West Fargo Sheyenne boys and girls cross country teams donate time to good cause

WEST FARGO – Today, in addition to preparing for the upcoming North Dakota high school cross country state meet, the West Fargo Sheyenne boys and girls cross country teams volunteered at the Great Plains Food Bank to package up food to be donated to people who need in the community.

Members of the West Fargo Sheyenne boys and girls cross country team helped package food at the Great Plains Food Bank on Friday morning. Submitted photo

Students across the state have had a few days off this week and it’s always good to see individuals take a little time to help out those in need.

West Fargo Sheyenne High School has implemented a “Day of Giving” program for its varsity athletic programs this year where teams go into the community and volunteer their time to a program/place of their choice.

Many athletic teams at high schools in the F-M metro area have participated in programs similar to one Sheyenne organized today and I figured it was a good time to recognize the efforts of the student-athletes, coaches and administrators who have pitched in for good causes.

Members of the West Fargo Sheyenne boys and girls cross country team helped package food at the Great Plains Food Bank on Friday morning. The group packaged a total of 6,000 pounds of food. Submitted photo

Sheyenne’s boys and girls cross country teams packaged a total of 6,000 pounds of food this morning. That’s 6,000 pounds of food that wasn’t organized into deliverable packages yesterday and no doubt that food will be going to good use as the Holiday season is approaching fast.

The Sheyenne boys cross country team is coached by Tyler Carlson and the Sheyenne girls cross country team is coached by Troy Thorson.

Tom Mix is the North Dakota high schools sports reporter at The Forum. He has been working at The Forum since 2009 and has been covering the ND prep sports beat since 2012. Mix can be reached at tmix@forumcomm.com

No. 2-ranked Oakes plays No. 5-ranked Carrington to decide Class 1A, Region football championship

FARGO – Like I alluded to in my post yesterday about Saturday’s prep football matchup between North Dakota Class 3A, No. 1-ranked Fargo South and No. 3-ranked Fargo Davies, there certainly is not a short supply of highly anticipated football games tomorrow.

Another meeting of ranked teams occurs in Class 1A where No. 2-ranked Oakes travels to No. 5-ranked Carrington in a showdown of undefeated Region 1 teams. Oakes and Carrington are both 7-0 overall and 6-0 in Region 1 play.

Oakes senior quarterback Bryce Meehl has passed for 1,125 yards and 15 touchdowns this season. Photo by David Samson / The Forum

Kickoff is set for 1:30 p.m. Saturday at Carrington High School and the winner of the game will earn the Region 1 championship and the highly coveted No. 1 seed for the 1A playoffs, which begin Oct. 25. Regardless of the outcome both teams have clinched a home playoff game next week.

These two teams have been on a collision course for several weeks and both have been ranked in the state 1A poll most of the season.

Something has to give on Saturday. Will the torrid Tornadoes keep their pace going heading into the postseason or will the cunning Cardinals claim the region crown.

Carrington has posted three shutouts this fall and are led on the defensive side of the ball by senior Easton Paeper, who has 42 tackles and junior Cole Ferguson, who checks in with 41 tackles.

Offensively the Cardinals feature a balanced run game led by senior running back Seth Abaurrea. Abaurrea, who also is a standout track and field and basketball athlete at Carrington, has rushed for 763 yards on 74 carries this fall. He is averaging 10.3 yards per carry and 109 yards per game. Abaurrea also has 13 touchdowns this fall.

Senior Brady Smith has passed for 611 yards and seven touchdowns. Smith has been efficient completing 61 percent of his passes (31 of 51), but will be going up a very tough Tornadoes secondary tomorrow.

Oakes defenders Bryce Meehl (7) and Ethan Zetocha defend a pass intended for Hillsboro-Central Valley’s Kyle Henningsgard Friday, Sept.26, 2014, in Hillsboro. David Samson / The Forum

Oakes has put together another solid season and it all has started with senior quarterback Bryce Meehl. Meehl (6-foot-1, 160 pounds) has passed for 1,125 yards and rushed for 454 yards this fall. He’s been especially consistent in the passing game throwing for over 100 yards in all seven of Oakes’ games this fall. Meehl has thrown for 15 touchdowns and is 61 of 96.

Meehl’s top targets are listed below:
1. Sr. Blake Hollingsworth (14 catches for 337 yards, 2 TDs)
2. Sr. Carter Zetocha (18 catches for 289 yards, 6 TDs)
3. Jr. Ethan Zetocha (17 catches for 275 yards, 4 TDs)

The Tornadoes also excel in the running game. That department is led by senior Erik Loepp. Loepp, who also is a standout wrestler at Oakes, has rushed for 813 yards and 16 touchdowns this season. He is averaging 116.1 yards per game and has been clicking of late posting three 100-yard games in a row.

Here are Loepp’s lines the last three games
vs. Milnor-North Sargent (151 yards, 3 TDs)
vs. Kidder County (112 yards, 3 TDs)
vs. Hillsboro-Central Valley (199 yards, 3 TDs)

Tom Mix is the North Dakota high schools sports reporter at The Forum. He has been working at The Forum since 2009 and has been covering the ND prep sports beat since 2012. Mix can be reached at tmix@forumcomm.com

SATURDAY PREVIEW: No. 1 Fargo South at No. 3 Fargo Davies (3A football)

FARGO – There are several highly anticipated high school football matchups across the state of North Dakota on Saturday. One of those ‘can’t-miss’ games will be played at Fargo Davies High School when the No. 1-ranked Fargo South Bruins play the No. 3-ranked Eagles at 1 p.m. (Link below is a video clip of Fargo South’s James Johannesson, Ty Brooks and head coach Troy Mattern discussing South’s upcoming games against Fargo Davies and West Fargo)

Fargo South vs. Fargo Davies football preview

I promised I’d breakdown this matchup and this post will do just that. For starters here is a quick snapshot of what each team has done thus far in 2014.

FARGO SOUTH: The Bruins have been ranked No. 1 all season long in the North Dakota Class 3A polls and are 7-0 overall and 5-0 in Eastern Dakota Conference play entering Saturday’s game against Davies. … The Bruins are averaging 46.9 points per game and are currently in the midst of a 12-game winning streak dating back to last season.

FARGO DAVIES: The Eagles are coming off their biggest win of the season – a 14-13 win over West Fargo. The win over the Packers served as a big rebound after dropping a road game to Grand Forks Red River in Week 6. … Davies has been ranked in the state 3A poll all season after opening the season with a convincing win over Bismarck Century. … The Eagles are 6-1 overall and 5-1 in EDC play.

ALL-TIME SERIES: South leads the all-time series 4-0 between the two schools. Saturday will be the fifth time the schools have played. South won the 2014 meeting 17-14 that was played at Sid Cichy Field.

Now that we know the teams, I’ll do a couple comparisons of the teams in five key areas of the game (running game, passing game, receiving, defense and special teams).

Fargo South senior running back James Johannesson has rushed for 1,036 yards this fall on 109 carries and has scored 21 touchdowns. Forum file photo.

RUSHING: Fargo South’s running game is powered by senior all-state running back James Johannesson. Johannesson has rushed for 1,036 yards on 109 carries and has scored 21 total touchdowns. The University of Minnesota football commit eclipsed 5,000 career rushing yards last week and is averaging 148 yards per game this fall. The Bruins also work in senior wide receiver Ty Brooks into their rushing attack. Brooks is a 1,000 yard rusher for South and like Johannesson is a threat to pop off a big gain at any moment. Davies counters with Ty Jochim, who has 774 yards on 108 carries this fall. Jochim has scored six touchdowns, but is coming off a poor game against the West Fargo more so because the Packers are very good against stopping the run. All together, Johannesson, Jochim and Brooks are the top three rushers in the conference and both teams feature solid offensive lines.

RECEIVING: The featured players in this category with be Fargo Davies senior wide receiver Tristan Hartness and South’s Brooks. Hartness has 38 catches for 848 yards and 13 touchdowns. Brooks has 16 catches for 308 yards and three TDs. Look for the Eagles to also work in Mitch Vetter, JD Arguelles and Kaden Steiner into its passing attack.

Fargo Davies senior quarterback Aidan Hartness (12) leads the Eastern Dakota Conference with 1,300 passing yards this fall. His top target has been his twin brother Tristan Hartness (19) who has 848 receiving yards and has scored 13 touchdowns. Forum file photo.

PASSING: Fargo Davies senior Aidan Hartness has thrown for 1,300 yards this fall. He has 16 touchdowns and only three interceptions. Hartness has completed 63 of 125 passing attempts (50.4 percent). South senior quarterback Jake Solem has passed for 609 yards but has been just as accurate as Hartness completing 36 of 72 attempts (50 percent). It is very hard to say what this game will come down to, but if Davies’ passing game gets any traction things could get very interesting and the scoreboard could wind up showing very big numbers.

DEFENSE: The offense is going to be the feature part of this game most likely, but the game could be decided by a defensive stop. Davies has several crafty defensive backs and senior all-state defensive lineman Gunnar Kollman anchors the whole unit. Kollman had 2 ½ sacks last week against West Fargo. South will be tasked with stopping the Eagles passing attack. Brooks leads the Bruins defensive secondary, which will get challenged. Jason Klug leads South in tackles with 32 ½.

SPECIAL TEAMS: Both teams have dynamic returners on punts and kickoffs. Davies’ JD Arguelles had a big kickoff return last week against West Fargo. Johannesson and Brooks each have a kickoff return for a touchdown for the Bruins this fall. South’s kicking game led by senior Josh Weiler is very strong. Weiler is 2 of 3 in field goal attempts this fall and has one 40-plus yarder made. He has 42 points, which leads all Eastern Dakota Conference kickers. Davies’ kicker – Cy Cyr – has made one field goal this season and is 13 of 18 on extra points.

Tom Mix is the North Dakota high schools sports reporter at The Forum. He has been working at The Forum since 2009 and has been covering the ND prep sports beat since 2012. Mix can be reached at tmix@forumcomm.com

NDHSAA Board of Directors passes the ’15-’16 football plan

FARGO – The North Dakota High School Activities Association Board of Directors approved the new two-year football plan that will be used in the state for the 2015 and 2016 seasons on Wednesday in Bismarck.

The plan didn’t come without a little shakeup to the current North Dakota High School football landscape. The plan is constantly reviewed as enrollments are in flux across the state, but in football the two-year plan method is used so schools can schedule opponents in advance and have some sort of stability year to year.

Most of the shakeup with this plan came at the Class 1A and 9-man divisions.

Class 1A will remain at four regions, but is going from 32 teams this fall to just 24 in 2015. Below are the changes to the current 1A division.

1A SCHOOLS LEAVING 1A FOR 9-MAN: Kidder County, Linton-HMB, Mayport-CG, Midway-Minto, North Border, North Prairie, Surrey, Williams County, Central McLean and New Salem-Glen Ullin.

SCHOOLS JOINING 1A FROM 9-MAN: Fargo Oak Grove, Westhope-Newburg-Glenburn

SCHOOLS JOINING 1A FROM 2A: Minot Ryan

The 1A division next fall will have six teams to each of the four regions. The top three teams from each region will qualify for the playoffs (12 total teams) with the four region champions receiving first round byes.

The shifting of teams I listed above, also means that the 9-man division will balloon in size. The 9-man division will increase from 37 current teams this fall to 45 next year. It loses two schools, but gains 10.

Starting in 2015, there will be six regions in 9-man football. The top four teams in each region will qualify for the playoffs (24 total teams). The region champions will receive first round byes as will two of the No. 2 seeded teams from the six regions on a rotational basis system that will be determined by a coaches advisory committee.

The Class 2A division loses Minot Ryan, but gains Hillsboro-Central Valley. Valley City will move to the West Region in 2A to accommodate the addition of Hillsboro-Central Valley keeping the two 2A regions at eight teams each.

The only change to the 3A division will be the addition of Bismarck Legacy to the West Region. That will make each region in 3A equal at eight teams.

Playoff structures in 3A and 2A will remain the same.

Another change to the football plan was moving up the practice reporting dates for 9-man schools. This allows teams a chance to begin games on a Friday instead of the current Tuesday-Saturday-Friday setup. It was not uncommon for teams to play three games in 11 days in recent years and this plan’s timeline eliminates that bottleneck.

Tom Mix is the North Dakota high schools sports reporter at The Forum. He has been working at The Forum since 2009 and has been covering the ND prep sports beat since 2012. Mix can be reached at tmix@forumcomm.com

Metro girls swimming standouts turning top times this fall

FARGO – News broke today that Fargo North senior girls swimming standout Ellie Roche verbally committed to swim at Michigan State and I figured I’d roll that news into a quick writeup on some other local girls swimming news.

The girls swimming season is now closing in on its final weeks. Postseason meets are right around the corner and there are several metro area swimmers that have recorded some of the top performances in the state thus far.

Believe it or not, through events timed and posted as of today, Ellie Roche doesn’t hold the fastest times in any individual events this fall. However, there isn’t much to be concerned about as she holds the second-fastest times in the 200 freestyle, 500 freestyle, 100 breaststroke , 100 butterfly, and 200 individual medley.

Fargo North girls swimming standout Ellie Roche has won the last two 200 IM state championships. Forum file photo

Roche – a six-time state champion – has won the last two 200-IM state championships. Roche is a member of the Spartans’ 400 freestyle relay that has the fastest time in the state this fall at three minutes, 40.50 seconds. The team is made up of Rosche, Leann Mengelkoch, Olvia Roche and Breah Anderson. The Spartans won this relay at the 2012 state meet and figure to be one of the top contenders at the state meet next month.

Anderson excels for North in the sprinting events. Anderson has the fastest 100 freestyle time (53.31 seconds) in the state. The junior standout also swims a leg of North’s 200 freestyle relay that recorded the fastest performance in the state last Saturday at the Fargo Davies meet. Anderson, Mengelkoch, Anna Astrup and Eric Slack raced to a time of 1:43.08.

Fargo Davies eighth grader Kendra Dawson recorded the state’s top time this fall in the 50 freestyle (22.20) at the Fargo North-Fargo Davies dual on Oct. 3.

West Fargo junior Hallie Peterson has the fourth fastest times in the 100 freestyle, 200 freestyle and the 100 butterfly. She is a member of the Packers’ 200 Medley relay team that has the fastest time in the state this fall at 1:53.50. Forum file photo

West Fargo’s 200 Medley Relay made up of juniors Taylor Laufenberg, Mykin Gunning, and Hallie Peterson and eighth grader Andie Peterson have the state’s top time at 1:53.50, which six one hundredths of a second faster than North’s quartet of Olivia Roche, Ellie Roche, Astrup and Slack (1:53.56). Count on this event to be high competitive at the Eastern Dakota Conference meet and the state meet (Nov. 14-15 at Bismarck).

Tom Mix is the North Dakota high schools sports reporter at The Forum. He has been working at The Forum since 2009 and has been covering the ND prep sports beat since 2012. Mix can be reached at tmix@forumcomm.com

 

Richland and Hankinson meet in 9-man regular season finale

COLFAX, N.D. – I wrote a story on the Richland football team in Tuesday’s Forum this week and I thought I’d add a few notes about the Colts and 9-man, Region 1 on the blog.

First, the Colts are preparing for their regular season finale against Hankinson. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. in Hankinson and both teams will be playing for the right to host a home playoff game. The 9-man playoffs start Oct. 25.

Richland sits at 6-1 in the Region 1 standings and Hankinson holds a 5-2 mark.

The Richland-Hankinson matchup stands to be one of the most anticipated 9-man games this Saturday.

Regardless of the outcome Saturday, Richland will be erasing a five-year playoff drought. The last time the Colts qualified for the state playoffs was 2008.

KEY PLAYERS TO WATCH (HANKINSON VS. RICHLAND)

1. Jake Ihland (Soph., RB/DB, Richland): Ihland has rushed for 1,276 yards this season and averages 10.5 yards per carry. … He has scored 22 touchdowns this season.

2. Carter Mauch (Sr., QB/DB, Hankinson): Mauch is dual threat on offesne and plays both sides of the ball well for the Pirates. … He rushed for 154 yards and four touchdowns in the season opener against Fargo Oak Grove. He also passed for a touchdown in that game.

Tom Mix is the North Dakota high schools sports reporter at The Forum. He has been working at The Forum since 2009 and has been covering the ND prep sports beat since 2012. Mix can be reached at tmix@forumcomm.com

 

 

 

Fargo South’s Johannesson surpasses 5,000 career rushing yards

FARGO – Entering Friday night only 16 yards short of 5,000 career rushing yards, Fargo senior all-state running back James Johannesson is already at a point where few North Dakota prep rushers have been.

Reaching 5,000 was a formality and the 6-foot-2, 215 pound standout eclipsed the milestone in the first quarter of South’s 49-13 win over Grand Forks Central.

Johannesson ended the night with 178 yards on nine carries and scored three touchdowns. If you are just discovering the exploits of Johannesson that stat line might be a bit surprising. That is an average of 19.8 yards per carry, but that is the type of factor Johannesson has been producing the last three seasons for the Bruins.

Fargo South senior running back James Johannesson (33) rushed for 178 yards Friday night in South’s 49-13 win over Grand Forks Central. Johannesson eclipsed 5,000 rushing yards in his career during the game. Forum file photo

Johannesson, a University of Minnesota football commit, now sits at 5,162 yards for his career. No official state records for football are kept by the North Dakota High School Activities Association, but Johannesson’s total is widely believed to be a North Dakota Class 3A record. I’ll explore that matter next week when I write a feature on Johannesson for the Forum. I’ve attempted to search for some notable state rushing data across the 3A division and the state as well. So look for the story towards the end of next week. It will include video accounts of Johannesson’s 5,000 yards milestone.

This fall, Johannesson is at 1,036 yards on 109 carries and 21 touchdowns. He averaging 9.5 yards per carry.

The No. 1-ranked Bruins play at Fargo Davies next Saturday and end the season hosting West Fargo on Oct. 24.

South clinched a playoff spot with the win over the Knights and is now in search for another Eastern Dakota Conference championship.

Here are the individual stats for the Bruins last night against Grand Forks Central:

RUSHING: Johannesson 9-178, Brooks 4-44, Siaway 5-37, Luckoski 3-22, Solem 4-21, Eggers 3-5, Lamba 1-(-1), Team 1-(-1)

PASSING:  Solem 6-9-0–114, Pifer 0-1-0–0

RECEIVING:  Brooks 1-34, Taber 1-26, Tritch 1-24, DuBord 2-15, Johannesson 1-15

Tom Mix is the North Dakota high schools sports reporter at The Forum. He has been working at The Forum since 2009 and has been covering the ND prep sports beat since 2012. Mix can be reached at tmix@forumcomm.com

Fargo Davies vs. West Fargo: The aftermath

FARGO – Prior to Friday night’s football game played between North Dakota Class 3A, No. 3-ranked West Fargo and No. 4-ranked Fargo Davies, I was interviewed by Forum Communications colleague Jody Norstedt on WDAY Radio’s Dizzo’s Den program.

It was a quick conversation summed up by the obvious fact that the game would boil down to West Fargo’s defense vs. Fargo Davies offense. I said the game could come down to one play and it did.

With two minutes, six seconds remaining Davies senior quarterback Aidan Hartness connected for a 6-yard touchdown pass to twin brother Tristan Hartness. Sophomore place kicker Cy Cyr followed with an extra point to give Davies the 14-13 advantage.

That play, which Aidan Hartness said he called after conferring with head coach Jason Thielges on the sidelines, was the boiling point. It came on a 3rd-and-goal from the West Fargo 6-yard line and if West Fargo gets a stop there it may have been a different ballgame.

West Fargo was stopped on its ensuing possession and the game ended with Davies claiming the 14-13 victory. It is the second straight year Davies has defeated West Fargo by a one point margin. The victory is also Davies first against the Packers on its home field. The Eagles other two wins against the Packers came at West Fargo High School.

The aftermath is Davies moving to 6-1 overall and 4-1 in EDC play. The Packers meanwhile fall to 4-3 overall and 4-1 in EDC play. Both teams are now tied for second place in the conference.

Davies’ two reaming games are: vs. Fargo South (Oct. 18) and at Fargo North (Oct. 24). The matchup with the Bruins next week will be another big game for the Eagles. A win over No. 1-ranked South would put Davies in the driver seat for another conference title and possibly the east Region’s No. 1 seed for the state playoffs, which begin Oct. 31.

Here are my postgame observations:

1. Hartness to Hartness is a proven combination: Aidan and Tristan Hartness are on the same page whether they are playing football, hockey or baseball. Friday night Aidan and Tristan connected four times for 67 yards including the big six-yard touchdown. Aidan finished 10 of 25 passing for 181 yards and two touchdowns. His other touchdown throw was a 30-yard strike to junior Tanner Boyanovsky in the second quarter on a fourth-and-16 play. Davies did not run the ball effectively against West Fargo’s stingy front seven so the passing game had to be there for the Eagles.

2. West Fargo’s defense is the real deal: The Packers entered the game not having allowed any points in their previous two games – shutouts against Fargo North and Grand Forks Central. West Fargo head coach Jay Gibson said his defense played well. Gibson – is his 24th year with the Packers – said the team may have given up some yards to the Eagles’ passing game, but pointed to the team’s run defense as a team strength. Davies rushed for a net of 37 yards. The run defense the Packers showed Friday will likely come in handy Oct. 24 when West Fargo plays Fargo South that is led by senior all-state running back James Johannesson.

3. Pfau is crafty: West Fargo quarterback Creighton Pfau is a dual threat. The 6-foot-3, 175 pound junior rushed for a net of 9 yards losing a lot of his yardage on sacks (Davies senior all-state lineman Gunnar Kollman had 2 ½ sacks in the game), but he rushed for both of West Fargo’s touchdowns. Pfau finished 6 of 16 passing for 72 yards. He missed completing a handful of passes by a step or two. Gibson said the passing game was just a little off and when it gets corrected the Packers stand to be a tough opponent come playoff time.

4. Steiner stands out: Fargo Davies senior tight end Kaden Steiner caught two passes for 45 yards – one a 20 yard play and the other a 45 yard gain. Both catches came in the second half and both came on the first plays of drives. Getting 20-yards or more on the first play of a drive is big and Steiner delivered. Along with Tristan Hartness and Mitch Vetter, Steiner balances out the Eagles passing attack.

5. Persistence paid off for Davies in second half: The Eagles’ first play of the second half was a lost fumble inside their 5-yard line. West Fargo was unable to turn that into points after a holding penalty pushed them back and a 28-yard field goal went wide of the uprights. Safe to say Davies dodged a bullet there. The next two possessions for Davies resulted in punts. Davies’ fourth drive of the second half ended with the home team turning the ball over on downs. The Eagles’ fifth drive was another that ended with Davies turning the ball over on downs. Finally, on the sixth possession a drive was fully sustained. The drive was five plays and covered 53 yards ending with the Hartness to Hartness 6-yard TD strike.

Tom Mix is the North Dakota high schools sports reporter at The Forum. He has been working at The Forum since 2009 and has been covering the ND prep sports beat since 2012. Mix can be reached at tmix@forumcomm.com

 

 

 

No. 3-ranked LaMoure-L-M football team invades Fargo tonight

FARGO – The North Dakota 9-man, No. 3-ranked LaMoure-Litchville-Marion Loboes are in Fargo today to play Fargo Oak Grove in a Region 1 game on the banks of the Red River.

The Loboes have a lot to gain tonight (Note: Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.)

A win over the Grovers would move L-L-M to 7-1 this fall. It also would guarantee the Loboes would play a home playoff game on Oct. 25.

After its meeting with Oak Grove, L-L-M wraps up the season with a non-conference game against Mott-Regent on Oct. 18 in Bismarck.

L-L-M head coach Andy DelaBarre places a high importance on the potential home playoff game for the simple fact that the last two seasons have ended in first-round playoff losses on the road. Each loss was to the eventual 9-man state champion – 2012 (vs. New Rockford-Sheyenne) and 2013 (vs. Cavalier).

The Loboes have enjoyed plenty of success this season with the emergence of senior running back Anthony Olson who has rushed for over 1,500 yards and 19 touchdowns this fall. Olson also has caught five touchdown passes for the Loboes.

L-L-M’s only setback this fall was a 32-26 loss at home to South Border.

The Loboes have played a handful of tight ballgames this season, but their signature wins have been a 26-20 overtime win over Hankinson (Aug. 30) and a 32-14 win over then No. 5-ranked Richland last Friday.

The win vaulted the Loboes back into the 9-man rankings for the first time since Week 4.

Tom Mix is the North Dakota high schools sports reporter at The Forum. He has been working at The Forum since 2009 and has been covering the ND prep sports beat since 2012. Mix can be reached at tmix@forumcomm.com

 

 

 

South’s Johannesson only 16 yards shy of 5,000 career rushing yards

FARGO – The milestones have piled up for Fargo South senior running back James Johannesson the last several seasons and the all-state standout is closing in on a big career rushing number this week.

5,000.

That is not a misprint folks. Five thousand yards is in Johannesson’s grasp this Friday when North Dakota Class 3A, No. 1-ranked Fargo South hosts Grand Forks Central at 7 p.m.

Johannnesson is only 16 yards shy of 5,000 yards in his decorated prep career. He currently sits at 4,984 yards and has been re-writing South’s record books on weekly basis since his junior season.

Fargo South senior all-state running back James Johannesson has rushed for 858 yards and scored 19 total touchdowns this fall for the No. 1-ranked Bruins. Forum file photo

Johannesson verbally committed to the University of Minnesota in August.

His numbers this fall may not end up as good as his junior season, but the 6-foot-2, 215 pounder is still a force every time he touches the ball. Every carry could be the big one and that is what makes him a tough assignment to defend.

Here is a breakdown of what Johannesson has done through six games this fall:

858 yards rushing (100 carries, 18 touchdowns, 143 yards per game, 8.6 yards per carry)

118 yards receiving (Five total catches)

277 yards on kickoff returns (eight total returns attempted, one return for a touchdown)

I’m currently working on a story surrounding the significance of 5,000 career rushing yards for Johannesson and Fargo South’s program. That story will appear in print next week sometime following Friday night’s game.

Tom Mix is the North Dakota high schools sports reporter at The Forum. He has been working at The Forum since 2009 and has been covering the ND prep sports beat since 2012. Mix can be reached at tmix@forumcomm.com