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Eric Peterson, Published October 09 2010

No. 1 West Fargo hangs on to two-point football win against Fargo North

Every time West Fargo allowed a touchdown Friday, its defense stiffened on the next play.

The Packers stopped three 2-point conversions on their home field. That proved to be the difference as No. 1-ranked West Fargo held on for a 20-18 victory against Fargo North in Eastern Dakota Conference football.

“That’s the way high school football should be,” West Fargo head coach Jay Gibson said. “These kind of games are great. North has an unbelievable amount of heart. … They played really well.”

West Fargo (6-1, 4-0 EDC) remained unbeaten in the conference. North (3-3, 2-2) missed a chance to pull into a tie for first place in the EDC.

“I’m proud of the way our guys played,” North head coach Kelly Kalina said. “We fought hard. We played hard. We did the little things. We grew as a football team tonight. We just fell three inches short at the end.”

The Spartans trimmed the West Fargo lead to 20-18 with 1 minute, 29 seconds remaining after sophomore running back Peter Saintal turned a screen pass into a 34-yard touchdown.

“We knew some time Saintal was going to get into the open,” Gibson said. “Man oh man is he a player. He has so much speed and he is so smooth.”

On the ensuing 2-point conversion, Spartans quarterback Brady Bergeron took a shotgun snap and tried to bust through the line for the game-tying two points. However, Packers defensive end Tanner Fontaine and linebacker Nathan Stanczyk combined to stop Bergeron short of the goal line.

“We came back and got the stop on the extra point, which was really cool,” Gibson said.

“It’s big for us to keep winning them so we can have home-field advantage all playoffs,” added Packers defensive lineman Tyler Kennedy.

The Packers took a 20-12 lead with 2 minutes, 29 seconds remaining in the third quarter after quarterback Matt Ruff scored on a 1-yard touchdown run. Ruff also threw a 67-yard touchdown to Jon Pistorius, on a shovel pass, for the game’s first score in the first quarter.

Pistorius caught four passes for 100 yards and a touchdown. Ruff completed 8 of 17 passes for 140 yards. Ruff added a team-high 55 rushing yards.

“Both quarterbacks really had some good games, they were tough games,” Gibson said. “They had to make tough decisions. … I’m really impressed with Bergeron, really gutsy.”

The Packers limited the explosive Saintal to 38 rushing yards on 16 attempts. In his previous three games, Saintal averaged 221 yards per contest.

“That’s what we talked about all week was him,” Kennedy said. “We knew he was their big runner.”

North 0 12 0 6–18

WF 7 6 7 0–20

WF—Pistorius 67 pass from Ruff (Ballweber kick)

FN—Bergeron 1 run (pass failed)

WF—Siverson 15 run (kick blocked)

FN—Connelly 5 pass from Bergeron (pass failed)

WF—Ruff 1 run (Ballweber kick)

FN—Saintal 34 pass from Bergeron (run failed)


RUSHING: FN, Bergeron 21-81, Saintal 16-38, Garrett 1-2. WF, Ruff 14-55, Spacek 14-49, Siverson 9-36.

PASSING: FN, Bergeron 9-18-0 117 yards, Garrett 1-1-0 18. WF, Ruff 8-17-0 140.

RECEIVING: FN, Saintal 2-41, Kosienski 2-35, Connelly 3-27, Bergeron 1-18, Garrett 2-14. WF, Pistorius 4-100, Schwartz 3-33, Neer 1-7.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Eric Peterson at (701) 241-5513.

Peterson’s blogs can be found at www.areavoices.com