North Dakota boys state tennis begins Thursday

The North Dakota high school boys tennis state tournament begins Thursday in Grand Forks. I’ll have a ’4 things to watch’ charticle in tomorrow’s Forum and thought I’d pen a blog post about the event as well.

First here are the team tournament pairings:

At Grand Forks area tennis courts
Thursday
Quarterfinals
Match 1: E1 Grand Forks Red River vs. W4 Williston, 1 p.m.
Match 2: W2 Bismarck Legacy vs. E3 Fargo South, 1 p.m.
Match 3: W1 Bismarck Century vs. E4 West Fargo, 1 p.m.
Match 4: E2 Grand Forks Central vs. W3 Minot, 1 p.m.

Semifinals
Match 5: Match 1 winner vs. Match 2 winner, 4:30 p.m.
Match 6: Match 3 winner vs. Match 4 winner, 4:30 p.m.
Consolation semifinals
Match 7: Match 1 loser vs. Match 2 loser, 4:30 p.m.
Match 8: Match 3 loser vs. Match 4 loser, 4:30 p.m.
Friday
Championship
Match 9: Match 5 winner vs. Match 6 winner, 9 a.m.
Third-place
Match 10: Match 5 loser vs. Match 6 loser, 9 a.m.
Fifth-place
Match 11: Match 7 winner vs. Match 8 winner, 9 a.m.

Here are the pairings of the individual singles and doubles brackets:

Friday
Singles

Championship first round 
W1-Erik Porter, Mandan vs. E8-Matthew Picklo, GF Central
E4-Davis Lawley, Fargo South vs. W5-Peyton Kerzman, Bismarck Century
W3-Joe Janes, Bismarck Century vs. E6-Dallas Chambers, GF Central
E2-Greg Wischer, GF Red River vs. W7-Bradley Moylan, Bismarck Legacy
W2-Casey Beck, Bismarck Legacy vs. E7-Daniel Pierce, GF Red River
E3-North Knewton, West Fargo vs. W6-Connor Wieland, Mandan
W4-Eric DeBoer, Jamestown vs. E5-David Youngs, Fargo South
E1–Jake Kuhlman, GF Red River vs. W8-Connor Mullowney, Jamestown

Doubles
Friday
Championship first round
W1-Brian Swanberg-Michael Janes, Bismarck Legacy vs. E8-Dalton Ondracek-Brandon Miller, Valley City
E4-Andy Manske-Christian Wedin, GF Central vs. W5-David Keys-Beau Kary, Bismarck High
W3-Thomas Sogard-Robert Krom, Williston vs. E6-Ben Mostad-Ben Swanson, Fargo North
E2-Kyle Folson-Andrew Thompson, GF Central vs. W7-Ronak Kumar-Scott Mann, Bismarck Century
W2-Dustin Foster-Cody Reynolds, Minot High vs. E7-Sebastian O’Donnell-Damien O’Donnell, Fargo Shanley
E3-Andrew Godon-Mitchell Kuhlman, GF Red River vs. W6-Jake Reuther-Ben Harris, Jamestown
W4-Brooks Hodenfeld-Tyler Hermanson, Williston vs. E5-Evan Kottsick-Corey Hermann, Fargo Davies
E1-Brady Ballweber-Keyan Farahmand, West Fargo vs. W8-Drew Thomas-Ty Nygaard, Minot High

Major storylines to watch this weekend will be Grand Forks Red River going for its 17th straight team championship and West Fargo senior doubles combo Brady Ballewber and Keyan Farahmand attempting to repeat as state individual doubles champions.

West Fargo seniors Brady Ballweber and Keyan Farahmand won the 2013 individual state doubles championship. Forum file photo.

 

Top 10 area football rankings for Minnesota (Week 6)

Everyone remains in the same spot except for Wheaton-Herman-Norcross replacing Norman County East-Ulen-Hitterdal at No. 10 in the area football rankings for Minnesota.

 

1. Mahnomen (5-0)

Last week: 47-0 win at Badger-Greenbush-Middle River

Next up: Host Fertile-Beltrami (2-3), Friday, 7 p.m.

Make that 33 in a row for Mahnomen and the scary thing is now they are somewhat healthy. Tom Pavek is back, rushing for 79 yards and a TD and throwing for a TD in Week 5 and both running backs Mitch Foss and Dylan Reitan are back for the Indians.

Reitan had 117 yards and a TD on four carries in Week 5.

They beat teams when they’re injured. They beat teams when they’re healthy. Indians just beat teams.

 

2. Hawley (5-0)

Last week: 42-0 win at the Fargodome over Pelican Rapids

Next up: Host Staples-Motley (0-5) at Concordia College, Friday, 4 p.m.

Hawley is now playing for their assistant coach Lee Eklund, who was diagnosed with colon cancer. They wore blue stripes on their helmets for him in Week 5. Photo by Dave Samson/Forum

So much for Pelican Rapids being a challenge for Hawley. The Vikings came to the Fargodome 3-1 and left the Fargodome shut out.

Jordan Harms, Dillon Omberg and Ben Ellefson get the attention and for good reason, but guys like running back Anthony Loegering, wide receivers Parker Hanson and Dawson Tusow and linebacker Aaron Regnier and d-lineman Cody Cook are what separate the Nuggets.

Hanson and Tusow make it impossible to key on Ellefson. Loegering makes it impossible to key on Omberg. Cook and Regnier make it impossible to score.

Only thing standing in the way of a perfect 8-0 season for Hawley is Barnesville.

 

3. Moorhead (5-0)

Last week: 51-12 win at home over Sauk Rapids-Rice

Next up: Host Fergus Falls (1-4), Friday, 7 p.m.

Moorhead’s Nate Stich (47) has been everywhere on defense for the Spuds. Photo by Mike Vosburg/Forum

The Spuds are frightening. Mike Duginski and Jade Lawrence running the ball, Matt Bye finding Tristen Nelson and Cody Dorow through the air and Nate Stitch tackling anything that moves on defense.

This is probably the best Moorhead team coach Kevin Feeney has had and he’s put all four in the section title game.

Spuds have some dynamite tests at Brainerd (4-1) and hosting Bemidji (5-0) to end the season. Regardless, Section 8AAAAA should come down to the Spuds and Sartell-St. Stephen.

 

4. Verndale (5-0)

Last week: 56-6 win at Ashby

Next up: At Clinton-Graceville-Beardsley (3-2), Friday, 3:30 p.m.

Verndale has a couple 3-2 teams in C-G-B and Brandon-Evansville before closing the season with Ortonville.

Week 6 and Week 7 will be good tests for the Pirates. Quarterback Dillon Card and running back Colter Ehrmantraut seem to get better each week.

 

5. Underwood (4-1)

Last week: 51-22 win at Bertha-Hewitt

Next up: Host Hillcrest Lutheran Academy (4-1), Friday, 7 p.m.

The road doesn’t end easy for Underwood with 4-1 HLA and 3-2 Clinton-Graceville-Beardsley before taking on Hancock.

If the Rockets keep rushing for 352 yards like they did against Bertha-Hewitt, it won’t matter who they play.

So much attention to Noah Thompson for leading the state in rushing yards last season, but Dylan Kalenze is complimenting Thompson perfectly in the run game.

 

6. Waubun (5-0)

Last week: 22-7 win at the Fargodome over Norman County East-Ulen-Hitterdal

Next up: At Park Christian (2-3), Friday, 5 p.m.

Dayton Makey was huge in Week 5 for Waubun. He had 137 yards and two touchdowns on four carries. Photo by Dave Samson/Forum

For the first time this season the read-option offense wasn’t working for Waubun and the Bombers faced their first deficit all season.

The Bombers adjusted and knocked off a solid NCE-U-H team. What remained constant was the Bombers defense. They held NCE-U-H to 165 yards of total offense. Darius Woods-Steichen was everywhere with seven tackles and three sacks in the game.

Waubun looks to have a ticket to the section title game.

 

7. Frazee (4-1)

Last week: 38-15 win at home over Crookston

Next week: At Breckenridge (2-3), Friday, 7 p.m.

Hesston Bachmann was once again huge for Frazee in its Week 5 win. Photo by Carrie Snyder/Forum

Hesston and Tanner Bachmann are the Frazee offense. The two combined for four touchdowns and 151 yards rushing on 31 carries in Week 5 and Hesston had a touchdown pass.

The lone loss of the season for Frazee is against the best team in Class 2A in which the Hornets missed on many opportunities inside the Hawley 10-yard line.

Frazee has plenty of chances to prove to the state that it will be them and Hawley in the section title game with Breckenridge, Pelican Rapids and Barnesville to close the season.

 

8. Otter Tail Central (4-1)

Last week: 48-0 win at home over Osakis

Next up: At Prairie Valley (2-3), Friday, 7 p.m.

After a 21-20 loss in Week 1, OTC is outscoring teams 186-12 in the last four weeks.

The Bulldogs had 496 yards of offense, 414 of which were rushing. The rushing attack of Cody Seedorf and Nick Trosdahl is coming together nicely and Tony Ukkelberg is a good enough quarterback to make teams respect the pass, especially with a receiving threat like Andrew VanErp.

 

9. Detroit Lakes (5-0)

Last week: 42-7 win at home over East Grand Forks

Next up: At Park Rapids (1-4), Friday, 7 p.m.

DL’s Sam Champa (left) had plenty of reasons to celebrate in Week 5. Photo by Brian Basham/DL Newspapers

Outside of a 14-13 win over 3-2 Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton team, which is in a class lower than DL, opponents of the Lakers are 4-16.

Park Rapids is 1-4, Perham is 3-2 and Pequot Lakes is 5-0 and all are a class below DL. That’s the remaining schedule for the Lakers.

Sam Champa and company will have plenty to prove to the state come playoff time, but 5-0 is 5-0.

 

10. Wheaton-Herman-Norcross (4-1)

Last week: 64-6 win at home over Hancock

Next up: At Brandon-Evansville (3-2), Friday, 7 p.m.

Time to show the state what you’re made of, W-H-N. The Warriors have outscored teams 198-24 in their four wins. Those four wins are against teams that are 4-16.

The section looks like it will come down to Verndale and Underwood, especially with W-H-N having lost 28-18 to Underwood during the season.

A win on the road against a 3-2 Brandon-Evansville team would help the case for W-H-N.

 

Knocking on the door

Ada-Borup (3-1): Just when it looks like Ada-Borup’s reign over Class 9-man, Section 6 is over due to graduating an entire offense and getting a new coach, the Cougars show why they’ve won five of the last six section titles.

Cougars won a 7-6 game over NCE-U-H, a 19-12 game over Park Christian and won a 29-26 game over Win-E-Mac in which they trailed 26-0 and used a hook-and-ladder with 24 seconds to go to take a 27-26 lead. They keep winning somehow.

 

Chris Murphy can be reached at 701-241-5548 or cmurphy@forumcomm.com. Follow him on Twitter @SeeMurphsTweets for Minnesota prep updates and smart alecky remarks about sports, movies, music and life in general.

 

Players of Week 5 in Minnesota

Here are your top area performances from Week 5 of high school football in Minnesota.

Jordan Harms – Hawley

Harms was 7-for-9 passing for 159 yards and three touchdowns and took an interception back 37 yards for a touchdown in Hawley’s 42-0 win over Pelican Rapids. Harms also recovered a fumble and took it back 73 yards for a touchdown, but it was brought back for a block in the back.

Matt Bye/Cody Dorow – Moorhead

Moorhead moved to 5-0 with a 51-12 win over Sauk Rapids-Rice on Friday. Matt Bye was 9-for-11 passing with 194 yards and four touchdowns in the first half. Dorow had six of those catches, 121 of those yards and two of those touchdowns for the Spuds.

Cody Seedorf  – Otter Tail Central

Seedorf only needed 10 carries to get 190 yards and two touchdowns in Otter Tail Central’s 48-0 win over Osakis.

Dayton Makey – Waubun

Dayton Makey was huge in Week 5 for Waubun. Photo by Dave Samson/Forum

Makey rushed for 137 yards and two touchdowns on four carries and recovered a fumble in Waubun’s 22-7 win over Norman County East-Ulen-Hitterdal.

Lucas Lindell – Ada-Borup

The game of the week was Ada-Borup and Win-E-Mac. Ada-Borup won 29-26 with a hook-and-ladder with 24 seconds left from 23 yards out after trailing 26-0. Lindell had 229 yards passing and two touchdowns.

Hesston/Tanner Bachmann – Frazee

Hesston Bachmann was once again huge for Frazee in its Week 5 win. Photo by Carrie Snyder/Forum

Hesston threw for a touchdown and ran for three and Tanner had 128 rushing yards and a TD on 20 carries in Frazee’s 38-15 win over Crookston.

Sam Champa – Detroit Lakes

DL’s Sam Champa (left) had plenty of reasons to celebrate in Week 5. Photo by Brian Basham/DL Newspapers

Champa ran for 111 yards and three touchdowns on 11 carries and had a 34-yard touchdown reception in Detroit Lakes’ 42-7 win over East Grand Forks.

Brandon Wayne – Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton

Brandon Wayne had three touchdowns in D-G-F’s 26-21 win over Perham in Week 5. Photo by David Samson/Forum

Wayne rushed for 179 yards and three touchdowns on 18 carries in D-G-F’s 26-21 win over Perham on Friday.

Mason/Zachary Deal – Wheaton-Herman-Norcross

The Deals combined for 225 yards and four touchdowns on nine carries in W-H-N’s 64-6 dismantling of Hancock on Friday. Mason had 133 yards and two touchdowns on six carries and Zachary had 92 yards and two touchdowns on three carries.

Reese Mattson – Lake Park-Audubon

Mattson had 120 yards and a touchdown on 15 carries and also threw for a touchdown in Lake Park-Audubon’s 22-0 shutout of Fertile-Beltrami.

Noah Thompson/Dylan Kalenze/Justin Masloski – Underwood

Thompson rushed for 92 yards and three touchdowns on 11 carries, Kalenze rushed for 88 yards and two touchdowns on 11 carries and Masloski was 3-for-3 passing for 70 yards and a touchdown and rushed for 73 yards and a touchdown on three carries in Underwood’s 51-22 win over Bertha-Hewitt.

Dillon Card/Colter Ehrmantraut – Verndale

Card had touchdown passes of 6 and 27 yards to go along with a 10-yard touchdown run and Ehrmantraut rushed for 95 yards and a touchdown and had an 80-yard kick return for a TD in Verndale’s 56-6 win over Ashby.

Dylan Reitan – Mahnomen

Reitan rushed for 117 yards and a touchdown on four carries, as Mahnomen won its 33rd straight game.

David Skari – Norman County West

Skari rushed for 117 yards and a touchdown on three carries and returned a punt 23 yards for a touchdown in NCW’s 61-0 win over Cass Lake-Bena.

Zach Kvalvog – Park Christian

Kvalvog threw for 206 yards and two touchdowns and ran for another touchdown in Park Christian’s 40-8 win over Rothsay.

 

Chris Murphy can be reached at 701-241-5548 or cmurphy@forumcomm.com. Follow him on Twitter @SeeMurphsTweets for Minnesota prep updates and smart alecky remarks about sports, movies, music and life in general.

 

Checking in with Fargo Davies football

FARGO – The varsity football program at Fargo Davies High School is one that has been on the rise for a while now and Eagles are off to a fast start this fall.

Quickly here is a progression of the Davies program since I started on the North Dakota prep sports beat in 2012.

- In the fall of 2012 the Eagles missed a chance at the playoffs losing to Devils Lake in the final game of the regular season. It was Davies’ third year as a varsity program.

- In the fall of 2013 the Davies turned a corner as a program earning a share of the Eastern Dakota Conference championship and finishing 6-4 overall after losing to Bismarck Century in the ND Class 3A quarterfinals.

The calendar flipping to 2014 has meant big things for the Eagles so far. This fall, Davies is off to 4-0 start and is ranked No. 3 in Class 3A. The Eagles opened with a win over Bismarck Century, its first ever win against a Bismarck school in program history.

Offensively, Davies is on par with Bismarck and Fargo South – the teams above them in the state poll.

The offense, thus, far has been led by the trio of Aidan Hartness, Tristan Hartness and Ty Jochim.

Aidan Hartness – a 6-foot-3, 197-pound quarterback – is off to a torrid pace throwing the ball. He is 30 of 62 passing (48.4 completion percentage) for 634 yards and 10 touchdowns. Aidan Hartness has only thrown one interception this season – a stat that I’m sure head coach Jason Thielges is pleased with. His stats say he is the best quarterback in the EDC and he may be the best in the state.

Eight of Aidan’s touchdown passes have been caught by his twin brother Tristan. Tristan Hartness has caught a total of 17 passes for 482 yards making him the top receiver in the conference. He has caught at least three passes in all four of Davies games and has two three-touchdown receiving games this fall.

Fargo Davies senior wide receiver Tristan Hartness (19) has caught 17 passes for 482 yards and eight touchdowns this season. Forum file photo

The passing game is potent, but Davies running game hasn’t disappointed this fall either. Junior running back Ty Jochim has rushed for 603 yards on 66 carries. He has scored three touchdowns and when you look at the stats Jochim has gone step for step with the state’s top running back – South’s James Johannesson.

Johannesson, a University of Minnesota football commit, leads the EDC in rushing with 625 yards and has scored 10 touchdowns.

Jochim actually has a better yards per carry average (9.1 yards) than Johannesson (8.6) through four games this season.

Davies plays South at home on Oct. 18 and that one should be a good one.

The Eagles will be looking for win No. 5 at 7 p.m. tonight when it hosts Grand Forks Central.

Shanley-Oak Grove boys soccer stands to gain plenty with win tonight

FARGO – This journalist did a little math today and it appears that the Fargo Shanley-Oak Grove boys soccer team has a chance to do some big things tonight at Sid Cichy Stadium.

The Deacons (12-1-2, 7-1-2 Eastern Dakota Conference) play Grand Forks Red River at 7 p.m. tonight is conference match that should be highly contested.

A lot is at stake for Shanley-Oak Grove. The Deacons currently reside atop the EDC standings and with a victory over the Roughriders would clinch both the EDC championship and the East Region’s No. 1 seed for the upcoming state tournament set for Oct. 9-11 at Cushman Field in Grand Forks.

Shanley-Oak Grove defeated Red River 3-2 earlier this season at Cushman Field.

Here is how the math works out in relation to the standings as they sit prior to Thursday’s conference matches (Please note wins in EDC play are worth two points and ties are worth one point):

1st Place (Fargo Shanley-Oak Grove, 7-1-2 EDC, 16 points in conference standings): A win Thursday vs. GFRR would give the Deacons 18 points. Following Thursday, Deacons have one remaining conference match (at Fargo Davies on Sept. 30).

2nd Place (Grand Forks Red River, 6-2-1 EDC, 13 points in conference standings): If GFRR were to take the loss at Sid Cichy tonight the Roughriders would stay at 13 points and with two conference matches remaining on its schedule, the best the Riders could finish with is 17 points.

3rd Place (West Fargo, 5-2-3 EDC, 13 points in conference standings): The Packers have two conference matches remaining and nonconference contest vs. Moorhead next week. The best the Packers could finish with is 17 points.

4th Place (Grand Forks Central, 4-3-1 EDC, 9 points in conference standings): The Knights have four conference matches remaining and the best they could finish with is 17 points.

5th Place (Fargo South, 2-3-3 EDC, 7 points in conference standings): The Bruins have four conference matches remaining and the best they could finish with is 15 points.

6th Place (Fargo North, 2-7-1 EDC, 5 points in the conference standings): The Spartans have two remaining conference matches on their schedule and the best they can finish with is 9 points. Given that Central and South play each other twice in the next two weeks, North cannot make up the points needed to make the postseason.

7th Place (Fargo Davies, 0-8-1 EDC, 1 point in the conference standings): The Eagles have three remaining conference matches on their schedule and the best they can finish with is 7 points. The Eagles are mathematically eliminated from the postseason.

 

Stroup’s D-I volleyball commitment signifies another local standout hitting it big

FARGO – Wednesday night Fargo South standout outside hitter/setter Emily Stroup announced she had verbally committed to play volleyball at the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss) of the South Eastern Conference.

Stroup, who was an all-state selection last fall as a sophomore, was on the radar for several NCAA Division I programs including the University of North Dakota and North Dakota State.

The news of Stroup’s commitment also continues a string of signings and commitments to Division I volleyball programs locally in the last three years.

I made mention of this in the story that appeared in The Forum’s Thursday edition, but Stroup became the sixth player from The Forum’s coverage area to commit or sign with a D-I volleyball program in the three-year period I eluded to in the story.

The others: 2013 Fargo North graduate Kira Larson (Nebraska), 2013 Kindred graduate Kellie Schmit (UND), 2014 Central Cass grads Faith Dooley (UND) and Dallas Goettle (NDSU) and Fargo Shanley senior Alivia Fraase (UND).

Kira Larson, a former all-state player at Fargo North, is a red-shirt freshman at Nebraska. Forum file photo

Larson redshirted with the Cornhuskers last fall and has three kills in five matches played this season. Nebraska – of the Big Ten conference – is 7-3 and is preparing to begin conference play soon.

Dooley has started 16 matches for UND this fall and has posted 143 kills and a .285 hitting percentage. The former Squirrels standout also is averaging 1.4 blocks and 2.5 kills per set.  UND is 12-5 this season and lost a nonconference match to NDSU earlier this season.

Faith Dooley (right, No. 13), a former all-state volleyball standout at Central Cass High School, has started 16 matches at UND this fall.

Goettle is on the NDSU roster, but has yet to appear in a match this season.

Schmit transferred to Division II Northern State (Aberdeen, S.D.) after one year at UND. The former Vikings standout has played in two matches this season.

Volleyball continues to be a growing sport across the nation and the talent, at the prep level, certainly seems to be of high quality in the state of North Dakota. As a result, is drawing the interest of D-I programs.

Looking ahead to winter … girls hockey in Fargo will have a new look

FARGO – I know it seems early to be discussing any sort of winter sports on the prep beat, but I figured it would be worth noting that upcoming girls hockey season in Fargo is going to have a new look to it come November.

Last March, the North Dakota High School Activities Association’s Board of Directors approved the dissolution of the co-ops that existed between Fargo South, Fargo Davies and Fargo Shanley  in girls hockey and approved a co-op application between South, Shanley and Fargo North.

So here is the aftermath:

1. Two girls hockey teams will remain in Fargo.

2. Fargo Davies will sponsor its own girls hockey team that will be coached by Josh Issertell, who had been the head coach of the South-Davies co-op team the last two seasons.

3. The South-North-Shanley co-op team will be coached by Kris Dougherty, who has served as North’s head coach the last five seasons.

Fargo South activities director Michael Beaton said the move was a result of Fargo Davies having enough numbers to support its own girls hockey program.

As a result, South looked to its one-time crosstown rival to form a new girls hockey co-op that also includes several athletes from Fargo Shanley High School.

“It made sense,” Beaton said of the co-op with North. “It still means there will be two hockey teams in Fargo and every athlete that wants to participate will have an opportunity.”

I’ll probably follow up on this as we get closer to the season, but until then I’ll continue to keep tabs on the fall sports as some (girls golf and boys tennis) are approaching postseason tournaments.

Top 10 area football rankings for Minnesota (Week 5)

Hawley’s defense left Frazee just short in Week 4. Photo by Carrie Snyder/Forum

With Hawley’s win over Frazee there is a small shift in the rankings. Here are your top area football teams in Minnesota after four weeks of football.

 

1. Mahnomen (4-0)

Last week: 45-7 win at home over Lake Park-Audubon

Next up: At Badger-Greenbush-Middle River (1-3), Friday, 7 p.m.

So much for Mahnomen being injured. Heading into the game against then 3-0 Lake Park-Audubon, Mahnomen’s starting QB and two backups were expected to be out, along with their top two starting running backs.

Starting QB Tommy Pavek played and rushed for 209 yards and three touchdowns and threw for 106 yards and a touchdown. No. 2 RB Dylan Reitan also played and rushed for 81 yards on two touchdowns.

Indians push the longest active winning streak in Minnesota to 32 games.

 

2. Hawley (4-0)

Last week: 25-12 win at No. 8 Frazee

Next up: Pelican Rapids (3-1) at the Fargodome, Saturday, 7:45 p.m.

There wasn’t many times Dillon Omberg was stopped in Week 4 for Hawley. He ran all over Frazee. Photo by Carrie Snyder/Forum

It was the biggest test of the season for Hawley and the Nuggets passed, surprisingly with North Dakota State commit Ben Ellefson doing very little on offense.

The night belonged to Dillon Omberg, who rushed for 292 yards and three touchdowns on 23 carries. Ellefson did plenty on defense, getting in on 11 tackles, while Cody Cook got in on nine tackles, to go along with 2.5 sacks and 3.5 tackles for loss to lead the Nuggets defense.

The tests keep coming for Hawley, as they have 3-1 Pelican Rapids in Week 5. Every week the Nuggets seem to prove they are worthy of that No. 1 ranking in the AP polls.

 

3. Moorhead (4-0)

Last week: 48-0 win at St. Cloud Tech

Next up: Host Sauk Rapids-Rice (0-4), Friday, 7 p.m.

Week 4 belonged to Jade Lawrence with six touchdowns in the first half. Photo by Jun-Kai Teoh / St. Cloud Times

Running back Jade Lawrence broke a Moorhead school record with six touchdowns and he got them all in the first half. He finished with 252 yards on 12 carries.

There is no stopping that running game, but the Spuds continue to show teams they also have to be aware of their passing game. Matt Bye was 12-for-21 for 161 yards and a touchdown, spreading the ball between Cody Dorow, Tristen Nelson and Mike Duginski.

Section 8AAAAA seems as though it will come down to Moorhead and Sartell-St. Stephen.

 

4. Verndale (4-0)

Last week: 35-14 win at home over Hillcrest Lutheran Academy

Next up: At Ashby (0-4), Friday, 7 p.m.

Verndale handed Hillcrest Lutheran Academy its first loss of the season. Quarterback Dillon Card and Mitch Blaha connected three times for 103 yards and a touchdown. Mac Schluttner had two interceptions, one of which he took back for a touchdown.

The Pirates trailed twice in the game before Schulttner’s interception put them up for good. Pirates keep finding ways to win.

 

5. Underwood (3-1)

Last week: 40-6 win at Ashby

Next up: At Bertha-Hewitt (1-3), Friday, 7 p.m.

Wheaton-Herman-Norcross probably has something to say about it, but Class 9-man, Section 4 looks as though it will come down to Underwood and Verndale. Verndale won the regular-season matchup 14-13 in overtime.

Noah Thompson was the rushing leader in Minnesota last season, but the Rockets are teaming him with Dylan Kalenze for a frightening rushing attack. The Rockets rushed for 311 yards in Week 4.

 

6. Waubun (4-0)

Last week: 43-15 win at Norman County West

Next up: No. 10 Norman County East-Ulen-Hitterdal (3-1) at the Fargodome, Saturday, 3:45 p.m.

The read option. Teams know it’s coming. Teams can’t stop it.

Running back Ryan Weber had 124 yards and a touchdown and quarterback Jordan Spaeth had 89 yards on 15 carries. The Bombers rushed for 281 yards in Week 4 and their defense continues to be impressive.

Bombers have given up 28 points through four weeks of football.

 

7. Frazee (3-1)

Last week: 25-12 loss at home to No. 2 Hawley

Next up: Host Crookston (0-4), Friday, 7 p.m.

Hesston Bachman (ball) did all he could in Week 4, but Frazee came up just short against Hawley. Photo by Carrie Snyder/Forum

Frazee showed they could play with Hawley. They just couldn’t finish.

The Hornets had three drives inside the Hawley 10-yard line end with no points. That’s the game right there.

Frazee should head into the final two weeks of the regular season at 5-1, but have two 3-1 teams in Pelican Rapids and Barnesville to end the season.

 

8. Otter Tail Central (3-1)

Last week: 48-0 win at United North Central

Next up: Host Osakis (2-2), Friday, 7 p.m.

The OTC offense from the United North Central game is what the Bulldogs pictured at the beginning of the season.

They had 554 yards of total offense with Cody Seedorf getting 169 yards rushing and two TDs, Nick Trosdahl getting 103 yards rushing, two TDs and three catches for 66 yards, Tony Ukkelberg passing for 210 yards and two TDs and running for a 69-yard TD and Andrew VanErp catching two passes for 144 yards and two touchdowns.

That is efficient.

 

9. Detroit Lakes (4-0)

Last week: 48-8 win at home over Thief River Falls

Next week: Host East Grand Forks (0-4), Friday, 7 p.m.

Forrest Schleske pushed Detroit Lakes to 4-0 thanks to a big running day for the Lakers. Photo by Brian Basham/DL Newspapers

Detroit Lakes has beaten three teams that are 1-3 and has a one-point win over a 2-2 Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton team that is in a class below the Lakers.

D-G-F was a game the Lakers had to have. The Lakers will get tested in the final two weeks against Perham and Pequot Lakes. With a rushing attack behind Parker Jackson, Forrest Schleske and Sam Champa it looks like the section title will come down to DL and Albany.

 

10. Norman County East-Ulen-Hitterdal (3-1)

Last week: 62-0 win at home over Cass Lake-Bena

Next up: No. 6 Waubun (4-0) at the Fargodome, Saturday, 3:45 p.m.

Class 9-man, Section 6 is impossible to predict at this point. It looks as though Waubun should be in the title game, but who the Bombers will face is a total toss-up.

Ada-Borup is 2-1, Hillcrest Lutheran Academy is 3-1, Nevis is 3-1 and NCE-U-H is 3-1 with the only game between the teams being a 7-6 win for Ada-Borup over NCE-U-H.

Best way for the Titans to separate themselves is to knock off Waubun. They’ll get their chance on Saturday.

 

Knocking on the door

Pelican Rapids (3-1): It would be impossible to ignore Pelican Rapids if they were to knock off No. 2 Hawley.

Perham (3-1): It would be incredibly hard to ignore the Yellowjackets if they were to knock off Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton and if Pelican Rapids, a team Perham beat 36-21, were to beat Hawley.

Wheaton-Herman-Norcross (3-1): Warriors had their chance to crack the top 10 when they faced Underwood, but they lost 28-18. Their wins are against teams that are 3-9, but they’ve outscored them 134-18, so it isn’t like they’re struggling against bad teams.

 

 

 

Chris Murphy can be reached at 701-241-5548 or cmurphy@forumcomm.com. Follow him on Twitter @SeeMurphsTweets for Minnesota prep updates and smart alecky remarks about sports, movies, music and life in general.

 

Players of Week 4 in Minnesota

Here are your top area performances from Week 4 of high school football in Minnesota.

Jade Lawrence – Moorhead

Week 4 belonged to Jade Lawrence with six touchdowns in the first half. Photo by Jun-Kai Teoh / St. Cloud Times

Lawrence lost his mind in Moorhead’s 48-0 win over St. Cloud Tech on Friday. He had 252 yards and six touchdowns on 12 carries in the first half. Imagine if he played the full game.

Dillon Omberg – Hawley

There wasn’t many times Dillon Omberg was stopped in Week 4 for Hawley. He ran all over Frazee. Photo by Carrie Snyder/Forum

It was top-ranked Hawley versus No. 9 Frazee and Omberg led the Nuggets to a 25-12 win on 292 yards and three touchdowns in his 23 carries. He also had two catches for 31 yards and a tackle for loss on defense.

Tommy Pavek – Mahnomen

Tom Pavek came through in Week 4 with the Indians mangled by injuries. Photo by David Samson/Forum

He was a game-time decision to play, but good thing he did, as Pavek rushed for 218 yards and three touchdowns and threw for 105 yards and a touchdown in Mahnomen’s 45-7 win over previously undefeated Lake Park-Audubon.

Paul Berger – Wheaton-Herman-Norcross

Berger rushed for 195 yards and four touchdowns on 25 carries in W-H-N’s 42-18 win over Clinton-Graceville-Beardsley.

Michael Kolness – Ada-Borup

Kolness led the Cougars to a 19-12 win over Park Christian thanks to 185 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries.

AJ Wegscheid – New York Mills

Wegscheid went for 126 yards and three touchdowns on 15 carries in New York Mills’ 39-23 win over Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg.

Mason Malikowski – Perham

Mason Malikowski had three TDs in Perham’s Week 4 win. Photo by Jason Groth/Perham Focus

Malikowski had touchdown passes of 24 and 47 yards and also had a touchdown run in Perham’s 25-0 win over Roseau. Malikowski finished with 30 yards rushing on 10 attempts and was 7-for-9 passing for 138 yards.

Gauge Lee – Pelican Rapids

Lee rushed for 175 yards and two touchdowns on 16 carries and had a 67-yard touchdown reception in Pelican Rapids’ 42-21 win over Warroad.

Forrest Schleske – Detroit Lakes

Forrest Schleske pushed Detroit Lakes to 4-0 thanks to a big running day for the Lakers. Photo by Brian Basham/DL Newspapers

Detroit Lakes remained undefeated in large part to Schleske, who finished with 118 yards and three touchdowns on 19 carries in DL’s 48-8 win over Thief River Falls.

Alex Matthews – Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton

D-G-F got back to .500 with a 40-26 win over Park Rapids behind 126 yards rushing and four touchdowns from Matthews on 19 carries.

Hunter Thompson – Norman County East-Ulen-Hitterdal

Thompson had one carry that went 63 yards for a touchdown and he threw for two more, going 8-for-14 passing for 61 yards in NCE-UH’s 62-0 dismantling of Cass Lake-Bena.

Andrew VanErp – Otter Tail Central

Many standouts from OTC’s 48-0 win over United North Central, but VanErp had two catches for 144 yards and two touchdowns to go along with two fumble recoveries and an interception on defense.

Dillon Card – Verndale

Card was 7-for-13 passing for 167 yards and a touchdown and also rushed for two touchdowns in Verndale’s 35-14 win over Hillcrest Lutheran Academy. He even had three punts that averaged over 42 yards for Verndale.

 

Chris Murphy can be reached at 701-241-5548 or cmurphy@forumcomm.com. Follow him on Twitter @SeeMurphsTweets for Minnesota prep updates and smart alecky remarks about sports, movies, music and life in general.

Fundraiser for Shanley AD Randy Nelson set for Sunday

FARGO – Tonight the prep football season enters Week 4 and I’ll be at Sid Cichy Stadium covering  the Class 2A, East Region matchup between Fargo Shanley and Grafton.

The Deacons and Spoliers both are 2-1 overall and 1-0 in region play.

The game also officially kicks off a weekend of events organized to help fundraising efforts for Fargo Shanley activities director Randy Nelson.

Nelson, who has been the AD at Shanley since 2007, is battling small cell carcinoma cancer and has already gone several treatments of chemotherapy.

Game officials at tonight’s game will be using pink whistles and Superintendent of Fargo Catholic Schools Michael Smith also said other festivities to support Nelson will be conducted throughout the contest.

Nelson is well known not only in the Shanley and Fargo-Moorhead communities, but also throughout the state of North Dakota and surrounding regions. Support for Nelson has not been in short supply and he has remained active at the school working a reduced schedule.

I wrote a feature story last month on Nelson that detailed his fight with cancer and the enormous amount well wishes, prayers and support he has received since the diagnosis.

A Pulled Pork Feed, raffle and silent auction is being held 3-7 p.m. Sunday at Scheels Arena. Free will donations will be accepted at the door and proceeds from the event will go to Nelson’s family to help cover the cost of medical care, equipment and other expenses.

Online Donations are also being accepted. Here is that information:

To make an online gift go to: www.dakmed.org/lendahand. Click ‘Donate’ and give to the fund benefiting Randy Nelson.

Area sports officials in all sports including football, softball, baseball, basketball, volleyball and soccer have collected funds for Nelson and that sum will be presented at the game tonight.

Shanley High School Activities Director Randy Nelson Aug. 27, 2014 Dave Wallis / The Forum