Heath Hotzler, Published November 14 2009
Dakota Bowl: Velva shuts out Langdon-Munich for Class 1A titleThe Velva football team turned the red zone into the Twilight Zone for Langdon-Munich on Friday. The Aggies defense was scary good.
Velva kept the Cardinals out of the end zone despite three trips inside the 15-yard line en route to a 20-0 victory in the North Dakota Class 1A state championship game at the Fargodome.
“Our defense came up huge,” Velva senior running back and linebacker Michael Wiest said. “We gave up a lot of yards. But in the red zone, we were able to hold them when it counted. We just knew in the red zone we had to get after it or they were going to get in for a score.”
The Cardinals (10-2) never did get in for a score.
And Velva was able to finish off enough drives to continue the program’s domination of the 2000’s.
Velva (12-0) used a precise passing game to build a 14-0 first-half advantage.
Aggies junior quarterback Jon Mack picked Langdon-Munich’s defense apart as he connected on his first eight attempts.
Mack completed passes to seven different receivers in the game. He finished the first half 11 of 14 for 99 yards.
Wiest and Mack each scored on the ground to give the Aggies the early lead.
“Our game plan was to try to come out and get 2, 3, 4 yards a pop,” Wiest said. “When that wasn’t working we turned to our passing game. We tried to open it up a little bit. It was there for us.”
Langdon-Munich reached the Velva
14 early in the first half. However, the Cardinals were stuffed on a 4th down run to turn the ball over on downs.
The team also came away with no points on separate drives to the Aggies’ 10 and 8 in the second half.
“We had our opportunities to put the ball in the end zone,” Cardinals coach Andy DelaBarre said. “Give credit to Velva, to their defense and the system they have in place. It certainly worked. It shut us down in the red zone.”
Wiest came alive in the second half.
He ran 13 times for 140 yards in the final two quarters, and had a 61-yard burst that put the Aggies ahead 20-0 in the fourth. Wiest finished with 169 yards on 20 attempts.
Velva has now won eight state titles under head coach Larry Sandy. The Aggies have won seven state crowns since 2000.
“For the kids, the big thing is they know we’ve been here before,” Sandy said. “You treat this game just like any game. … I think we also benefit from coming from a very strong region year after year in Region 3.”
Langdon-Munic h 0 0 0 0 – 0
Velva 7 7 0 6 – 20
V-Wiest 5 run (Wible kick)
V-Mack 1 run (Wible kick)
V-Wiest 61 run (kick failed)
RUSHING: V, Wiest 20-169, Kittelson 7-45, Mack 6-3, Weidler 1-(-1). L-M, Dinius 29-153, Beck 11-44.
PASSING: V, Mack 12-16-1 107. L-M, Beck 1-5-0 11, Crockett 1-3-1 17.
RECEIVING: V, Kittleson 4-30, Weidler 2-33, Podoll 2-30, Sandy 2-13, Kittelson 1-6, Wiest 1-(-5). L-M, Klein 1-17, Dinius 1-11.
Readers can reach Forum reporterHeath Hotzler at (701) 241-5562