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By Tom Miller, Published August 29 2009

High school football: Punt return touchdown leads Red River past Fargo Shanley

GRAND FORKS, N.D. – On a punt early in the first quarter, Grand Forks Red River returner Elby Pope waved his arms and yelled “poison” to tell teammates to stay away from the ball.

“But the ball took a perfect bounce right to me,” Pope said. “So I took it, made a cut and no one was there.”

Pope took the ball 50 yards into the end zone. It was the first time the Roughriders touched the ball this season and a sign of big-play ability to come.

Red River scored four touchdowns – on plays of 90, 64, 50 and 24 yards – to beat Fargo Shanley 28-19 on Friday night at Cushman Field in the season opener for both teams.

“(Big plays) is something we kind of expect from those guys,” Red River coach Vyrn Muir said. “We got the ball in the hands of the right kids to make those kinds of plays.”

Red River scored on its first two specials teams plays of the year. After Pope’s 50-yard punt return, Luke Schreiner returned a kickoff 90 yards for a score in the second quarter.

Schreiner, a senior who is out for football after two seasons off, breezed through the wedge and stiff-armed Shanley kicker Myles Montplaisir at the 40-yard line en route to the end zone.

Shanley 0 12 0 7–19

GFRR 7 7 7 7–28

RR–Pope 50 punt return (Waind kick)

FS–Webber 53 run (kick failed)

RR–Schreiner 90 kick return (Waind kick)

FS–Rodenbiker 14 pass (run failed)

RR–Pope 64 pass from King (Waind kick)

FS–Webber 15 run (Montplaisir kick)

RR–Solheim 24 pass from King (Waind kick)

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING —RR: Gefroh 17-71, Prout 5-30; FS: Webber 19-150, Rivard 7-27

PASSING — RR: King 7-11-0, 111 yards, 2 TDs; FS: Montplaistir 13-20-1, 154 yards

RECEIVING — RR: Pope 1-64, Solheim 1-24; FS: Rodenbiker 6-88, Jones 3-38

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