Playoff football was back in action Thursday evening in De Smet. This week’s game had the Bulldogs (9-0) taking on the Warner Monarchs (6-3) in the second round of the playoffs, with the winner advancing to the semi-finals next week.
De Smet won the opening toss and started their first drive at midfield. They were able to gain good yardage on a long pass from Colt Wilkinson to Tory Holland. After a few short runs, the Bulldogs made it all the way to the Warner 6-yard line. They were unable to capitalize, though, and De Smet turned the ball over on downs.
The Bulldog defense forced a 3-and-out punt by Warner. De Smet was again unable to get much going on offense and gave it back to the Monarchs on downs. Warner moved the ball for a few first downs, but stalled out and gave the ball back to De Smet; the first quarter ended in a 0-0 defensive battle.
On the next Bulldog possession, Warner intercepted a pass at the Bulldog 20-yard line. The Monarchs put together a short drive that was capped off by a Hunter Cramer 1-yard rushing touchdown. The 2-point conversion attempt was good, and Warner took an 8-0 lead.
The Bulldogs immediately answered back. On the first play after the kickoff, Kalen Garry took the snap and ran for a 72-yard touchdown. The 2-point conversion attempt was no good, and the score was 8-6 Warner.
The rest of the second quarter remained a defensive battle, and the score at halftime found the Bulldogs trailing 8-6.
De Smet kicked off to begin the second half and forced a 3-and-out punt by the Monarchs. The Bulldogs put together a drive, capping it off with a 22-yard touchdown run by Rett Osthus. The 2-point conversion try failed, and De Smet took a 12-8 lead.
The Bulldogs defense again forced a quick punt by Warner. On the next play, Garry took the handoff for a 56-yard touchdown run. The 2-point conversion was no good, and De Smet led 18-8.
Warner would answer back. The Monarchs put together a long drive that resulted in a 27-yard touchdown pass from Kramer to Ashton Schuchhardt. The 2-point conversion was good, and the Bulldog lead was cut to 18-16.
De Smet quickly scored on a 51-yard run by Garry. The Bulldogs were again stopped on the 2-point conversion, and the score was 24-16 in favor of De Smet to end the 3rd quarter.
After a defensive battle in the 4th quarter, the Bulldogs scored another touchdown on a 52-yard run by Garry. Garry also rushed for the 2-point conversion, and De Smet increased their lead to 32-16.
Warner’s next drive ended with an interception by Garry, and the Bulldogs were able to run out the clock for the 32-16 win.
Leading the way for the Bulldogs on offense was Garry with 11 carries for 252 yards rushing and 4 touchdowns. Osthus added 2 rushes for 26 yards and 1 touchdown. Wilkinson was 3 of 9 passing for 61 yards. Holland caught 2 passes for 44 yards, and Osthus 1 for 17 yards.
Defensive leaders for De Smet were Wilkinson with 12 tackles, Garry 10 tackles and an interception, Osthus 9 tackles, Blake Van Regenmorter and Holland had 7 tackles each and Owen Kerkvliet added 6 tackles.
For Warner, Cramer was 10 of 11 passing for 116 yards and 1 touchdown. Brodey Sauerwein was 9 of 22 for 95 yards passing.
The Bulldogs travel to Selby on Friday to take on the Herreid-Selby Area Wolverines at 7:00 p.m. The winner will advance to the 9A championship game at the Dakota Dome on November 11.
De Smet 0 6 18 8 32
Warner 0 8 8 0 16
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