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By Scooter Pursley, Published August 29 2009

High school football: Bruins preserve victory after three passing TDs

BISMARCK – Fargo South quarterbacks Brock Larson and Griffin Neal completed only four passes between them Friday, but three were for touchdowns as the Bruins held off pesky Bismarck Century 28-14 in the season openers for both teams.

The Bruins jumped out to a 21-0 lead before Jesse Kartes made the most of his first start at quarterback for Century.

Kartes guided two scoring drives that pulled Century within 21-14 before the rally ran out of steam in the closing minutes of the game. Kartes was 17-for-35 for 236 yards.

“Jesse played well,” said Century coach Ron Wingenbach. “He has been waiting in the wings, so we knew what we had coming in.”

The Patriots had to have a good passing game as its running game picked up just 48 yards on 31 carries. The Bruins, on the other hand, ran for 257 yards, but only 87 in the second half.

“(Century) grabbed the momentum in the second quarter and I don’t think we got it back, even in the third quarter,” South coach Kevin Feeney said. “We felt good about how we played offensively in the first half.”

South used big plays and a tight defense to jump out to the early lead. Larson and Neal both tossed touchdowns on their first pass attempts and Sam Callahan scored the first time he touched the ball.

“It was a game of big plays,” Wingenbach said. “They score on the first play and they scored on broken pass coverage. Take some of those early mistakes out of the game and it’s a different ballgame.”

South took over on the Century 42-yard line after Century went three-and-out on its first possession.

On the Bruins’ first play, Callahan ran dive, ran over the only defender in his way and dashed 42 yards into the end zone. Callahan had 72 of his game-high 104 yards in the first half.

With 1:49 left in the first quarter, Larson hit Matt Wawers on a 12-yard fade for a 14-0 lead, and the Bruins stretched that to 21-0 when Neal found Wawers open behind the secondary with 6:58 to play in the half.

South averaged eight yards per offensive play in the first half, while holding the Patriots to 36 yards on the ground.

Feeney said afterward that the Bruins might have gotten off to too good a start. “Sometimes when you get up early you relax and go into coast mode,” Feeney noted. “We learned something tonight.”

The Bruins clinched it on Larson’s 6-yard TD pass to Tyler Kellen with 2:17 left.

“We need to throw the football more,” Feeney said. “We know that we need to have confidence in that.”

South 14 7 0 7–28

Century 0 7 7 0–14

FS–Callahan 42 run (kick failed)

FS–Wawers 12 pass from Larson (Midell run)

FS– Wawers 35 pass from Neal (Parker kick)

BC–Govig 13 pass from Kartes (Dahl kick)

BC–Emil 2 run (Dahl kick)

FS–Kellen 6 pass from Larson (Parker kick)


RUSHING: South. Larson 1-(minus 6), Boe 5-31, Achter 11-88, Callahan 14-104, Midell 6-28, Duncan 3-12. Century, Kartes 6-9, Govig 1-3, Emil 24-36.

PASSING: South, Larson 3-6-0 18 yards, Neal 1-1-0 35. Century, Kartes 17-35-2 236.

RECEIVING: South, Wawers 3-53, Kellen 1-6. Century, Bohn 1-8, Jacobs 6-86, Glass 2-32, Govig 3-32, Emil 1-1, Walter 3-66, Redmann 1-11.