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Tom Mix, Published November 12 2013

Mund's play has Milnor-North Sargent in title hunt

Milnor, N.D. - Milnor-North Sargent football coach Eric Olson was wondering when his senior two-way starter Wyatt Mund was going to have his standout defensive game.

Olson got his answer on a cold, windy day in Milnor last Saturday.

Mund unleashed for four sacks, two forced fumbles and three pass breakups in the Bulldogs’ 12-6 overtime victory against Linton-Hazelton-Moffit-Braddock during the North Dakota Class 1A semifinals.

It was by far Mund’s best defensive game of the season and helped Milnor-North Sargent earn a berth into Friday’s Dakota Bowl where the Bulldogs (9-2) will meet No. 1-ranked Hazen (11-0) in the Class 1A championship game at 12:05 p.m.

“He certainly has had some big games for us offensively this season, but we were really waiting for him to have one of those break out games on defense,” Olson said. “He really stepped up for us and made a lot of big plays.”

Mund’s biggest play of the afternoon came with 18.7 seconds left in regulation. Linton-HMB had just scored the tying touchdown off a broken play and lined up for a two-point conversion.

With the Bulldogs’ season hanging in the balance, Mund batted down the Lions’ two-point pass attempt to keep the game tied.

In overtime, the Bulldogs scored first and once again looked to their defense to get one last stop.

Mund responded by recording back-to-back sacks for a net loss of 28 yards that forced the Lions into a fourth-and-goal from the 38-yard line, which Linton-HMB failed to convert.

“I knew I couldn’t do much on offense because of the wind factor,” Mund said. “I knew I had to step up on defense and make plays. As a team we needed to play well defensively and it worked out.”

Mund finished with four sacks for a total loss of 42 yards against the Lions and has recorded 9½ sacks for a loss of 62 yards this fall.

“You don’t see a lot of guys his size, 6-foot-4, 200 pounds, with his kind of speed,” Olson said. “He has the ability to deflect passes at the line of scrimmage and he can also get to the quarterback quickly on the edge.”

Mund also starts at tight end and has caught 17 passes for 318 yards, which ranks second on the team behind senior wide receiver Dawson Peterson (366).

He has natural chemistry with quarterback Briton Bussman. Bussman and Mund were standouts on the Milnor Bison basketball team that won a Class B state championship last March.

“We have played sports together a long time now,” Mund said. “He knows what I’m going to do and it works out well.”

Milnor-North Sargent is making its second appearance at the Dakota Bowl. Its first trip came in 2010, when the Bulldogs lost the 1A championship to Velva.

“We talked about doing this,” Mund said of playing in the title game. “We worked hard to get here. Anything can happen when you get to this point. We just have to go out and play.”

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Tom Mix at (701) 241-5562