Defense holds strong in second half to preserve win
The Langdon-Edmore-Munich Cardinals made their fourth trip to the Dakota Bowl in program history to play Hillsboro-Central Valley for the State Class A Championship on Nov. 9.
By JAKE KULLAND
Republican Sports Writer
After losing a heartbreaker to the Burros 16-14 in last year’s title game, the Cards came up with several big plays on both sides of the ball this time to get some measure of revenge and win by a final score of 20-18.
It is the first-ever football championship in the history of the Cardinals program. The Cards end their season with a record of 12-0, and for all the players, especially seniors Carter Currey, Alex Lowery and Holden Mack, this will be one they will never forget. H-CV, who is moving up to Class AA football next season, finished at 11-1 and had their 23 game winning streak snapped. Langdon-Edmore-Munich head coach Josh Krivarchka was named Class A Coach of the Year for the second year in a row, a very rare achievement.
The whole first quarter was almost scoreless, but things got interesting late in the frame. The Burros would draw first blood in the contest, as a number of big runs by star junior running back Oscar Benson set up a one yard run by quarterback Micah Gallegher.
But the Cardinals would strike back less than one minute later on a 47 yard bomb from Simon Romfo to a sprinting Sean Gette, who made the catch, broke a tackle and went into the end zone for the score. Romfo then ran in the 2-point conversion to give the Cardinals the lead at 8-6.
After the Burros got the lead back at 12-8 on an Ezra Longthorne three yard run, the Cards went to down and scored again, as Simon Romfo found Jackson Delvo for some clutch catches to set up a one yard pass play on fourth and goal from the one yard line from Simon to Grant Romfo to make it 14-12. A huge play in the game came on the Burros next drive when Gallagher was hit trying to pitch the ball to Benson on an option play, but the ball was well behind him to give the Cardinals the ball with under two minutes left in the first half. The Cards then worked the ball down to the two yard line where Simon Romfo ran for the left pylon of the end zone, getting the ball just inside of it for a TD and a 20-12 halftime lead.
After the game Simon said, “I’ve always dreamed of making a play just like that in a big game, and it actually happened.”
Leading by eight points and getting the ball in the second half, the Cardinals fumbled the football on their first play from scrimmage, allowing the Burros to get a score on a one yard run by Benson to make the score 20-18. Miraculously, with 7:55 to go in the third quarter, that would be the last score of the game. The Cardinals held off H-CV on their final three drives, and even though they didn’t score themselves, Langdon-Edmore-Munich converted enough first downs to keep the clock moving.
On the Burros last drive, Cardinals defensive end Sid Ullyott (all 155 pounds of him!) made two fantastic hustle plays from the backside of the play to help stop Benson on third and fourth down to give the Cards the football.
After the game, Sid said about that last drive, “I think they forgot to block me! I was trying to make a play for my team, and it worked out twice.”
The game wasn’t over yet, however. The Cards used their hard count “freeze” formation on a third down and four, which caused the Burros defensive line to jump, going offside for the first time in the entire game. The Cards then ran out the clock.
A couple of stats that stick out in the contest are that H-CV had nine penalties for 60 yards, two of which called back touchdown runs. The Burros out gained the Cardinals 399 to 261, and the biggest stat of all is that the Cardinals forced H-CV to go 0-3 on conversion attempts, while the Cards were 1-3, with the one two pointer they got in were the winning points in the game.
CLASS A CHAMPIONSHIP
Hillsboro-Central Valley 18
HCV 6 6 6 0 –18
LEM 8 12 0 0 –20
HCV — Micah Gallagher 1 run
LEM — Sean Gette 47 pass from
Simon Romfo (S. Romfo run)
HCV — Ezra Longthorne 3 run
LEM — Grant Romfo 1 pass from
S. Romfo (pass failed)
LEM — S. Romfo 2 run (kick
HCV — Oscar Benson 1 run (run
RUSHING — HCV: Oscar Benson
41-214, Micah Galleger 8-58, Mark
Hastings 12-57, Ezra Longthorne
3-13; LEM: Simon Romfo 23-39,
Grant Romfo 2-7, Sean Gette 1-4
PASSING — HCV: Gallagher 5-8-
1, 57 yards; LEM: S. Romfo 13-26-
0, 211 yards
RECEIVING — HCV: Landen
Reed 3-41, Benson 2-16; LEM:
Jackson Delvo 7-117, Sean Gette
2-67, G. Romfo 4-27
Senior athlete of the year —
Kaden Kuntz, Dickinson Trinity
Coach of the year — Josh Krivarchka,