The Milbank football team endured a four-hour bus ride before they squared off with Chamberlain on the east bank of the Missouri River on Friday, October 14. The Bulldogs nailed down the win at 16-8 to make it two in a row, and somehow the ride home seemed a lot shorter.
The game unfolded to be nearly opposite of the game last week against Sisseton when all the action took place in the first half. At the end of the first quarter in Chamberlain, neither team had put any points on the scoreboard. At halftime, both teams remained scoreless.
Then, with 7:53 left in the third period, quarterback and MHS junior, Garrett Mertens mailed a 31-yard bomb to senior Eli Johnson. Johnson delivered it. The Bulldogs were on the board at 6-0. Senior Barrett Schneck grafted the two-point conversion, and Milbank was ahead at 8-0 to end the quarter.
In the fourth period, Chamberlain’s Noah Hutmacher took a 45-yard hike to get the Cub’s in scoring position. With 9:18 remaining on the clock, Sawyer Donovan, saw his chance and pulled off a six-yard quarterback keeper. Hutmacher scored again on the two-point conversion. The count was knotted up at 8-8.
With the clock still ticking, but down to 3:43. Mertens found E. Johnson one more time. He sent him another torpedo along with a message to the Cubs. Junior Jayden Johnson capped off the touchdown with the two-point conversion. The scoreboard blinked at 16-8 and stayed there until the final buzzer sounded.
Chamberlain collected 212 yards overall. Donovan was responsible for all 84 passing, and Hutmacher led the Cubs with 68 yards rushing. Swade Reiss made eight tackles
As a team, Milbank amassed a total of 247 yards — 135 yards passing and 112 yards rushing. Mertens completed nine of 23 passing attempts to claim all 135 yards, including the two touchdowns. He also added 33 yards rushing. Senior Barrett Schneck led the Bulldogs in rushing. He racked up 67 yards. Senior Sawyer Gauer contributed seven yards, and E. Johnson had two.
E. Johnson was also the top receiver. He secured five receptions, including the two touchdowns, for just over 100 yards. Gauer had 19 yards on three receptions, and J. Johnson, 15 yards on one.
For the defense, B. Schneck made seven tackles and two assists. He also recovered a fumble for the Dawgs. Aidan Foell, Jesse Schneck, Tate Schlueter, and J. Johnson each made three tackles. Foell had two assists and J. Johnson added one. E. Johnson had two tackles and two assists. Ethan Owen also contributed two tackles. Gauer, Oliver Korth, Emmett Hanson, and Braylen Bowsher each brought down one. Gauer and junior Caleb Rick added an assist.
Brian Allmendinger, head coach for Milbank, said, “It was great to get another win against Chamberlain. We will have a short week in preparation for a very talented West Central team that has only lost one game this season.”
The Bulldogs hope to keep their winning streak going this week when they host West Central. Game night is Thursday, October 20. Kick-off is 7 p.m. It’s also Senior Night.
Photos: Jayden Johnson, bottom- Sawyer Gauer and Barrett Schneck