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Northwest Salmon



Bearcats sent to hibernate

Webster Area loses 50-26 to

Miller/Highmore-Harrold in 9AA playoff

by Emre K. Erku

It’s over.

Miller/Highmore-Harrold’s offense proved to be a freight train Oct. 12, and Webster Area’s hopes to advance in the South Dakota 9AA post season was derailed by a 50-26 defeat.

Miller’s a damn good team,” said Webster head coach Tanner Christensen. “They earned it.”

With a one, two punch combination of the 6’4,” 195-pound junior starting quarterback Karst Hunter and 6’, 150-pound senior receiver Landon Sivertsen, the Cats suffered blows most of the game. Sivertsen would end the contest with five touchdown runs.

After deferring the opening kickoff, Webster sophomore starting quarterback Braden Holland tossed an interception to Rustler defender Deric Diede on the first play of the first drive. Immediately after, at 10:31, Carter Canham would score the games first touchdown. Hunter followed with a good two-point conversion pass to Henry Mullaney to put the Rustlers up 8-0.

On their next possession, the Cats were forced to punt but recovered a fortuitous bounce off the backs of the receiving team. In following, the Cats drove down field and controlled possession for the next three minutes; however, they’d fumble the ball at 5:22. At 1:54 left in the first quarter, Sivertson would find his way into the end zone untouched. With a good two-point conversion, the Rustlers went up 16-0.

The offensive woes continued for the Cats in the second quarter as they fumbled at 11:54. By 9:36, the Rustlers again drove down field and Sivertson once again crossed the goal line to put his team up 24 zip after a good two PAT. Later in the quarter, Hunter would score on a short run, improving the Rustlers’ lead 30-0.

This didn’t stop the Cats in their tracks, however, as they started to build a little momentum. At 2:53, Holland dropped back and delivered a long ball to senior receiver Devin Koslowski, who caught it in single coverage and scored. The Cats would botch the point after and trail 30-6. Before halftime, the Rustlers drove down field but were intercepted in the end zone.

Christensen used the play as a motivating factor at half time.

“We had to chip away. We had to go at them, but we knew that we couldn’t come back and score 30 points all in one spot,” he said. “So it was work our way down, break it down, chip, chip, chip, and try to work our way back into it.”

Before that could happen, Miller/Highmore-Harrold started the second half with another touchdown via Sivertsen run at 9:45. Almost five minutes passed before the next score.

This time, the Cats would score two touchdowns in less than two minutes. Holland ran it across the goal line at 5:25. Immediately after, Bearcat kicker Clayton Kurtz picked an open spot in the Rustlers’ zone and delivered an on-side kick which was recovered by Sterling Rausch.

“Sterling came on the sideline and said, ‘I want to go get this,’” said Christensen.

The Cats would capitalize on the recovery when Holland dropped back in the pocket and tossed a TD pass to Coby Reetz at 3:34. Holland ran it in for the double PAT, turning the score 38-20 going into the fourth stanza.

“We started to execute,” Christensen said. “We started to play our game. We had our confidence going.”

But the Rustlers’ offense again proved too good.

Sivertson ran in another score at 9:27 to put his team up 44-20. Their very next possession, the Cats ran a perfectly executed flea-flicker on a pitch to Koslowski from Holland and a toss from Koslowski to receiver Matt Block. However, on fourth and goal, the Cats would turn it over. The next play, Sivertsen took the ball and ran the length of the field for his last touchdown of the night.

The Cats would close out the game with a touchdown run by Austin Moen.

In the air, Holland went 11 of 34 for two TDs and three interceptions. On the ground, Holland gained 142 yards and one TD on 21 carries while Moen had 72 yards and one TD on three carries. Reetz gained eight yards on seven carries. As a team they gained 215 yards and two TDs on 35 carries.

In receiving, Koslowski collected 47 yards and one score on three receptions, Reetz 38 yards and one score on four receptions and Block 36 yards on two receptions. The Cats had 132 yards and two TDS on 12 receptions.

Defensively, Rausch had 16 tackles, Tristen Bent 14, Cade Shoemaker 11, Koslowski 10, Mason Peckham nine and Parker Roerig eight. The Cats wrapped up for 92 total tackles.

In 72 total plays, Webster recorded 14 first downs and six penalties to the Rustlers’ 21 and seven.

“Overall, they fought hard,” said Christensen. “I cannot be disappointed in how we fought. Did we execute 100 percent? Maybe not, but neither did they.”

The Webster coach was also asked how his team stayed in the game.

“Heart,” he responded. “Pure and simple. We have so much heart, and my biggest thing is they fought with the name on their chest. We played as a team.”

Rustlers stats unavailble per deadline.

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