Last Friday’s 47-27 win at home against Grand Forks Red River helped Fargo Davies even their overall record to 2-2 and also helped catapult the Eagles into the North Dakota Class 3A football rankings.
The latest 3A poll, released Monday, had the Eagles ranked No. 5 behind Minot, Fargo South, Bismarck Century and No. 1-ranked Bismarck. This ranking holds special significance for Davies in that it marks the first time in school history they received cracked the Top 5. Yes they have received votes several times at different times over the last four years, but the young program appears primed to turn a corner.
Davies opened the season with back-to-back home losses against Bismarck Century and Minot. The loss to the Magicians was in overtime, but the Eagles have recovered with back-to-back wins over Grand Forks Central and Roughriders – both in convincing fashion.
Leading the way for the Eagles is junior quarterback Aidan Hartness. Hartness took the reins of the QB1 position a year ago and thus far in 2013 is showing that he’s capable of setting a pace to both Davies’ passing game as well as its running game
Hartness leads the Eastern Dakota Conference in passing with 547 yards. Through four games he is 34 of 59 with six touchdowns and just one interception. In the rushing department the 6-foot-3, 187-pounder ranks fifth in the EDC with 241 yards on 41 carries and four touchdowns.
Hartness’ favorite target is his twin brother Tristan Hartness. Tristan has caught an EDC-leading 14 passes for 261 yards and a touchdown.
Davies also features a talented, deep backfield. Tailbacks Alek Groth and Jordan Hjelseth plus fullback Daylon Melby all have the ability to pick up big plays for the Eagles.
Though the No. 5-ranking is a nice feather in Davies’ cap, it also means there will be heightened expectations the rest of the season to sustain the success. Davies’ first game as a ranked team will be against Williston on the road. Kickoff is 7 p.m. on Friday.
The combined record of Davies’ next three opponents is 1-11. After the Coyotes, Davies plays Devils Lake and Fargo North.