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Football: Bombers pushed back by D-E

Cannon Falls' Matthew Katterjohn wraps up Dover-Eyota quarterback Coleton Swee during the first half of Friday's Southeast White District game at John Burch Park in Cannon Falls. Joe Brown / RiverTown Multimedia1 / 3
Cannon Falls running back Gage Hildebrandt runs through a Dover-Eyota tackler during the first quarter of Friday's Southeast White District game at John Burch Park in Cannon Falls. Joe Brown / RiverTown Multimedia2 / 3
Cannon Falls running back Logan Hofstedt breaks for the sidelines during the first half of Friday's Southeast White District game at John Burch Park in Cannon Falls. Joe Brown / RiverTown Multimedia3 / 3

CANNON FALLS — Cannon Falls' goal is to leave other teams black and blue with an emphasis on the power run with three running backs in the T-formation. And between Logan Hofstedt, Gage Hildebrandt and Hayden Strain making up the three-headed rushing attack, the Bombers have the backs to make that happen.

Dover-Eyota has a more conventional look to its offense, but the Eagles showed on Friday that they are capable of being as physical as the bruising Bombers.

Led by Isaac Bushman's 195-yard, four-touchdown night on the ground, Dover-Eyota kept Cannon Falls at arm's distance in a 44-28 Southeast White District victory at John Burch Park.

"I give Dover-Eyota a lot of credit. They were very physical and they broke tackles, and that was the story of the game," said Bombers head coach Dan Meyers. "They got a lot of extra yardage because they broke tackles and we had a lot of arm tackles. We got to work on that, and overall be more physical next week."

After getting the ball at Cannon Falls' 24-yard line, Bushman ran in from a yard out to put Dover-Eyota ahead 8-0 at the 8-minute, 20-second mark of the first quarter. The Eagles' second drive was just as fruitful as Bushman capped off a seven-play, 74-yard drive with a 2-yard touchdown run.

Down by two scores and facing 3rd-and-4 at its 48-yard line, Cannon Falls gave the ball to Hofstedt and watched the 210-pound junior sprint to the end zone for a 52-yard score.

"(Logan had) a couple runs tonight that were amazing, breaking tackles and making some nice cutbacks," Meyers said. "That's awesome to see."

With 1:50 to go before halftime, the Bombers (1-3, 1-2 White) tied it up when Hildebrandt broke free for a 24-yard run to the end zone.

But, that momentum would not reach halftime when, with 19 seconds left in the second, Eagles' quarterback Coleton Swee hit Jack Studer for a 41-yard touchdown, making it a 23-16 lead at the break.

That momentum swing continued in the second half when, after the Bombers fumbled the opening drive, Bushman scored his third touchdown from 3 yards out for a 30-16 advantage.

The two teams traded scores in the third quarter. Hofstedt scored from 1 yard out to make it 30-22. Then Dover-Eyota (2-2, 2-1 White) responded with another Swee-to-Studer strike from 42 yards out. The final score of the third came from Hofstedt, who ran sideline-to-sideline en route to a 60-yard touchdown run to cut the Eagles' lead to 37-28.

Hofstedt finished with 22 carries for 222 yards and 13 tackles before missing most of the fourth quarter due to heat exhaustion. Hildebrandt followed with 102 yards on 15 carries and Strain had 27 rushing yards to go with 13 tackles.

"I know he'll be healthy and good to go next week," Meyers said of Hofstedt. "He just had some dehydration and heat exhaustion tonight but he'll be ready to rock. ... It was a very physical game and when you combine that with the temperature today, it really breaks a guy down. I'm proud of the way the guys battled. It's tough to play in, especially when guys are playing both ways."

Bushman capped off his big night on his 29th (and final) carry with a fourth-quarter score of 24 yards out to make it 44-28 with 3:06 to play.

With Zumbrota-Mazeppa coming up in Week 5, Meyers is looking for a strong second half from his young roster as they build towards the postseason.

"We have to keep reminding our guys that we're a young team and we're learning and we have to come to practice ready to learn," Meyers said. "We'll get into this film and see what we can get better at and think of it as a growth process."

Joe Brown

Joe Brown is the sports editor for the Red Wing Republican Eagle. Previously, he worked at the Marshall Independent and the St. Cloud Times. For updates on local sports, follow Joe on Twitter at @RE_JBrown.

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