Hornets rebound with win over Bombers

BERTHOLD The Harvey-Wells County football team had been counting down the days until it got its chance to redeem itself after a season-opening loss to Carrington.

Lewis & Clark-Our Redeemer’s Christian School had the misfortune of playing against a team of angry Hornets on Friday night.

The result was a 36-8 victory for H-WC over the Bombers in the region opener for both Class A teams. H-WC senior quarterback Mark Nyhus completed 7 of 13 passes for 176 yards and two touchdowns. Nyhus also ran for two scores.

“We talked about it all week,” Nyhus said. “We couldn’t wait for this game. It was a real big game. You don’t want to start off the season 0-2. You don’t want to go into that third game against Rugby 0-2.”

After a scoreless first quarter in which the Hornets (1-1 overall, 1-0 Region 3) dominated time of possession, H-WC sophomore running back Parker Bachmeier scored on a 2-yard toss play to the right with 9 minutes, 49 seconds remaining in the first half. Bachmeier carried the ball 11 times for 39 yards.

Nyhus hit senior running back Wyatt Toso for an 18-yard touchdown with 3:38 in the half to give the Hornets a 16-0 lead.

“We’re a relatively inexperienced football team,” H-WC coach Brad Sandy. “We didn’t play very well last week against Carrington and we told our kids that we expected a huge amount of upside from that first game to the second game. We had huge improvement. It was fun to see the way the kids came out and battled.”

The Bombers (1-1, 0-1) struggled to produce offense and when they did, fumbled snaps or penalties stalled any momentum they could muster. L&C-OR fumbled five snaps, two back to back late in the fourth quarter.

“We couldn’t get anything going,” L&C-OR coach George Duenas said. “(H-WC) came out hard. They were ready to play and we weren’t. Anytime we got sparks on offense we just shot ourselves in the foot.”

The only shred of offense from the Bombers came on the final play of the first half. Following a timeout called by H-WC with less than 20 seconds on the clock, L&C-OR junior quarterback Austin Lee rolled out and connected on a 60-yard touchdown to junior wide receiver Jared Hamilton. The 5-foot-8, 155-pound receiver got behind the Hornets secondary as Lee avoided the pass rush.

“It was definitely a momentum change, but unfortunately we weren’t able to build too much out of it,” Lee said. “It was good to end the half like that. Next time we have to come out with more fire and more intensity.”

Lee threw for 98 yards on three completions. Hamilton caught two passes for 92 yards.

The momentum didn’t carry over as the Hornets dominated the second half behind Nyhus’ performance. The 6-1 signal caller scored twice from runs inside the 10-yard line in a span of 3:24 and then found junior wide receiver Hunter Goldade wide open for a 76-yard touchdown.

“Mark played very, very well,” Sandy said. “Mark would be the first to tell you he struggled a bit last week. When he gets us going and runs that offense and makes a couple of passes click and gets thing going, everything starts to fall in place for you.”

The Hornets ran 62 plays compared to the Bombers’ 29.

L&C-OR travels to play Bottineau at 7 p.m. Thursday. H-WC hosts Rugby at 7 p.m. Friday.

Mike Kraft covers high school athletics, the Minot Minotauros and the Minot State University men’s club hockey team. Follow him on Twitter @MKraft23_MDN.