The Bulldogs and the Sisseton Redmen got into a defensive feud on the football field at A. B. Campbell Stadium in Milbank on Friday, October 6. It was Pink Night for the Bulldogs, and Milbank donned hot pink jerseys to raise awareness for breast cancer research. Even in pink, the Bulldogs defense proved they were a force to be reckoned with.
Sisseton, however, also came out on the field ready to rumble, and at times, their aggression seemed to cause Milbank’s confidence to lag. Was it due to Milbank’s recent string of losses to several behemoth teams? Has their belief in their ability to win been zapped?
Maybe. Milbank and Sisseton were evenly matched but showed different strengths. Milbank gained 102 yards rushing and 72 yards passing. Sisseton put up 152 yards passing and 61 yards rushing. Milbank was the faster team, but when Sisseton’s Nate Tchida got the ball, he could run like a wild cheetah. Each team committed a couple of untimely turnovers and were charged with several penalties apiece that added up to 32 yards for the Bulldogs and 40 yards for the Redmen.
Both teams moved the ball down the field on decent drives, but neither managed to keep the scoreboard lit up. Sisseton produced a 13-yard touchdown on a wonky punt return in the closing seconds of the first half, but the Bulldog’s defense stepped up to put the kibosh on their two-point conversion attempt. Sisseton had to settle for six, and the first half ended at 6-0.
That proved to be enough, however, as Milbank was unable to capitalize on several opportunities to score in the second half. The Redmen also were unable to add any points to their total. At the final horn, the score still sat at 6-0.
Milbank’s quarterback, Garrett Mertens, connected on six of 18 for 72 yards passing. He also ran for 52 yards and made three tackles. Tate Schluter rushed for 38 yards and had two receptions for 30 yards. Emmett Hanson hauled in three receptions for 29 yards.
For the defense, Ethan Owen bulldozed seven Redmen to lead the Dawgs. Braylen Bowsher was right behind with six tackles. Jayden Johnson, Hanson, Sam Rick, and Jesse Schneck each made four tackles. Landon Novy had two. Schlueter, Layten Osowski, Esteban Abrego, and Carter Gloe pulled down one apiece.
Sisseton’s quarterback, Ethan Despiegler, completed nine of 18 for 152 yards. He also grabbed one interception. Holden Hawkins was the Redmen’s leading rusher. He accrued 68 yards. Tchida caught five receptions for a total of 108 yards. He also snagged an interception. Mason Schultz made seven tackles and Hughin Current pulled down four.
What’s next? The Bulldogs (2-5) tangle with Chamberlain (4-3) this Friday, October 13, in Milbank. Don’t miss the last home game of the regular season. Chamberlain has some tough players, including a strong quarterback, but If the Bulldogs can stay healthy, get refocused, and channel some old-fashioned chutzpah, they have a good chance to take the win!