Marcus Harkless rushed for 123 yards and three touchdowns and Hot Springs scored 48 points in the first half alone, Friday, as the Bison rolled over Todd County to a 54-8 win at home.
The Falcons answered a Bison scoring drive to begin the game with a 98 yard kickoff return to take an 8-6 lead over Hot Springs. It was the last time they’d see the endzone in the game.
Harkless helped the Bison regain the lead with a 45-yard TD run and scored twice more on five-and-nine-yard runs before the end of the first half. The Bison also received rushing TDs from Garrett Glines, who had two in the first quarter, and Preston Iverson. Hot Springs also scored on a five-yard pass from quarterback Brynn Thompson to Jameson Bossert in the second.
The Bison wrapped up their scoring in the third quarter when Thomas Massa returned a kickoff 91 yards to give Hot Springs a 54-8 lead.
Harkless earned his 123 yards on just eight carries. Bison QB Thompson was the team’s next-best rusher with 45 yards. Though he carried the ball three times, he gained all his yards on one 48-yard run. Glines was the Bison’s second-most prolific runner with six carries for 41 yards.
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Thompson completed four of seven passes for 36 yards, had one TD and was picked off once. Massa led the receiver corps with 18 yards on two receptions. Wrider Allison and Bossert each had just one catch for 13 and five yards respectively. Bossert had the only TD of the group.
The Bison defense was led by Harkless who had six tackles in the game. Teammate TeeJay Atwood was next-best with five tackles, three for a loss. Matt Wendland had the only sack of the night.
The Bison combined for 254 total yards while holding the Falcons to a deficit of five yards. Todd County earned just two first downs in the game. Hot Springs committed 10 penalties for a loss of 75 yards.
The win improves the Bison to 2-1 early in the season. Friday, they’ll host the Lead-Deadwood Golddiggers who are 1-2 and coming off a 42-7 loss to Mobridge-Pollock on Saturday. In both of their losses, the Golddiggers combined for just 15 points, but the team opened its season with a 39-0 win over Bennett County.
The Golddiggers will look to upset the Bison’s annual homecoming game, Friday. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m.