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Forum staff reports, Published September 30 2010

Sports: Weekend watch

High school football: Sargent Central at Hillsboro

7 p.m., Friday, Hillsboro (N.D.) High School

The winner of this matchup could have a good chance to earn at least a tie for the Region 2 title. The loser will not be in control of their own destiny in the region. That’s the storyline as top-ranked Hillsboro (5-0) hosts surprising unbeaten Sargent Central (5-0). The Burros’ veer offense is as high powered as ever thanks to an experienced offense line and a talented trio in the backfield. Alex McLean, Brandon Otto and Michael Otto have combined to rush for 1,590 yards. The Burros are rushing for 7.9 yards per carry behind a line anchored by seniors Gary Suchor, Brady Stallman and Steven Murphy. “It’s going to be our offensive line against their defensive line,” Hillsboro coach Scott Olsen said. “They are pretty experienced. Most of their kids (on the defensive line) are in their third year of varsity playing time. (Sargent Central) has struggled in the past, but now they are reaping the benefits of getting the chance to be successful.” Sargent Central entered the season winless since 2007. But a good defense, solid passing game and grinding running game have the team on the brink of a lengthy postseason run. Freshman tailback Craig Zirnhelt has rushed for 492 yards. Sophomore fullback Greg Breker has rushed for 438 yards. “With the game how it is, there is not a whole lot I have to say to get people excited. It’s kind of been circled on the calendar for awhile.”

– Heath Hotzler

High school football: West Fargo vs. Fargo South

8 p.m., Friday, Fargodome

Another year, another heavyweight matchup between the Packers and Bruins. Top-ranked Fargo South (5-0) will host No. 2 West Fargo (4-1) on the Fargodome turf to see who gets to sit in the driver’s seat in the race for the Eastern Dakota Conference title. Last year, the Bruins edged the Packers 19-17 to extend its winning streak against one of its main rivals to seven games. However, both teams have different looks this season. South has opened up its offense, using multiple-receiver sets to score loads of points. And that potent offense could be bolstered by the recent return of running back Adam Boe from a knee injury. Boe had surgery about a month ago to repair cartilage damage. The Bruins air attack is led by big-play receiver Andrew Okland and Brock Larson. Okland is averaging 37 yards per catch. “It’s a true test for us,” first-year South coach Troy Mattern said. “Every time we play, our kids know we have a big “X” on our back with whoever we play. Our kids are focused and ready to play.” West Fargo has a strong defense and a potent passing game, led by receivers Brady Schwartz, Zach Neer and Jon Pistorius. The Packers have allowed just four touchdowns in five games. “It’s kind of a big deal,” West Fargo coach Jay Gibson said. “It’s good experience for both teams. The guys don’t get to go into every game feeling that sense of urgency. This kind of game gives you that excitement.”

– Heath Hotzler

College volleyball: Indiana Purdue-Fort Wayne at North Dakota State

7 p.m., Friday, Bentson Bunker Fieldhouse

For IPFW, it’s the place where it can relive its Summit League tournament championship from last year. For NDSU, it’s a chance to restore its home court advantage against the Mastodons. The Bison lead the Summit at 5-0 and IPFW is one of four teams with two losses. Although not having the successful non-conference record that they had last year, the Bison have still won 41 straight regular season matches in the league.

– Jeff Kolpack

Auto racing: Beet Harvest 100

7 p.m., Friday and Saturday, West Fargo’s Red River Valley Speedway

The season championships are over and done with. But the Beet Harvest 100 does provide a good excuse to check out some racing just one more time. This will be the first year for the two-day race event at the Red River Valley Speedway. Six different classes including Late Models, Super Stocks and Street Stocks will be raced on both days. The race will be the last one of the year, according to the Speedway’s website.

– Ryan S. Clark