Bosch's big day sends Lions to state title game
LAMOURE, N.D. -- Landon Bosch owned fourth down in the game of his life Saturday at Townsend Field.
The Linton/Hazelton-Moffit-Braddock sophomore tight end caught three touchdown passes on the critical down facing previously unbeaten LaMoure/Litchville-Marion in the semifinals of the North Dakota high school 9-man football playoffs. Linton/HMB clawed to a 46-38 victory over the Loboes and punched its ticket to next week's Dakota Bowl at the Fargodome.
The Lions (8-2) will play Cavalier (12-0) next Friday, Nov. 13, at 11:30 a.m. to decide the 9-man state championship. Cavalier earned its date in the finale by defeating Beach 30-20.
"Just gotta step up as a player," Bosch said of his three-touchdown afternoon. "Just make big plays for my team and come through when they need me."
Nearly every time the Loboes appeared to have the Lions cornered, Linton/HMB senior all-state quarterback Lucas Schumacher turned to his 175-pound underclassmen. Schumacher and Bosch hooked up for a seven-yard score on fourth-and-7 in the second quarter to give the Lions a 16-6 lead with 4:46 remaining in the first half.
But the duo went next level trailing 30-24 to begin the fourth quarter.
Pinned to fourth-and-11 on the Loboes' 25-yard line, Bosch ran an out and up down the left sideline and Schumacher nailed him in stride for the score as the Lions took command 32-30 with 11:45 to play. A crucial three-and-out by LLM followed with the Loboes' leading rusher sidelined due to injury, which ultimately set up Schumacher and Bosch to execute the exact same play on fourth-and-4 from the Loboes' 22.
Bosch's out route quickly turned upfield, Schumacher delivered the goods and the Lions staked themselves to a 10-point, 40-30 advantage with 5:11 to play.
"Bottom line, in games like this you just have to have guys step up and make big plays, and Landon Bosch is just a gamer," said Linton/HMB coach Tanner Purintun. "We had confidence in him and, oh, they were some big plays, weren't they?"
The sophomore finished with just four catches for 60 total yards, adding to his season total entering of only nine receptions for 108 yards, but Bosch was unquestionably Schumacher's No. 1 target Saturday.
Schumacher accounted for five touchdowns all told, amassing 136 yards passing and 143 yards rushing as the two teams combined for 897 yards of total offense.
"(LLM) was kinda cheating in and we knew that's where we needed to put the ball was in his hands," Schumacher said. "Normally that's kinda what we do. That's where the ball was going."
"Landon Bosch is a sophomore that has come a long way this season," Purintun added. "He's earned this moment and he made the most of it.
The Loboes (9-1) trailed by 10 points twice in the first half but got to within two -- 24-22 -- after two quarters by capping a 75-yard drive with a Corban Potts two-yard touchdown run in the final 50 seconds of the half. Potts, the Loboes' junior quarterback, finished with four total touchdowns and 323 yards passing.
LaMoure/LM suffered a big blow injury-wise to begin the third quarter. After turning the Lions over on downs on the Loboe 8 to open the second half, LLM senior running back Brett Wendel appeared to injure his left ankle two plays later. Sophomore running back Brady Lettenmaier would break loose for a 52-yard TD run on LLM's next possession to help give the home team a 30-24 lead with 1:35 remaining before the fourth, but the Loboes' offense wasn't the same.
Wendel, who entered the game with 1,756 yards rushing on the season, finished with 15 carries for 45 yards. The Loboes cruised through 2020 up to Saturday, averaging close to 500 yards of offense per game and limiting opponents to around 10 points on average.
"I was proud of our team from the first day of practice to the last play of this game with one second left," DelaBarre said. "They've never not given their best effort. It didn't turn out the way we wanted it today and I've got to give a lot of credit to Linton. They're gonna do well next week."
The Loboes went down swinging. Following Bosch's pair of TD receptions that had the Lions back up by 10, LLM drove 65 yards in less than a minute with Potts connecting with Charlie Bowman on a 17-yard touchdown pass and catch.
The Lions answered with a 74-yard scoring drive capped by a one-yard TD lunge by Schumacher with 37 seconds remaining, but the Lions failed to punch in the two-point conversion which gave the Loboes hope down 46-38.
But on first-and-15 from the Linton/HMB 24 with one second remaining, a pass by Potts into the end zone was broken up by Schumacher and sophomore defensive back Grant Bosch ending the game.
"Coach tells us you gotta take punches and you also gotta give punches, and that's what we did," Schumacher said. "(LLM) has got unbelievable athletes over there but all that hard work paid off."
Linton/HMB senior running back Trey Jacob increased his program's single-season rushing record with 193 yards on 33 carries. Jacob cleared 2,000 yards rushing on the season and is up to 2,049.
"I felt like we controlled the game when we needed to running the ball, and when we needed to make plays passing we did," Purintun said. "In a game like this, not everything's gonna be pretty. It's just finding a way to get it done."
Cavalier knocked Linton/HMB out of the state semifinals last year, defeating the Lions 30-28 after two overtimes. The Tornadoes are riding a 12-game winning streak since falling to Kidder County in last year's state championship game.
"We're gonna enjoy the heck out of this one for a couple of days," Purintun said. "But come Monday, we'll be locked in."
Linton/HMB 46, LaMoure/LM 38
LHMB 8 16 0 22
LLM 6 16 8 8
LHMB: Dean Vetter 2 run (Lucas Schumacher run), 5:39.
LLM: Garrett Hebl 6 pass from Corban Potts (pass failed), 2:43.
LHMB: Landon Bosch 7 pass from Schumacher (Bosch pass from Schumacher), 4:46.
LLM: Charlie Bowman 49 pass from Potts (Colton Ness pass from Potts), 3:01.
LHMB: Schumacher 2 run (Schumacher run), 0:52.
LLM: Potts 1 run (Ness pass from Potts), 0:02.
LLM: Brady Lettenmaier 52 run (Hebl pass from Potts), 1:35.
LHMB: Bosch 25 pass from Schumacher (Nathan Schatz pass from Schumacher), 11:45.
LHMB: Bosch 22 pass from Schmacher (Bosch pass from Schumacher), 5:11.
LLM: Bowman 24 pass from Potts (Bowman pass from Potts), 4:13.
LHMB: Schumacher 1 run (run failed), 0:38.
Total Yards 474 423
Rushes-Yds. 58-338 24-100
Passing Yds. 136 323
Return Yards 45 27
First Downs 24 21
Turnovers 1 1
Sacks By-Yds. 1-11 1-5
Penalties-Yds. 4-40 7-58
Punts-Avg. 0-00.0 3-38.0
Rushing: Linton-HMB: Trey Jacob 33-193, Lucas Schumacher 23-143, Dean Vetter 2-2. LaMoure/L-M: Brady Lettenmaier 3-55, Brett Wendel 15-45, Corban Potts 6-0.
Passing: Linton-HMB: Schumacher 11-19-136-0. LaMoure/L-M: Potts 19-30-323-0.
Receiving: Linton-HMB: Landon Bosch 4-60, Grant Bosch 3-40, Jacob 2-21, Trace King 1-12, Vetter 1-3. LaMoure/L-M: Colton Ness 8-108, Garrett Hebl 6-74, Charlie Bowman 5-141.
Returns: Linton-HMB: King 2-36, Schumacher 2-9, Justin Tschosik 1-0. LaMoure/L-M: Tate Mart 3-14, Potts 1-13, Ness 1-0, Andrew Hoff 1-0.
Fumble Recoveries: Linton-HMB: Schumacher. LaMoure/L-M: Bowman. Sacks: Linton-HMB: Rafe Kalama 1-11. LaMoure/L-M: Hebl 1-5.