Dakota Bowl XXIX: Scores, Highlights and Updates From ND’s Biggest Day of Football

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Dakota Bowl XXIX is here, in one of the biggest days of football in the state of North Dakota.

Throughout Friday, there will be four games to determine four champions, including teams that have never won a state title before.

We’ve put together brief overviews of each match-up on this page. We’re also posting scores and highlights as they happen, so check back often to see who will triumph in each division.

Some background on the Dakota Bowl:

  • The current four division playoff format (Division 11AA, 11AA, 11B and 9B) was started at the beginning of this season.
  • The Dakota Bowl was first organized in 1993 and this fall marks the event’s 29th year of hosting the NDHSAA’s football championships.
  • High School state football championship games in North Dakota date back to 1910.
  • Official NDHSAA state football championship games were first played in 1975. At that time there were A, B and 9-man divisions.
  • Awards are presented following the conclusion of each game.

9:10 a.m.: Cavalier vs. LaMoure-Litchville/Marion 9B

Game Recap:
In the 9B Championship, it was a day dominated by the LaMoure-Litchville/Marion Loboes, winning by a score of 42-14 over Cavalier, and capturing their 2nd title in program history.

The Loboes got off to a fast start, opening the scoring with a 76-yard touchdown run by Brady Lettenmaier to take an 6-0 lead. Corban Potts took over the game at the quarterback position, scoring four total touchdowns on the day.

L-L-M played well on the defensive side of the ball, grabbing three interceptions, and holding the Tornadoes’ offense to just 287 yards total, while the Loboes had 436 yards of total offense.

L-L-M head coach Andy Delabarre discusses the 9B state title
L-L-M quarterback Corban Potts discusses the 9B state title.
L-L-M running back Brady Lettenmaier discusses the 9B state title game.

Cavalier: What You Need To Know

  • Third straight trip to the Dakota Bowl
  • Last state championship was 2014 — they won back to back in ‘13 and ‘14
  • 6 state championships as a program
  • Head coach Mitch Greenwood’s first year

How They Got Here:
Round one – BYE
Round two – 52-6 win over Wyndmere/Lidgerwood
Quarterfinals – 14-8 win over Surrey
Semifinals – 36-34 win over New Salem-Almont

LaMoure-Litchville-Marion: What You Need To Know

  • First Dakota Bowl since 2003
  • Their only state championship was 1991 when they were just LaMoure
  • Undefeated heading into Dakota Bowl
  • Dominant defense — Only gave up 40 points this season
    • 8 shutouts
  • Scored 567 points on offense 
  • QB Corban Potts – big asset to team, passed for 1,137 yards

How They Got Here:
Round one – BYE
Round two – 42-0 win over May-Port CG
Quarterfinals – 42-22 win over Grant County/Flasher
Semifinals – 20-6 win over Bottineau

11:45 a.m.: Kindred vs. Hillsboro-Central Valley 11B

Game Recap:
In the 11B Championship, it was a rematch between old foes earlier in the season, however, Kindred dished out their revenge, winning in convincing fashion, 37-14.

Running Back Trey Heinrich led the way for the Vikings’ offense, rushing for 178 yards and 2 touchdowns. Quarterback Max McQuillan was the other offensive standout, going 12-13 for 185 yards and 2 touchdowns, while also rushing for another.

The Viking defense played lights out for most of the game, building a 34-0 lead into the fourth quarter, and holding the Burro offense to just 106 total yards while forcing three turnovers.

Kindred Head Coach Matt Crane discusses the 11B state title game.
Kindred running back Trey Heinrich discusses the 11B state title game.
Kindred kicker Jordyn Sunram discusses becoming the first girl to ever score points in a Dakota Bowl.

Kindred: What You Need To Know

  • Have only played in one Dakota Bowl (loss to St. Mary’s in 2016 47-6)
  • Looking for their first football state title ever
  • Senior QB Max McQuillan is a stud. Threw for over 1,200 yards last year
  • Ball security is something they mentioned early in the year, because they had 4 fumbles last year in their semifinal playoff loss

How They Got Here:
Round one – 43-8 win over Lisbon
Quarterfinals – 28-6 win over Central Cass
Semifinals – 49-12 win over Bishop Ryan

Hillsboro-Central Valley: What You Need To Know

  • Last Dakota Bowl was 2019 (defeated Beulah); Part of three straight Dakota Bowl appearances 2017-2019
  • 3 state titles as a program
  • Defeated Kindred 26-20 in the second game of the season, and it was at Kindred
  • Lots of experience with over 20 seniors

How They Got Here:
Round one – 30-28 win over Thompson
Quarterfinals – 21-18 win over Langdon Area/Edmore/Munich
Semifinals – 51-19 win over Bowman County

2:30 p.m.: St. Mary’s vs. Jamestown 11A

Game Recap:
The Class 11A Championship was a rematch between two west foes from earlier in the season, and it was an instant classic, with the Jamestown Blue Jays winning their first state title since 1933, besting St. Mary’s, 41-27.

The game started with some offensive fireworks, with teams combining for four touchdowns, including a 68-yard touchdown catch from St. Mary’s Brit Senftner, tying the game at 13.

In the 3rd, the game changed on a sack and strip from Jamestown, as Thomas Allmer returned a fumble 55 yards for a 34-20 lead. From there, the Blue Jays kept their lead and won their first Dakota Bowl in program history.

Jamestown head coach Bill Nelson discusses the Class 11A state title game.
Jamestown linebacker Devin Beach discusses the Bluejays’ state title win.

St. Mary’s: What You Need To Know

  • Won the state title last year (17-7 over Beulah)
    • Have won 5 of the last 8 state titles in their classification
  • 8 state championships as a program
  • Only loss this year was on the road at Jamestown (20-7)
  • 20 seniors, so lots of experience

How They Got Here:
Quarterfinals – 37-13 win over Devils Lake
Semifinals – 19-14 win over Dickinson

Jamestown: What You Need To Know

  • Only played in two state championships (1991 & 1994) — both were losses to St. Mary’s
  • Went 9-2 on the season
    • Both losses came to 11AA teams (Shanley and Mandan)
  • Defeated St. Mary’s at home in the middle of the season
  • They had to forfeit out of the playoffs last year because of COVID

How They Got Here:
Quarterfinals – 35-0 win over Grand Forks Red River
Semifinals – 41-24 win over Fargo North

6:40 p.m.: West Fargo Sheyenne vs. West Fargo 11AA

Game Recap:
The Class 11AA Championship was a matchup between two rival programs in West Fargo and West Fargo Sheyenne, where it was the Mustangs who came out on top and won their first-ever state title.

The Mustangs got out to a great start on the ground, led by arguably the player of the game in Josh Henricks, who had 238 yards rushing and 3 touchdowns on the night.

West Fargo had a chance to make it a ball game, scoring a touchdown on their first drive of the 2nd half, cutting the lead to 14-7. But the Mustangs played lock-down defense the rest of the way, winning by a final of 27-7.

West Fargo Sheyenne: What You Need To Know

  • Have played in the last two Dakota Bowl’s and lost both to Century
  • Still looking for their first football state title
  • 11-0 on the season
    • Defeated West Fargo 28-7 in the second week of the season
  • Defense has been lights out — giving up 7.5 points per game
    • 5 shutouts on the season
  • Senior quarterback Gran Warkenthein is one of their key players. He was an all-east region QB last year

How They Got Here:
Quarterfinals – 28-6 win over Minot
Semifinals – 36-21 win over Fargo Shanley

West Fargo: What You Need To Know

  • Last Dakota Bowl appearance was 2017; also their last state title
  • They are 6 for 6 in state title games
  • 9-2 on the season
    • 2 losses came in back-to-back weeks in early September (one was to Sheyenne)
  • Offense can score a lot if needed; lots of offensive weapons
    • Averaging almost 30 points per game
    • Carson Hegerle is one of their receivers and the top player in the state
  • Have shut out their last two opponents (Century and Legacy)
  • Head coach Jay Gibson has been there for 31 years. 6 state titles, 12 region titles
  • Had to replace most all of their offensive and defensive line starters coming into this year

How They Got Here:
Quarterfinals – 31-0 win over Legacy
Semifinals – 15-0 win over Century

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