There were no magical halftime speeches, no personnel moves and no game-plan changes.

Down 21-0 late in the second half, the Hot Springs football team rallied for the final 28 points and gained a hard-fought 28-21 win over Belle Fourche in a Black Hills Conference battle Friday night at Woodward Field.

The Bison came back by doing what they needed to do from the start, head coach Ben Kramer said, with each player just "doing their job."

Kramer said that they were trying to make big plays all of the time instead of just hitting the gap.

"We just got to the point to where we could run what we wanted to run," he said.

A key in the game for the Bison was a late second-quarter touchdown in the last minute of the first half — a 32-yard TD pass from quarterback Morgan Harkless to wide receiver Matt Norton.

Instead being down 21-0 at the break, Hot Springs trailed by just 15 points with some momentum.

Kramer told the team they were still in the game.

"The last thing they (Broncs) were thinking about in the locker room (at halftime) was that touchdown," he said. "A quick three and out, go down and score, and we're back in it."

That's exactly what the Bison did.

Harkless drove the team down the field and scored a pair of running touchdowns, from 9- and 3-yards out, and the Bison tied the game at 21-all.

You have free articles remaining.

Become a Member

Hot springs took its first lead of the game on a 4-yard pass from Harkless to Norton early in the fourth quarter.

The Hot Springs defense did the rest, using one last stop inside its own 30-yard line to clinch the win with just over a minute remaining.

For the first twenty-some minutes, though, it looked like a Belle Fourche runaway.

With the Hot Springs defense keying on running back Kelby Olson, the Broncs went to the air as quarterback Tate Hostetter was on fire early, hitting Jackson Tyndall for an 83-yard TD pass in the first quarter and  connecting with Bryce Nicholas on two second-quarter touchdown passes from 11- and 9-yards out.

But the Hot Springs defense kept the Broncs out of the end zone the rest of the way.

"I can't remember a defense that we have had that, No. 1, a team D that is as quick, and No. 2, we never tackle with one guy; we have 11 guys to the ball constantly," Kramer said. "We have been harping that for years, and these guys have bought into it.

"They guys are just tenacious. They are a tough group. It is hard to break them. I told them after the game that one of the things I am most proud of is their ability to battle through adversity, and they did it again tonight."

Harkless finished 10-of-21 passing for 89 yards and two touchdowns, while Norton caught four passes for 34 yards and the two scores. Andrew Wendland, who had 96 yards rushing on 15 carries, also caught four passes for 23 yards.

Hostetter was 12-of-18 passing for 230 yards and three touchdowns, with Tyndall catching three passes for 114 yards. Olson ran for 43 yards on 17 rushes.

"This was a real big one for us," Kramer said. "Our staff thought it was going to be back-and-forth, possession-to-possession. It was a packed house. There hasn't been that many people here in a while. They got their money's worth, that's for sure."

With the win, the Bison are now 4-1 on the season, with Belle Fourche dropping to 2-3. Hot Springs is at Spearfish Friday and the Broncs host Little Wound.

Subscribe to Breaking News

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.
You must be logged in to react.
Click any reaction to login.