Harding County pass attack tops Colome in 9B title tiltVERMILLION — Poor pass coverage and an inconsistent offensive plagued the Colome Cowboys, who fell 50-20 to the Harding County Ranchers in the 9B state championship game Thursday at the Dakota Dome.
By: Aaron Saunders, The Daily Republic
VERMILLION — Poor pass coverage and an inconsistent offense plagued the Colome Cowboys, who fell 50-20 to the Harding County Ranchers in the 9B state championship game Thursday at the Dakota Dome.
“It stinks to lose,” Colome defensive back Jacob Worden said. The Cowboys finished the season 10-2, while Harding County finished its season 12-0.
The Colome offense struck first in the first quarter on a 50-yard quarterback sweep by Terrance Kinzer, but that was all Colome would get for the rest of the first half. The Harding County defense shut down every opportunity the Cowboys had, including a big fourth down stop in the red zone.
While Colome’s offense was struggling, the Harding County offense was scoring.
Led by quarterback Jess Feist, the Ranchers found the end zone in each of their possessions in the first half and scored 28 unanswered points by halftime. The Ranchers carved through the Cowboy defense through the air with screens and slants and on the ground with quarterback draws.
“We couldn’t sustain any drives on offense, we couldn’t get a pass rush and we didn’t have good pass coverage,” Colome head coach Kevin Keiser said.
Feist finished the half with three touchdowns through the air and had no problems dissecting the Colome zone defense. He connected with a variety of receivers, including Ckyler Floyd, who finished with the game with seven catches 115 yards and two touchdowns.
Coming out of the half, Colome looked to be gaining momentum after forcing a Harding County fumble. The Cowboys methodically drove the football down on the field on a series of runs, but Kinzer threw an interception on the Harding County 1-yard line that was taken 99 yards for a TD by cornerback Harley Mollman to give the Ranchers a comfortable 36-8 lead.
“That one hurt. It kind of took the wind out of our sails,” Keiser said. “Terrance was just trying to make a play for us.”
After the critical interception, the Colome offense showed signs of life in the later parts of the second half, scoring touchdowns on runs by running back Andrew Odden and Kinzer to pull within 22 points.
But it was too little, too late.
Despite the Cowboys’ best efforts, the Ranchers continued to stretch their lead with two 40-yard strikes from the arm of Feist, who finished with 290 yards and six touchdowns.
“It was tough facing him, but we gave him too much time to throw, you can’t simulate in practice who they were going to throw to,” Keiser said of Feist and the the Rancher offense.
NOTES: Feist, who was named the Joe Robbie MVP and the outstanding offensive back, broke Mitchell resident and former Hitchock-Tulare quarterback Tim Bottum’s passes completed record in a 9B title game with 16 completions. The former record by Bottum was 14, set in 1996.