Milbank and Madison faced off in Milbank this year for the Battle of the Bulldogs on September 2. Madison got the win and Milbank got the feeling of déjà vu. Milbank took their second loss of the season at the same score of 6-41.
Brian Allmendinger, head coach for the Milbank Bulldogs, said, “The players made a great effort against Madison despite the score.” The offensive line did a great job improving themselves from last week. Aidan Foell also did well running the ball after being an offensive lineman the past two seasons.
Milbank worked hard to create several opportunities for themselves. Late in the first quarter, junior and quarterback Garrett Mertens teamed up with Foell, a senior, to edge the ball toward Madison’s red zone. Eli Johnson, also a senior, got the job done when he caught a seven-yard pass from Mertens at the 19-yard line. But, the Bulldogs were unable to move the pins forward again to secure their fourth down and were forced to return the ball to Madison without posting a score.
Milbank’s touchdown came in the third quarter. Freshman Braylen Bowsher recovered a Madison fumble and Foell again worked the ball down to the 15-yard line. Mertens then nailed a 15-yard pass to Johnson and Milbank lit up the scoreboard with six points. Milbank chose to run the ball in, but the two-point conversion attempt failed, and the score remained at 6-34.
Continuing to apply pressure in the third quarter, Milbank intercepted Madison’s football to energize the team and get the fans on their feet. But Madison again squelched their plans for a comeback. Milbank eventually was overcome at 6-41.
Leading the Milbank offense, Foell rushed for a total of 121 yards. Mertens added 73 yards on his eight carries and 58 yards passing with eight of 16 completions, including the touchdown. As a team, Milbank put up 252 yards — 58 passing and 194 rushing.
Sophomore Jesse Schneck led the defense with six tackles. Foell contributed five, and Mertens added three. Sophomore Joe French had two — both for a loss of yardage, including one sack. Senior Dillen Sheeley recorded one.
Madison accumulated 419 total yards –181 passing and 238 rushing. Milbank surpassed Madison in third-down efficiency by converting on six of 13. Madison only managed three of seven.
What’s next for the Bulldogs? On Friday, September 9, Milbank visits Vermillion at the Dakota Dome on the campus of the University of South Dakota. Kick-off is at 6 p.m.