Red Dog goofs lead to Rider victory

If the Rapid City Red Dogs were any more self-destructive they'd require an intervention.

On Sunday, the Red Dogs outgained the Bismarck Roughriders, just as they have every opponent they've faced this season. But the Roughriders were more than happy to take advantage as Rapid City was undone by the usual assortment of turnovers, penalties and lousy coverage in a 29-20 Bismarck victory.

"Our quarterback fumbled the snap, what four times?" Rapid City coach Dan Maciejczak fumed. "And we lead the league in (dumb) penalties."

For the record, Rapid City did fumble four times -- although they were credited with two -- and committed nine penalties for 49 yards. They also allowed A.J. Street to return two kickoffs for touchdowns, although one was called back for an illegal block. Street's was the sixth kick return for a TD Rapid City (2-4) has allowed this season.

The Roughriders (3-2) had a hand in causing some of Rapid City's misfortune, and had to overcome three turnovers and 10 penalties (for 78 yards) of its own.

"If it weren't for all our dumb penalties this could have been a blowout," Bismarck coach Collins Sanders said.

Instead it was two mistake-prone teams trying to stay out of their own way, and for the second time in three weeks, Bismarck did a better job of that than the Red Dogs.

Bismarck's defensive line was awesome early, piling up three sacks in the first quarter alone, although one was wiped out by a facemask penalty.

One of those sacks, credited to Anthony Bonner and Ryan Slabaugh, led to a fumble recovery by Robert Gaines.

"We made their quarterback look a little nervous," Bonner said.

Bismarck took advantage of the turnover, scoring on a 5-yard swing pass from Jason Baliko to Quentin Cradle.

Rapid City adjusted to a shorter passing game that helped nullify Bismarck's rush the rest of the way. It also didn't hurt that Gaines, battling sickness and injury, missed much of the game. Most often his replacement starting offensive tackle Jamie Grismer.

The teams traded field goals before Jesse Dymon Adams broke off a 35-yard touchdown run that brought the Red Dogs to within 13-10 with 6:44 left in the half.

Bonner avenged that score by swallowing up Dymon Adams for a safety on the next series, but Aaron Turner booted a field goal right before intermission that left Bismarck clinging to a precarious 15-13 lead.

Enter Street.

The former University of Mary wideout had a 40-yard touchdown return that sealed Bismarck's 48-38 win in Rapid City two weeks ago. Then in the first half of Sunday's game he took one kick all the way back, only to have it wiped out by a penalty, and returned another kick 32 yards.

With the passing game struggling again, Street felt the need to deliver another big play.

"Coach said he wanted me to get one back to the 15-yard line," Street said. "I thought I could do better than that."

Rapid City answered Street's score with a 28-yard touchdown pass from Jason Murdock to Casey Veenhoff, cutting the gap to 22-20.

Bismarck's defense would not allow another point: Bonner recovered a fumble on the next series, then Turner missed a pair of field goals and Rapid City's final series ended with a fumble on a fourth-down play.

The passing game, ineffective again (78 yards) due in no small part to several drops, came through when necessary. Baliko connected on a 30-yard swing pass to Cradle, setting up a 12-yard touchdown pass to Verna Owens.

Neither team could afford a loss with division leaders Billings and Sioux Falls sporting 5-1 records. It wasn't pretty, but for the third time in the last four weeks Bismarck found a way to get the job done.

"I wouldn't say it's a relief, but with our backs against the wall, the guys responded," Sanders said.

Rapid City 0 13 7 0 -- 20

Bismarck 7 8 7 7 -- 29

Individual Scoring

First Quarter

B -- Quentin Cradle 5 pass from Jason Baliko (Tyson Niewoehner kick), 9:21.

Second Quarter

B -- Niewoehner 36 FG, 14:29.

RC -- Aaron Turner 17 FG, 10:31.

B -- Niewoehner 43 FG, 7:18.

RC -- Jesse Dymon Adams 35 run (Turner kick), 6:44.

B -- Anthony Bonner safety, 1:43.

RC -- Turner 29 FG, :01.

Third Quarter

B -- A.J. Street 52 kickoff return (Niewoehner kick), 14:47.

RC -- Casey Veenhoff 28 pass from Jason Murdock (Turner kick), 12:08.

Fourth Quarter

B -- Verna Owens 12 pass from Jason Baliko (Niewoehner kick), 11:20.

Team Statistics


First downs 13 8

Rushes-yards 17-62 34-95

Passing yards 136 72

Passing 17-23-0 6-15-2

Fumbles-lost 3-2 2-1

Penalties-yards 9-49 10-78

Individual Statistics

Rushing: RC -- Jesse Dymon Adams 11-63, Jason Murdock 6-(minus-1). B -- Quentin Cradle 20-71, Verna Owens 9-22, Jason Baliko 5-2.

Passing: RC -- Murdock 17-23-0, 147 yards; team 0-0-0, 11 yards. B -- Baliko 6-15-2, 79 yards;

Receiving: RC -- Antonio Conley 7-36, Casey Veenhoff 4-56, Brian Mills 3-36, Dymon Adams 3-19. B -- Cradle 4-53, A.J. Street 1-14, Owens 1-12.

Interceptions: RC -- Jason McCleary 1-3, Jonny Crawford, 1-11. B -- None.

Sacks: RC -- Andrae Rowe 1. B -- Anthony Bonner 1, Robert Gaines1Ž2, Ryan Slabaugh1Ž2.

A: 3,297.

Records: Rapid City 2-4, Bismarck 3-2.


Pacific Conference

West Division


Sioux Falls 5 1 266 168

Billings 5 1 279 211

ROUGHRIDERS 2 2 159 212

Rapid City 2 4 243 247

Wyoming 0 5 154 234

North Division


Sioux City 4 0 194 82

Lincoln 3 1 193 151

Omaha 3 1 154 143

Tri-City 2 3 188 191

La Crosse 0 4 83 199

Atlantic Conference

East Division


Louisiana 2 1 143 130

Tupelo 1 2 54 75

Mississippi 1 2 90 93

North Division


Ohio Valley 3 0 158 90

Tennessee 2 2 164 173

Winston-Salem 2 2 203 150

River City 0 4 71 209

South Division


Lake Charles 4 0 166 101

Austin 1 3 135 182

Houma 1 3 176 176

Oklahoma 1 4 96 196

Saturday's Games

Sioux Falls 48, Tri-City 34

Billings 34, Wyoming 27

Sioux City 29, Oklahoma 25

Lake Charles 30, Austin 26

Winston-Salem 63, River City 8

Omaha 61, Lincoln 39

Houma 44, Tupelo 24

Ohio Valley 49, Tennessee 36

Sunday's Game

ROUGHRIDERS 29, Rapid City 20

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