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Watford City starts rolling, upends Killdeer

WATFORD CITY -- Killdeer's football team accomplished what it needed to in the first half of its Class A state quarterfinal playoff game against Watford City on Saturday.

Killdeer running back Brodie Candrian gets some help
Photo by Mark Jones/Williston Herald Killdeer senior running back Brodie Candrian, right, gets help from senior fullback Hunter Lindquist, left, and junior running back Grady Houghton, second from left, during a Class A state quarterfinal game Saturday at Watford City.

WATFORD CITY -- Killdeer's football team accomplished what it needed to in the first half of its Class A state quarterfinal playoff game against Watford City on Saturday.

But the real Wolves team came out in the second half of a 41-12 rout at Fridley Field. Watford City (11-0) scored 27 unanswered points in the second half on the way to the win.

"We had some penalties and touchdowns called back, a fumble and interception," Watford City head coach Fred Fridley said of his team's first-half troubles.

Watford City is at home against Velva in the semifinals at 2 p.m. CDT next Saturday.

Killdeer (7-3) got on the board with less than a second left in the second quarter.

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Senior quarterback Ben Pelton found senior wide receiver Brodie Candrian on an 11-yard pass with 0.8 seconds left to close the gap to 14-6.

A Watford City fumble set up the scoring drive. A Cowboys defender knocked the ball out of a scrambling Trey Jacobsen's hand.

Killdeer recovered the ball at the Wolves' 11-yard line.

A holding penalty bumped the Cowboys out of the end zone, but a defensive pass interference call put them right back at the 11 to set up the scoring play.

On its first series after halftime, Watford City scored a few minutes in, taking a 20-6 lead.

Jacobsen -- throwing off his back foot -- hit a jumping Tyler Flatland in the end zone for a 32-yard TD.

It was just the first of many blows Killdeer took in the second half.

"We knew they would throw the ball well," Killdeer head coach Lou Dobitz said.

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Nolan Kalberer scored on an 18-yard run on the opening play of the fourth quarter to stretch the lead to 27-6.

Two more scores came from Jacobsen's 40-yard pass to Nick Liebel and a 17-yard run from Kalberer.

Jacobsen threw three touchdown passes and was 9 of 13 for 242 yards.

Kalberer led the Wolves with 72 rushing yards on 17 carries.

"With our running and passing game, that combination worked well for us," Fridley said.

Watford City drew first blood early in the second quarter when Flatland caught a 78-yard pass from Flatland. Lund made it 14-0 with a 25-yard run with 4:25 left in the first half.

"We didn't have many penalties and that helped," Fridley said.

With just under three minutes left in the game, Tony Dukart's 63-yard catch from Pelton gave Killdeer a parting gift to end the season with.

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Pelton went 7 of 20 for 120 yards.

Killdeer's ground game was stifled as Grady Houghton had a team-high 51 rushing yards on 14 carries.

"They have speed all around," Dobitz said. "They're talented in a lot of places."

Killdeer 0 6 6 0 -- 12

Watford City 0 14 6 21 -- 41

WC-Tyler Flatland 78 pass from Trey Jacobsen (Kalin Mogen kick)

WC-Brady Lund 25 run (Mogen kick)

K-Brody Candrian 11 pass from Ben Pelton (Kick failed)

WC-Flatland 32 pass from Jacobsen (Kick failed)

WC-Nolan Kalberer 18 run (Mogen kick)

WC-Nick Liebel 40 pass from Jacobsen (Mogen kick)

WC-Kalberer 5 run (Mogen kick)

K-Tony Dukart 63 pass from Pelton (Pass failed)

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING: K, Grady Houghton 14-51. WC, Nolan Kalberer 17-72, Brady Lund 14-51.

PASSING: K, Pelton 7-20 120. WC, 9-13 242..

RECEIVING: K, Dukart 1-63. WC, Flatland 2-110.

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