The Milbank Area Bulldogs cruised to a 33-21 victory over the Sioux Valley Cossacks Friday night at AB Campbell Stadium. The Dawgs improved to 3-2 on the season with the win.
The visitors received the ball to start the game and put together a long drive. It was capped by a one-yard touchdown push by Brock Swartos to start the game. The extra point kick was good, which gave Sioux Valley a 7-0 advantage.
Milbank Area didn’t take long to answer. On the Bulldog’s second play of the series, Isaac Snaza handed the ball off to Tanner Gauer who ran around the right end behind blocker, Dalton Koch, and sprinted out ahead of the pack 78 yards for the score. Kyle Montag’s PAT kick was blocked, and the Dawgs trailed by the narrow margin of 7-6.
Sioux Valley again drove the length of the field, first down after first down. Just into the second quarter, the Cossacks punched it over the goal line again from one-yard out. With a successful PAT, the opponent went ahead 14-6.
The Bulldog offense got right back to work. Facing a third down and four yards to go, Tristan Hall broke free up the middle and ran it to the house from 63 yards out for the TD. Snaza found paydirt on the conversion attempt to knot the score up at 14-14.
Milbank Area’s defense stepped up its efforts and forced the Cossacks to punt for the first time in the contest. The Bulldogs began marching down the field and found themselves in Sioux Valley territory. With a third down and eight, a big pass interference call against the Cossacks gave the Dawgs a first down near the 20 yard line. Snaza then found the end zone on a five-yard TD run to go ahead 20-14.
The Bulldogs started out the second half with an impressive eight-minute drive. Gauer capped the offensive push with a 10-yard TD run to widen the gap to 26-14. The conversion attempt again failed, but Milbank Area was able to breathe a little bit easier.
Sioux Valley started out the fourth quarter with an eight yard TD run by Swartos. The PAT kick was good which cut into the Bulldog lead to 26-21 and made things a bit interesting.
That did not stop the Bulldogs. The offense pounded out the yards as they had all night. Snaza found Hall on a pass over the middle. It appeared Hall was going the distance, but he was brought down near the Sioux Valley 20 yard line. A few plays later, Snaza threw a bomb into the end zone but it was intercepted by a Cossack to end the offensive drive.
Fortunately for the Dawgs, Sioux Valley struggled to get its offense going and was forced to punt. The Bulldogs took control of the ball when Hall again broke free up the middle on Milbank Area’s next drive. A face-mask penalty on the Cossacks gave the Dawgs a big first down in Sioux Valley territory. Gauer capped the drive with a six-yard TD run. The PAT kick by Montag went through the uprights which put the nail in the coffin and gave the Dawgs the 33-21 victory.
“The offense won the game for us,” noted Milbank Area head football coach Jeremy Tostenson. “We got some good defensive stops when we needed them, but the offense did its job this week.”
Gauer led the Bulldog offense with 156 yards rushing on 16 carries and three touchdowns. Hall followed with 110 yards rushing on 11 totes, one catch for 35 yards and a TD. Montag collected 34 yards rushing on 11 carries, and Snaza added eight yards rushing on four carries and 39 yards passing on two out of three completions.
Defensively, Jake Anderson had an excellent night. He led the team with 15 tackles. Snaza tallied six tackles while Koben Huber added five. Devin Stricherz collected four tackles and Gauer, three. Also contributing were Derrick Aho, James Weber and Zach Angerhofer, two, and Tanner Kettwig and Cody Dockter, one each.
Milbank Area wrapped up the contest with 347 total yards of offense. The locals collected 308 yards rushing and 39 yards passing. Sioux Valley ended with 251 offensive yards. The Cossacks had 198 yards rushing and 53 yards passing.
The Bulldogs will travel to Doland Friday to take on the Redfield-Doland Pheasants. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.