Hazen football inches closer to state title
Bison fend off Rugby’s upset hopes
By Jarann Johnson
There’s one thing that teams should try to avoid when playing the Bison: having a similar color scheme to Killdeer. Rugby couldn’t help that their jerseys reminded the Bison of Killdeer – the Bison’s only close game that was decided late this season – because of their orange, white and black glare. But that’s as far as the Bison let the resemblance go in the Class A opening round game.
The Bison won 48-20 over Rugby despite the game being close for the first half. At half time the Bison only led 21-14, which was a little bit of a shocker. Rugby entered the game as the last seed from Region 3 and was on the road against the top seed and defending state champs on a 15-game win streak. Despite the amount of things against Rugby, they played close in the first half. Even scarier was the fact that Rugby scored two touchdowns on the Bison in the first half – a feat no one accomplished this season. Both of Rugby’s scores came from dual threat quarterback Bradley Heidlebaugh.
After the Bison gained a 14-0 lead on a pair of long rushing touchdowns by Nate Leintz – a 70-yard run – and Briar Bornemann – a 55-yard run – Rugby got their first answer. Heidlebaugh ran in a 3-yarder making the score 14-6, but his team failed to make the PAT and the Bison answered.
Bornemann rushed for another big gain. This time he ran for a 42-yard touchdown. But the big play wasn’t enough to evaporate Rugby’s offense. Rugby got back into the end zone on another short Heidlebaugh run for a score. After Heidebaugh’s 4-yard run Rugby got the two-point conversion on a Heidlebaugh pass to Eric Hooker.
From there something turned for the Bison at halftime. On both sides of the ball the Bison played better, scoring 27 straight points and pulling away from upset-minded Rugby in the third quarter. The first score of the quarter came from Briar Bornemann on a 30-yard run and the next two scores came from Dominick Opp – a 23-yard run and 54-yard pass from Connor Doll. The scoring streak was finished by Nate Leintz on a 66-yard pass from Doll.