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Seahawks run past Hill City, advance to semis

Seahawk quarterback Blake Bartscher runs the ball past Hill City defenders in a Class 9AA quarterfinal football game Monday. (Sean Ryan/Republic)

BRIDGEWATER — Bridgewater-Emery/Ethan’s ground game ran all over the field Monday.

The tandem of Jordan Grosdidier and Wade Miller led the fourth-ranked Seahawks over No. 5 Hill City 49-8 Monday in a Class 9AA quarterfinal football game.

Miller, a senior tailback, rushed for 171 yards and two touchdowns on 23 carries, while Grosdidier, a senior fullback, tallied 168 yards on 13 carries.

The Seahawks (9-1) rushed 56 times for a total of 447 yards.

“I am proud of our performance tonight,” Miller said. “I am proud of our front line for holding their blocks and proud of Jordan for opening up a lot of holes for me. Jordan just blows right through guys, and it really opens up big holes.”

The Seahawks dominated the first half, scoring on all but one drive en route to putting 30 points on the scoreboard. Bridgewater-Emery/Ethan drove down field on its first two drives with relative ease — both of which were 80-yard drives capped by touchdowns.

Early on, the Seahawks (9-1) gave Hill City a steady dose of Miller and Grosdidier. Both running backs ripped off 20-yard gains with regularity in the first half.

With Grosdidier and Miller capturing the attention of the Ranger defense, Seahawk quarterback Blake Bartscher took advantage. Bartscher connected with running back Anthony Donovan for a 6-yard touchdown pass to open the scoring in the first quarter. His second score was a pass to tight end J.D. Shape in the second quarter.

The senior quarterback also ran for a touchdown, finishing with 39 rushing yards and 31 yards passing, completing four pass attempts.

“Our offensive and defensive line took control of the game, and that is what we needed to happen,” Bridgewater-Emery/Ethan football coach Jeff VanLeur said. “We wanted to come out and pound at them a little bit and play smash-mouth football.

“We are very confident in Blake’s ability. Our kids believe in him and they believe in each other and it showed tonight.”

The one glitch for the Seahawks in the first half was the 84-yard touchdown run they gave up to Hill City quarterback Dylan Thomas. It was the only touchdown the Rangers (8-2) scored. Thomas finished the game with 93 yards on the ground and 11 yards through the air.

Senior running back Gage Skillingstad added 81 yards for Hill City, which finished with 200 total yards.

The Seahawk defense did not allow Thomas and the Rangers to reach their 30-yard line in the second half.

Defensive linemen Camden Myers and Sean Luke led the Seahawk defense with eight tackles apiece.

“They are a quality ball club and they executed very well,” Hill City football coach Chad Ronish said. “We knew we couldn’t make mistakes and give them extra chances, but we did that in the first half. They are an extremely well coached team.”

Bridgewater-Emery/Ethan plays Gregory in the Class 9AA semifinals Saturday in Gregory.

First quarter

BEE: Anthony Donovan 6 pass from Blake Bartscher (Jordan Grosdidier run)

BEE: Wade Miller 3 run (Grosdidier run)

BEE: JD Shape 20 pass from Bartscher (Miller run)

Second Quarter

BEE: Bartscher 30 run (pass failed)

HC: Dylan Thomas 84 run (Greg Killingstad run)

Third Quarter

BEE: Miller 5 run (Miller run)

BEE: Jonah Bailey 1 run (Camden Myers from Bartscher)

Fourth Quarter

BEE: Jesse Grosdidier 26 field goal