BEULAH – The Beulah Miners won the NDHSAA Class AA Football Championship last season behind a huge, talented group of seniors. This year, a new group of starters joined returning stars Mikey Morris, Matt Schnabel, and Reese Hoherz to defeat Hazen 33 to 6 in the 37th Annual Coal Bowl.
Reese Hoherz was a starting defensive back on the Miners state title team, but this was his first year as the starting quarterback. His first start went about as well as it could have, as he completed 8 of 11 passes for 129 yards and three touchdowns. Two of those went to new wide receiver Mason Dolbec, who was making his first start.
Another newcomer, lineman Cory Rueb returned an interception 58 yards for a touchdown. Then there was returning All-State running back Mikey Morris, who scored a pair of touchdowns, one on a 14 yard reception, and the other on a 93 yard run.
The game was not as lopsided as the final score would have indicated, as Hazen kept it close in the first half despite turning the ball over multiple times, and stalling on a drive deep in Miner territory at the end of the first half. The Bison couldn’t execute once they got the ball in the red zone. Hazen has a lot to be proud of, hanging with the defending state champions despite not having their best performance with the turnovers.
Beulah looks to be a well oiled machine moving forward, and they will face of with Central Cass next week before opening regional play against powerhouse Bismarck St. Mary’s, while Hazen takes on Bottineau and Westhope-Newberg-Glenburn over the next two weeks. The Coal Bowl however, will reside in Beulah for another year, and the Miners earned it tonight with a mix of new and veteran players.
[BY DEREK STACKLIE|PHOTO DONOVAN SCHNABEL|THE DAKOTA DISPATCH]