HOT SPRINGS – It was a good start for the Hot Springs Bison football team last Friday night, on the road versus BHC rival St. Thomas More.
The Bison held the Cavaliers to just a field goal and trailed 3-0 headed into the second quarter. That however is when St. Thomas More – fighting for the eighth and final Class 11A playoff spot – began to dominate, as they scored 28 points to go up 31-0 at halftime, before holding on for a 37-7 victory.
With the win, the Cavs improved to 5-2 on the season and the Bison fell to 2-5.
“I thought we did some nice things defensively,” said Hot Springs head coach Ben Kramer. “They put on a four minute barrage of points and we just let it happen. A simple lapse of basic fundamentals and we’re all the sudden scratching out of a hole.”
The closest Hot Springs came to getting on the scoreboard in the first half was when Thane Lockhart got an interception for the Bison defense, and then two plays later, made a reception to get his team down to the St. Thomas More two yard line. Hot Springs however could not punch it in.
“We had some opportunities and once again shot ourselves in the foot,” added Coach Kramer. “That’s a very athletic team and we don’t match up with their speed.”
The passing game was on for the Cavaliers as they gained 234 of their 375 total yards through the air. Hot Springs actually outrushed St. Thomas More 197 yards to 141, led by junior Morgan Harkless who ran for 123 yards on 19 carries. He also scored the team’s lone touchdown in the game – a 47-yarder, which closed out the scoring for both teams in the game. Harkless was also 5-for-14 passing for 40 yards, including one interception.
Kalub Wilson also added 63 yards on the ground on 10 carries, followed by teammate Riley Abbott who had 10 yards on five carries.
Lockhart was Hot Springs’ leading receiver with 21 yards on two receptions, including a long of 19 yards. Matt Norton also had two catches for a total of 16 yards.
Defensively, the Bison were again led by Harkless with eight total tackles (six solo) including one for loss. Lockhart added five tackles (four solo) and an interception, while Brand Baker (three solo) and Wilson (two solo) each had four total tackles. Gage Uhlir added two sacks.
This Friday the Bison will host their final home game of the season, as Douglas (3-4) comes to Woodward Field for a 6 p.m. kickoff. The Patriots last week defeated Spearfish by a score of 20-6, and earlier this season, knocked off the then-No. 1 Class 11AA team in the state, Harrisburg.
Hot Springs’ final game of the season will on Thursday, Oct. 19 at Sturgis.