The Milbank Area Bulldogs dominated the Flandreau Flyers 55-7 Friday night in their opening high school football game of the season. “It was a good way to start the season,” noted Milbank Area head football coach Jeremy Tostenson. “I am happy for the kids. They have worked very hard. We will take the season one practice, one play and one game at a time.”
The Dawgs kicked off to the Flyers to start the game. The defense started off a little shaky, and Flandreau marched down the field and ran in a four-yard touchdown. With the successful extra point kick, Milbank Area trailed 7-0 with just over seven minutes left in the opening quarter.
That was all the Dawgs would allow. Milbank Area then took charge and controlled the remainder of the contest. On the Flyers kickoff, sophomore Derrick Aho returned the ball to the end zone from 80 yards out to start the excitement. Junior Riley Wollschlager converted the two-point conversion to give Milbank Area an 8-7 lead.
The Bulldogs stopped the Flyers on its next offensive series with a big quarterback sack by Ben Nelson and Taran Mogard. Milbank Area took over on offense. On their first play, senior quarterback Isaac Snaza handed the ball off to junior Tanner Gauer who ran around the right side and found the end zone from 48 yards out. Snaza’s two-point conversion attempt was unsuccessful, and Milbank Area led 14-7, which ended the scoring for the first quarter.
Just seconds into the second quarter, senior Kyle Montag punched it in on an 11-yard TD run. Gauer’s conversion run was stopped short. Milbank Area led 20-7. Flandreau turned the ball over on downs to the Bulldogs on its next offensive series. Milbank Area then used first down pushes by Gauer and senior Tristan Hall to march down the field. Facing a third down and five, Gauer found the end zone from 22 yards out for the score. Montag’s extra point kick was good to widen the gap to 27-7, where the score remained at halftime.
In the third quarter, Snaza inched over the goal line on a quarterback keeper midway through the stanza to move the score to 33-7. R. Wollschlager recovered a Flandreau fumble, but the Dawgs were unable to convert the turnover into points on the board.
The locals scored three touchdowns in the final quarter. With just over eight minutes remaining in the game, Snaza threw a long bomb and hit senior Jacob Jackson right in stride out in front of the pack for a TD. Snaza connected with Jackson again in the back of the end zone for two points to take a commanding 41-7 advantage.
Two minutes later, Hall broke free up the middle of the field and scrambled for a 49-yard TD run to give Milbank Area a 47-7 lead. The conversion attempt failed.
With two and one-half minutes left in the contest, Milbank Area found the end zone again for its final touchdown. Sisseton transfer student, Koben Huber, ran the ball in from 23 yards for the score. Freshman Jake Karges ran in on the two-point conversion to give Milbank Area its 55-7 victory.
Snaza led the offense with 62 yards passing and one touchdown. He went 3-for-4. Snaza also had six carries for 17 yards and one touchdown. Gauer carried the ball six times for 102 yards and two touchdowns and had one catch for 12 yards. Montag totaled 90 yards rushing on nine carries and one TD while Hall added 64 yards rushing on six carries and a TD. Huber carried the ball three times for 34 yards and a TD, and Jackson had 46 yards receiving with one TD.
Huber led the Milbank Area defense with six tackles. Devon Stricherz had four tackles and one fumble recovery. James Weber, Gauer and Snaza each added four tackles to the defensive statistics while Tanner Kettwig, Ben Nelson, Zach Angerhofer and Karges had three tackles a piece. Also bringing down the opponent was Aho, two tackles, and R. Wollschlager, Jake Anderson, Nolan Foss and Chandler Peery, one tackle each. Jordan Riley also had a fumble recovery.
Milbank Area finished the game with 367 total yards, 62 passing and 305 rushing. Flandreau ended with no passing yards and 170 yards rushing.