Posted 10/25/16 (Tue)
By Jody Michael
The Divide County football team had little chance against North Prairie on Saturday afternoon: Almost all the big plays belonged to the host Cougars in a 62-6 rout of the overmatched Maroons in the second round of the state nine-man playoffs.
North Prairie quarterback Brody Cahill had four touchdowns, all in the first half, putting the Cougars into the quarterfinals and squashing any momentum DC might have had from the prior week’s 36-32 win over Hettinger-Scranton.
The Cougars (9-0) were state runners-up last year and haven’t lost since.
“We got beat bad in every aspect of the game,” Divide County offensive coach Bob Brown said. “The biggest difference was how much stronger and faster they were than us. On top of that, we were not mentally ready to play a team of that caliber. They are at a different level than us.”
Cahill was 6 for 8 for 110 yards and took seven carries for 163 yards as the Cougars gained 589 yards in all. In stark contrast, Divide County quarterback Dejuan Jenkins was 1 for 7 for 11 yards and ran for 41 yards, his third-lowest output of the season.
The game was a mismatch from the first snap. The Cougars’ first two plays from scrimmage both went for long touchdown runs, of 72 yards by Cahill and 80 yards by Garrett Munro. After the second score, the Cougars recovered their own kickoff, and Cahill broke free for a 48-yard touchdown two plays later. Barely three minutes had elapsed.
“We are not even close to the level of team that North Prairie is,” Divide County defensive coach Nate Nelson said. “We are not able to compete with the more physical teams out there right now. We need to get mentally and physically tougher.”
Cahill’s passing TDs covered 25 yards to Jared Loing late in the first quarter, and 27 to Carson Wilkes in the second. Three other rushing touchdowns provided the remainder of North Prairie’s scoring.
Aidan Eriksmoen scored on a 72-yard run as time expired. A promising drive earlier in the fourth ended with a fumble 15 yards shy of the end zone.
Divide County’s season ends with a 6-4 record that included four wins in a row after a stunning near-comeback against Kenmare-Burke County.
That string of triumphs ended with a 52-6 road loss to Mohall-Lansford-Sherwood, but the Maroons bounced back in their first playoff game with big offensive and defensive plays that they did not manage to duplicate against the Cougars.
“It was a tough way to end the year, but I am proud of the players and how they battled through a lot of adversity this year,” Brown said. “We improved upon last year and won a playoff game, so those are positives. Hopefully our athletes will commit to getting bigger, faster, and stronger over the course of the year.”
North Prairie 62, Divide County 6
1st 2nd 3rd 4th
Divide County 0 0 0 6
North Prairie 32 14 16 0
NP -- Brody Cahill 72 run (Gabe Leonard run), 11:41.
NP -- Garrett Munro 80 run (Leonard run), 9:22.
NP -- Cahill 48 run (Carson Wilkes run), 8:35.
NP -- Jared Loing 25 pass from Cahill (Wilkes pass from Cahill), 2:52.
NP -- Leonard 1 run (pass failed), 9:48.
NP -- Wilkes 27 pass from Cahill (Leonard run), 3:20.
NP -- Munro 4 run (Munro run), 3:27.
NP -- Austin Soukup 42 run (Gabriel Beaver run), 1:15.
DC -- Aidan Eriksmoen 72 run (conversion not attempted), :00.
Divide County: Aidan Eriksmoen 10-69, Dejuan Jenkins 10-41, Alex Bailey 6-33, Taylor Landsverk 4-35, Colton Molloy 1-6, Isaac Ellingson 1-0, Tyler Deering 1-(minus 2).
North Prairie: Gabe Leonard 16-79, Brody Cahill 7-163, Garrett Munro 7-128, Grant Munro 5-10, Gabriel Beaver 4-12, Austin Soukup 2-89, Evan Tumey 1-(minus 1).
Divide County: Dejuan Jenkins 1-7-2-11.
North Prairie: Brody Cahill 6-8-0-110.
Divide County: Taylor Landsverk 1-11.
North Prairie: Alex Abrahamson 2-41, Carson Wilkes 2-31, Jared Loing 1-25, Garrett Munro 1-13.
Troy Knudson -- 6 assists, 6 tackles.
Colton Molloy -- 3 tackles.
Alex Bailey -- 3 tackles.
Dejuan Jenkins -- 2 tackles.
Isaac Ellingson -- 1 tackle.
Taylor Landsverk -- 2 assists, 6 tackles.
Riley Lund -- 1 assist, 1 tackle, 1 fumble recovery.
Joran Oien -- 2 tackles.
Tyler Deering -- 3 tackles.
Aidan Eriksmoen -- 3 assists, 9 tackles, 1 tackle for loss, 1 forced fumble.
Jayden Nygard -- 1 assist, 3 tackles.