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Tom Mix, Published November 09 2013

Milnor-North Sargent tops Linton-HMB in OT, advances to Dakota Bowl

MILNOR, N.D. – Several signs that read “not in our yard” were posted in the ground surrounding Gainor Field in Milnor on Saturday.

The Milnor-North Sargent football team got territorial during its North Dakota Class 1A semifinals matchup with Linton-Hazelton-Moffit-Braddock.

The intruding Lions scored late in the fourth quarter to tie the game, but a stingy defense the Bulldogs displayed all afternoon helped the home team post a 12-6 win in overtime.

“Defense was big for us in this game,” senior defensive lineman Wyatt Mund said. “The defense just gave it our all the entire game. This was our final game on this field, and we kept thinking about that, especially late in the game.”

The win earns Milnor-NS its first trip to the Dakota Bowl since 2010. The Bulldogs (9-2) play Hazen at 12:05 p.m. Friday in the 1A title game at the Fargodome.

After holding the Lions (8-3) in check most of the game, Milnor-NS gave up the tying touchdown with 18.7 seconds left in regulation. Linton-HMB senior quarterback Brooks Flyberg completed a 15-yard touchdown pass to junior receiver Ryan Schneider to tie the game 6-6.

The Lions lined up for the 2-point conversion, and it was do or die for the Bulldogs. Flyberg’s pass was batted at the line of scrimmage and landed incomplete, giving life back to Milnor-NS.

“They couldn’t score there,” Milnor-NS defensive lineman Dawson Peterson said. “We dug deep and played great team football. We got it done.”

“That was the play of the game,” Milnor-NS head coach Eric Olson added. “I was worried about the guys having a letdown there. The touchdown was really deflating, but the guys kept fighting and got a stop.”

Up next was overtime, and Milnor-NS struck first when senior quarterback Briton Bussman connected with senior running back Andrew Martinson for a 6-yard touchdown on third-and-goal.

“We knew we wanted to play another week, and we got it done,” said Martinson, who also rushed for 112 yards and a touchdown. “Briton made a good pass. It was great.”

After its offense took back the lead, the Milnor-NS defense went back to work.

This time the Lions got nothing in the Bulldogs’ yard.

Mund got back-to-back sacks for a net loss of 28 yards, forcing the Lions into a fourth-and-goal from the 38-yard line. Flyberg completed a pass to Jordan Gross, but it was well short of the goal line.

The Bulldogs’ pass rush kept the Lions’ offense off balance. Flyberg was sacked nine times in the game.

“They had us outmanned up front,” Linton-HMB head coach Dan Imdieke said. “We had a rough time getting anything going offensively, and they really had a good pass rush going. I was proud the boys forced overtime. They played hard.”

LHMB 0 0 0 6 0– 6

MNS 0 6 0 0 6–12

MNS–Martinson 5 run (run failed)

L– Schneider 15 pass from Flyberg (pass failed)

MNS–Martinson 6 pass from Bussman (run failed)

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING: L, Schell 1-0, Gross 1-0, Jacob 13-20, Flyberg 11-(-73), Gefroh 1-3, Schumacher 1-13, Team 1-(-1). M-NS, Martinson 30-112, Morlock 17-49, Yagow 5-24, Bussman 1-(-6), Mund 1-5.

PASSING: L, Flyberg 7-21-1–124, Purintun 0-1-0–0. M-NS, Bussman 3-9-1-27.

RECEIVING: L, Jacob 1-27, Schneider 2-54, Purintun 3-35, Gross 1-8. M-NS, Martinson 2-17, Peterson 1-10.


Readers can reach Forum reporter Tom Mix at (701) 241-5562