The North Star Bearcats use 30-point second half to pull away from the Benson County Wildcats 44-13.

CANDO — It was Senior Night from Conyers Field and once all of the pomp and circumstance was handled, North Star handled business — eventually.

Senior quarterback Keaton Kvilvang threw three touchdowns passes, Jeremiah Hill ran for two others and the Bearcats used a 30-point second half to beat the Benson County Wildcats 44-13 Friday night.

“It was a defensive battle at first and then it seems like we wore them down a little bit,” said Bearcats head coach Bryan Haugen. 

It was just a seven point halftime advantage for the Bearcats (5-1) after Benson County’s Will Rice connected with Carter Tandeski for a 9 yard touchdown completion and the made extra point late in the first quarter. Neither team failed to score in the second 12 minutes despite each getting red zone opportunities.

“We did have some opportunities to at least even the game and our defense was playing very well,” Wildcats head coach Dobie Thom said. “We talked (at halftime) about them going to the inside dive play in the second half and they did. 

“We didn’t have an answer for it.”

North Star opened the second half with a three play, 53-yard drive, all runs, including a 28 yard burst for Hill who capped off the drive the next play with a 1 yard plunge. On the Bearcats next possession, Hill broke away from the defense for a 41 yard touchdown run that made the score 36-7 and essentially ending any thoughts of a Wildcats upset.

“It wasn’t much (adjusting),” Haugen said about the change in the second half. “It was about explaining who had who because I think we were confused on who to block. And then defensively, it was just about stepping up and play.”

Hill finished with 13 carries for 151 yards. He also had 4 1/2 tackles from his linebacker position.

Kvilvang threw two of his touchdown passes in the first quarter, finding Gavin Miller from 29 yards out and then to Hunter Borstad for an 8 yard score that gave the Bearcats the 14-0 lead. Kvilvang finished with 139 yards passing.

Rice was 18 of 37 for 212 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions for the Wildcats (1-4).

Chris Harris can be reached at charris@devilslakejournal.com and on Twitter: @ChrisHarris_DLJ