By Kelsie Hoitomt
BOYCEVILLE – Last September the Rosholt Hornets won 20-14 while playing in Boyceville, however this year redemption was had during the homecoming contest as the Bulldogs won 31-13.
The game started off with a bang after the Hornets received the kickoff and on their first pass, Spencer Hahn threw the ball right into the hands of Mitch Leach for an interception.
This put the Bulldogs on the 15 yard line and on their first offensive play, Logan McAbee-Thomas ran the ball to the end zone for a touchdown with 11:37 still left to play.
The two-point conversion failed, but the Bulldogs were still on the board 6-0.
The Hornets started their drive on their own 20 and seemed to catch the Bulldogs’ defense in sleep mode as they worked their way to the goal line.
Jamie Betro took the hand off from Hahn and hit the end zone for a two yard touchdown run at 7:42 in the first quarter. Their extra point was good, which gave them a lead of 7-6.
Brady Schutts grabbed the kick return and ran the ball to Rosholt’s 46 to start the Bulldog’s second possession of the game.
With the ball sitting on the 42 yard line, McAbee-Thomas took the hand off and hurdled some Hornets as he sprinted his way to the end zone for his second touchdown.
The conversion play was unsuccessful again, but the Bulldogs took the lead once more with the score at 12-7.
Jake Lake’s kick was down in the end zone so the Hornets started on their own 20 yard line. Their drive ended with Jason Retzloff sacking Hahn, which brought up fourth down and 20.
The punt put the Bulldogs on the 35 yard line, but a flag backed them up to the 28 and soon they were facing third down and 15 to go.
Hunter Anderson connected with Tyler Stroo for a first down and that moved them to their own 48 yard line to end the first quarter.
The first play of the second quarter was a pass from Anderson to Brett Boda, which was enough to put them in Hornet territory.
A penalty for roughing the quarterback was called and the Bulldogs got a first down to put them on the 33.
Two plays and another flag thrown at the Hornets had the Bulldogs sitting on the 19 with a first down.
In one play, Anderson hit Boda for a 19 yard pass completion that was good for a Bulldog touchdown.
The conversion was no good, but the Bulldogs were now up 18-7 with nine minutes still left to play in the first half.
The ball was kicked and the Hornets came up empty on their drive against the Bulldogs’ defense. They were forced to punt yet again, which gave the Bulldogs the ball on the 12.
Anderson took the snap and fired to Schutts for a 28 yard gain that put the team on the 40.
McAbee-Thomas ran the ball for two yards and then Anderson dropped a bomb to Leach for a 58 yard touchdown run, but a flag was thrown and the play was called dead.
The Bulldogs bounced back off their penalty call with a well executed play that had Anderson throw to Leach and Leach pitched the ball to McAbee-Thomas for a 73 yard touchdown run.
Instead of a conversion run, the Bulldogs brought out Lake for the extra point, which was good and the score now read 25-7 with 5:41 still to play.
Leach was on fire this game and he got even hotter after shutting down the Hornets’ following drive with his second interception on Hahn.
The ball was caught in the end zone, which brought the Bulldogs out to the 20 for their possession. The drive would end mid play due to the clock ticking to zero and ending the first half.
The Bulldogs received the ball to start the second half, but they were done in three plays so on fourth and 21, Boda punted the ball.
The Hornets started on their own 40 and moved to Boyceville’s 47 before Leach stole their thunder after he caught his third interception.
A flag was thrown, but the call was declined and the Bulldogs were put on their own 46.
The Bulldogs were unable to make anything happen on the interception play, which brought out Boda again for the punt.
Boda stopped the Hornets after he recovered a fumble two plays into their possession.
Again, the Bulldogs were handed a play opportunity and they were unable to make anything happen out of it. They were stopped near their own 20 yard line after trying a fourth down play.
Rosholt started on their own 22 and moved back to the 16 after two plays. They were facing third down and 15 to go when the fourth quarter started.
One play later, they had 21 yards to go after taking a loss. With the ball on the nine yard line, they brought out their punter.
On the punt, a flag was thrown due to a Bulldog player taking out the punter. This penalty put the ball back into the Hornets’ hands.
Their drive started on the 24 yard line and two passes from Hahn to Damian Yaeger had them sitting on Boyceville’s 35.
Then yet another flag was thrown against the Bulldogs and that moved the Hornets ahead to the 15.
Two plays later they were in the end zone for the second and final score of the game with 8:29 left to play.
The Bulldogs held the ball in their possession for nearly seven minutes on their following drive, which started after Jordan Morse brought out the kick return.
McAbee-Thomas carried the ball to the 49 yard line and then Anderson held onto it for the keeper and the first down on the Hornets’ 39.
McAbee-Thomas picked up a four yard gain before Anderson took to the air for an 11 yard completion to Leach, which was good for a first down.
Sam Hellmann then took the hand off and pushed his way through several attempted tackles before he landed on the seven yard line.
Anderson again went with the keeper and hit the end zone, but a flag was thrown and the touchdown was no good for the second time in the game.
The Bulldogs again bounced back from the penalty call and showed their determination with a touchdown scored on a pass from Anderson to Leach.
This was the final score of the game, which put the score at 31-13 with 1:56 remaining in the game.
The Hornets final possession of the game lasted three plays before Hahn threw his fourth interception, which was caught this time by Jake McIntyre.
The Bulldogs took their positions on the field and Anderson kneeled down on the snap to cement their homecoming victory.
The Bulldogs ended their redemption game with 217 yards of rushing and 118 yards receiving.
Anderson completed 11 passes on 17 attempts for those 118 yards and two touchdowns.
On the receiving end, Schutts and Boda led the team in yards with 39 and 38 on three receptions each. Leach had 22 yards on four completions and Stroo had 19 yards on one completion.
The star of the run game was McAbee-Thomas with 153 yards on 14 attempts, which averaged to nearly 11 yards each rush.
Hellmann followed with 35 yards on five attempts, Anderson had 23 yards on seven attempts, Schutts had four yards on two attempts and Morse carried the ball for two yards.
They allowed the Hornets 82 yards of receiving and 136 yards of rushing with just two touchdowns and four interceptions.