 283 all-purpose yards the day after sitting out practice with a sore groin.

He said the injury wasn't even a factor in Friday's game.

"I've been taking care of it and icing it every night ... kind of babying it actually," O'Brien said.

O'Brien's early runs helped Heart River (2-1, 1-1 Region 4) break open a game both coaches expected to be tight.

"Dalton is obviously a great athlete," Bowman County coach Travis Hager said. "We needed to control him to make it a competitive game and we obviously did not do that. I expected a closer game."

Schoch did his damage after O'Brien established the lead.


The 5-foot-10, 170-pound running back went 66 yards untouched to the end zone with 2:49 left in the second quarter to put Heart River ahead 34-0 at halftime.

Schoch then capped a seven-play, 67-yard drive with a 21-yard touchdown run to open the third quarter and give Heart River a 40-0 lead after Mitch Krebs' extra-point attempt was blocked.

Channing Wagner capped the scoring with a 33-yard fumble recovery for a touchdown with 1:46 left in the third.

Bowman County (0-3, 0-2 Region 4) struggled moving the ball and had its only touchdown of the game called back on an illegal motion penalty late in the fourth quarter when mostly second-stringers were playing on both sides.

After the penalty brought back the touchdown, Heart River made a stand at the 3-yard line with 4 minutes left to ensure the shutout. It ended a fruitless 16-play series that took 9:30 thanks to the running clock rule.

While Heart River piled up 466 total yards, it limited the Bulldogs to just 176.

Bowman County junior fullback Andrew Hansey had 75 yards on 16 carries and senior quarterback Kyle Palczewski struggled mightily, going 3-for-19 for 45 yards while throwing two interceptions. Palczewski was also sacked three times.

"Today stuff didn't line up for us so we go back to the drawing board and we work at it," Hager said.


BC 0 0 0 0 -- 0

HR 20 14 13 0 -- 47

HR-Dalton O'Brien 23 run (Mitch Krebs kick)

HR-O'Brien 55 run (kick failed)

HR-O'Brien 74 pass from Jarek Haverluk (Krebs kick)

HR-O'Brien 70 run (Krebs kick)

HR-Jared Schoch 66 run (Krebs kick)

HR-Schoch 21 run (kick failed)


HR-Channing Wagner 17 fumble recovery (Krebs kick)


RUSHING: BC, Andrew Hansey 16-75, Nick Germann 5-17, Craig Bucholz 4-20, Nevada Turbiville 4-13, Kyle Palczewski 7-(-2). HR, Dalton O'Brien 6-174, Jared Schoch 6-111, Pat Tangen 6-39, Seth Ewoniuk 4-33, Alec Lindsey 3-22, J.J. Wilkinson 1-1, Isaiah Marschner 2-0, Jerek Haverluk 2-(-8).

PASSING: BC, Palczewski 3-19-2 45, Germann 1-2-0 8. HR, Haverluk 3-4-0 94.

RECEIVING: BC, Turbiville 2-29, Hansey 1-16, Shawn Sanford 1-8. HR, O'Brien 1-74, Channing Wagner 1-14, Luke Lindley 1-6.

What To Read Next
Get Local