PREP FOOTBALL: Langdon-E-M wins A title
FARGO -- Through 45-plus minutes of football, Hillsboro-Central Valley had only three offensive plays that resulted in negative yards.
When Sid Ullyott found his way into the Burros' backfield on consecutive plays, however, that locked up a state championship for Langdon-Edmore-Munich.
The Cardinals' late defensive stop lifted them to a 20-18 win against Hillsboro-CV here Friday in the championship game of the North Dakota Class A high school playoffs.
With the Burros in a third-and-four situation on the L-E-M 12-yard line, Ullyott dropped standout Burros running back Oscar Benson for a 1-yard loss. On fourth down, Ullyott again brought down Benson, this time for minus-four yards.
That turned the ball over to the Cardinals, who ran out the clock.
"Our coaches put me in good position,'' Ullyott said. "I don't know what was going through my head. I was just flying around and reacting to the play.
"Those are probably the two biggest plays I've ever made.''
Hillsboro-CV coach Scott Olsen said he considered trying a field goal for the go-ahead points. "But our long snapper was injured during the game and wasn't playing,'' Olsen said.
Said L-E-M coach Josh Krivarchka: "Sid isn't overly big, but he's a football player. He makes plays.
"We preached to the kids all week that they would get yards. But if we made them keep running plays, eventually they could make mistakes. Our defense kept coming.''
If it was Ullyott’s tackles that clinched the win, it was sophomore quarterback Simon Romfo who made the plays early to give the Cardinals an insurmountable lead.
In the first half, Romfo had a hand in all three L-E-M touchdowns. The junior passed to Sean Gette for 47 yards and to twin brother Grant Romfo from 1 yard out for TDs.
Then, with 21 seconds left in the first half, Simon Romfo rolled left, sprinted for the goal line and the ball hit the pylon as he dived in for a score. The 2-yard run gave the Cardinals a 20-12 lead with 21 seconds left in the second quarter.
"The linemen were giving me time to throw,'' Simon Romfo said. "The receivers were getting open and making plays. And the coaches drew up good plays. I just had to make the throws.''
The sophomore finished 13-of-26 passing for 211 yards. Nine of his completions came on third downs. Favorite receiver Jackson Delvo had seven catches for 117 yards.
"Simon is a special quarterback,'' Krivarchka said. "We had to run just enough to keep their defense honest. To move the ball and score points, we knew we had to throw. There were some small windows, but he made good throws.''
Hillsboro-CV had first-half touchdowns on runs of 1 yard by Micah Gallagher and 3 yards by Ezra Longthorne. Benson, who finished with 214 rushing yards, scored on a 1-yard run with 7:55 left in the third quarter to pull the Burros within 20-18.
"A lot of mistakes hurt us,'' Olsen said. "Penalties killed us. We had two touchdowns called back because of them.''
Hillsboro-CV closed the season 11-1. Langdon-E-M finished 12-0 and reversed last season's 16-14 loss to the Burros in the state final.
"Last year's seniors got the program moving in the right direction,'' Krivarchka said. "These guys finished the job today.''N.D. Class A playoffs
In Fargo, FridayLangdon-Edm.-Mun. 20,
Hillsboro-Cent. Valley 18
HCV 6 6 6 0 --18
LEM 8 12 0 0 --20
HCV -- Micah Gallagher 1 run (kick failed)
LEM -- Sean Gette 47 pass from Simon Romfo (S. Romfo run)
HCV -- Ezra Longthorne 3 run (pass failed)
LEM -- Grant Romfo 1 pass from S. Romfo (pass failed)
LEM -- S. Romfo 2 run (kick failed)
HCV -- Oscar Benson 1 run (run failed)
RUSHING -- HCV: Oscar Benson 41-214, Micah Galleger 8-58, Mark Hastings 12-57, Ezra Longthorne 3-13; LEM: Simon Romfo 23-39, Grant Romfo 2-7, Sean Gette 1-4
PASSING -- HCV: Gallagher 5-8-1, 57 yards; LEM: S. Romfo 13-26-0, 211 yards
RECEIVING -- HCV: Landen Reed 3-41, Benson 2-16; LEM: Jackson Delvo 7-117, Sean Gette 2-67, G. Romfo 4-27
Senior athlete of the year -- Kaden Kuntz, Dickinson Trinity
Coach of the year -- Josh Krivarchka, Langdon-Edmore-Munich