Last week was all about Thursday and Friday for the Beulah Miners. They were the two most important days of the Miners season and the Miners won. Home wins over Glen Ullin and Bowman gave the Miners an 8-3 mark in region play and an opening round Region 7 tournament bye. On Thursday night the Miners played host to Glen Ullin. The early goings of this match were a little bit of a shocker. Glen Ullin – a team with one region win – was playing Beulah tough. Neither team could gain separation until late in the match. Jamie Murschel, a junior hitter, tied the game at 14-14 with a kill. The Miners added three points to the lead making the score 17-14. But Glen Ullin ended the run with consecutive points from Michaela Gerving, a sophomore middle hitter. After Gerving’s streak ended with a serve out of bounds, the Miners built another three point lead – 20-17 – only to see Glen Ullin shrink it back down to one point, 20-19.
The Miners got things going early in their win against Watford City, scoring two first quarter touchdowns. But then it seemed like the running lanes dried up and that they were on the brink of losing their first home game of the year. In stepped the defense and a fourth quarter run, securing the win and No. 3 seed from the West. Early on in the game it looked as though Kamron Unruh, a senior running back, was going to turn around and quote Jim Carrey’s famous line from “The Mask,” because nobody seemed to stop him. On the Miners’ first drive of the game Unruh had two big runs. The first run was one play after the kickoff – a 33-yard gain – putting the ball on the Watford City 47-yard line. A few plays later he gutted out a 20-yard gain, putting the ball on the 21-yard line. Lastly, he finalized the 11-play drive with a 1-yard goal line run, making the score 6-0. The Miners went for two after the score but failed to convert it. After the Miner defense forced a quick three and out punt Unruh and the Miner offense went back to work. Unruh started the drive with a 20-yard gain, putting the ball on the Miners’ 47-yard line. Then the Miners ran it down to the Watford City 44-yard line and Unruh struck again with a “somebody stop me run.” Unruh broke three tackles on the run and weaved in and out of the far hash mark on his way to the end zone and 12-0 Beulah lead with 4:57 left in the first quarter. Landon Battest made it a 14-0 on the two-point conversion by catching a Casey Walcker pass near the away team sideline.
It would be nice if things went smoothly and as planned. But that’s just not how things work in reality. They are strange, kooky and make no sense. That’s about where we’re at in Region 7 volleyball play. The top two teams will decide the top spot and second spot in the region. Dickinson Trinity and Beach are both undefeated in region play and will meet on Oct. 29. But there are some strange things that could happen after that. Beach might actually drop to third in the region. If they lose to Trinity and drop games to Richardson-Taylor and Heart River. There’s a chance that things could get real messy but only if Heart River can also top Richardton-Taylor. If Heart River wins that game then there could be four teams with three loss records. Hazen lost to Richardton-Taylor, Beach and Dickinson Trinity but beat Beulah. Beulah lost to Beach but beat Richardton-Taylor but Beach has wins Hazen and Beulah.
Beulah gets into playoffs By Jarann Johnson Beulah needed a win. One win and they were in the playoffs. The only team standing in their way was Dickinson Trinity. The Miners didn’t let Trinity stay standing after a big second quarter – 36 unanswered points – on their way to a 49-14 home win. Early on it looked like things were going to resemble the weather, ugly. It was wet, rainy and windy and neither team had scored with 2 minutes left in the first quarter. The Miners had a third-and-long from their own 21-yard-line when things got better. Sophomore quarterback Casey Walcker ran for a 79-yard score putting his team up 6-0, but the two-point conversion after was no good. The Titans had a chance to answer back early in the second quarter though. The Titans advanced the ball to the Miners’ 2-yard line and faced fourth-and-goal. The Miners gritted down but it wasn’t enough and Coltyn Nelson fell into the end zone making the score 6-6. Beulah defense answered on the point after, shutting Trinity out of the end zone and leaving the game tied 6-6.
The Miners started last week with a tough, tough loss. The Miners entered their big game with Dickinson Trinity needing a win, they had lost to two other region 7 contenders in Beach and Hazen. A win could have put them on track to get back into the race for a top four spot in the region, but it just didn’t happen. The Miners lost 3-1 (19-25, 25-11, 25-18, 28-26. The first set was back and forth with a lot of ties. There were seven ties in the set the last one at 18-18. The Miners scored the straight after the ace capped by a Cassie Schutt ace. The quick spurt made Dickinson Trinity call timeout. The Miners scored again, then lost the ball to a side out but that was the last score for Trinity. Delaney Johansen ended the game with a three-point rally, capped by an ace.
Sometimes you learn a lesson the hard way. For the Miners it happened last Friday. The Miners came into Friday’s game thinking it was going to be a typical easy win over Turtle Mountain, but only won by 16 points. Popular wisdom’s old saying “nothing is every easy” turned out to be true. In the first quarter it looked like it was going to be easy. The Miners were up 6-0 after a Kamron Unruh touchdown. Unruh raced 24 yards for a score but Turtle Mountain didn’t stay down long. The first quarter ended with Turtle Mountain ahead 8-6 after a 1-yard run by Kreston Keplin for a touchdown and two-point rushing conversion by Brandon Rodriguez. The Miners went back to Unruh to recapture the lead. Unruh ran in a 13-yard score putting Beulah ahead 12-8. After the score Casey Walcker added a two-point conversion run, making the score 14-8. Beulah’s lead held at the half, 14-8. But in the third quarter Turtle Mountain evened the score 14-14 with a 5-yard catch by Stacy Davis. Turtle Mountain didn’t score on the point after attempt leaving the score tied.
The Beulah Miners lost their first game of the season 12-0 to Hazen, but the next week against Central Cass they recovered. On Friday the Miners found themselves in a similar spot, needing to bounce back after their road loss to St. Mary’s. Beulah bounced back and moved closer to a season-extending playoff spot. In the first quarter Beulah came out looking to shake their scoring troubles against St. Mary’s. Against St. Mary’s, Beulah failed to score even though it had drives end deep in St. Mary’s territory. But this game was different and the Miners scored 23 points in the opening quarter.