The Milbank Area Bulldogs cruised to a I-29 conference victory over McCook Central-Montrose (MCM) Friday, September 2, by a score of 19-0.
The Dawgs struck paydirt early by recovering Cole Dockter’s onside kick to start the game. Milbank Area marched down the field and scored the early touchdown on quarterback Jonny Ash’s 24-yard connection with Riley Wollschlager. Ash’s extra point kick was wide right, but Milbank Area led 6-0.
Late in the opening period, the Bulldogs put together a solid offensive drive and were knocking on the door when the quarter ended. With 12 more minutes put on the clock, Cole Dockter found the open hole and scurried into the red zone before being brought down at the MCM 13 yard line. Jake Karges cut up the middle to the five-yard-line before Tanner Gauer scrambled into the end zone for the score. Ash’s extra point kick failed, but the Dawgs held the 12-0.
MCM’s offense began to put together a solid drive, but it was cut short when James Weber intercepted the opponent’s pass. Unfortunately, Milbank Area was unable to convert the turnover into a touchdown. The teams held the other scoreless through the remainder of the first half.
Midway through the third quarter, Cole Dockter ran in a 33-yard touchdown which was called back because he stepped out of bounds at the 11 yard line. Karges then broke up the middle to move the ball to the five. Cole Dockter then capitalized on a five-yard TD run. Ash’s kick went through the uprights, and Milbank Area widened the gap to 19-0.
The Bulldogs disrupted a MCM offensive drive by recovering a fumble. Milbank Area burned some time off the clock and found themselves facing a fourth down with one yard to go when the third quarter expired. Gauer pushed ahead for the first down, but Ash fumbled the ball on the next play and MCM recovered it.
The opponent found themselves with their backs against the wall and a third down and 17 yards to go. Derrick Aho nearly intercepted a MCM bomb, but the ball bounced off his numbers. The result was MCM turning the ball over on downs to the Bulldogs.
Milbank Area then faced its own troubles with the penalty flag. The Dawgs had a first down and 24 yards to go, but could not push the ball any farther and was forced to punt with four minutes remaining in the contest.
Substitutions were then made by both teams, and the game ended at 19-0.
“We saw a lot of improvement from week one,” noted Bulldog head coach Jeremy Tostenson. “I am very happy to see us play with physicality. We still have a long way to go and it comes down to our preparation in practice. We need to have a good week of work in preparation for Aberdeen Roncalli.”
Ash led the Bulldogs with 113 yards passing, going 6 for 10 with one touchdown. He also collected nine yards rushing on six carries. Gauer rushed for 78 yards on on 19 carries and one TD and 10 yards on one catch. Cole Dockter finished the contest with 58 yards rushing on six carries and one score and 64 yards receiving on two catches.
Defensively, Tanner Kettwig led the team with four solo tackles and five assists. Weber followed with four tackles and three assists while Gauer added four tackles and one assist. Zach Angerhofer contributed three tackles and two assists; Koben Huber had four solo tackles; Ethan Paysen, three tackles, and Taran Mogard, two.
The Dawgs finished the game with 285 yards of offense including 172 yards rushing and 113 yards passing. MCM ended with 159 offensive yards with 137 yards rushing and 22 yards passing.
Milbank Area will host Aberdeen Roncalli Friday, September 9, at AB Campbell Stadium. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.
Pictured above is senior Tanner Gauer.