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Tom Mix, Published August 24 2012

Davies rallies to top Shanley in football

FARGO – When it appeared Fargo Davies might be in for a long night, junior Alek Groth rattled off a long scoring play to get the Eagles back in the game. And he had another big play to give his team the lead.

Groth returned a fumble 72 yards for a touchdown late in the first half and rushed for a 52-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter to help the Eagles to a 21-20 win over Fargo Shanley in North Dakota football on Friday at Sid Cichy Stadium.

“I knew we needed some momentum, especially going into the second half there,” Groth said of big fumble recovery that came with 11.2 seconds left in the first half. “When it got ripped loose, I got yelled at by one of my outside linebackers who said, ‘Pick it up, pick it up.’ I just picked it up and ran.”

Shanley had the ball near field-goal range for kicker Patrick Strom and looked ready to set up an attempt to go up 17-0 at halftime. The Deacons ran a sweep running play to the left, but ball carrier Peter Simon had the ball jarred out of his grip.

“We practice that scoop and score drill all the time, and to see it happen is fantastic,” Davies head coach Jason Thielges said. “It paid off tonight. It sparked us.”

The end result of Groth’s first TD scamper ruined an otherwise stellar first half for the Deacons.

“We had them down 14-0 and we totally dominated the first half I thought,” Fargo Shanley head coach Rod Oksendahl said. “To have a play like that happen right before the half just breaks you. It really does.”

It was all Deacons out of the gates. Shanley scored when junior quarterback Chase Montplaisir connected with senior receiver Dan Arnold, who transferred from Boylan Catholic High School (Ill.), on a 13-yard pass.

Danny Stasch scored on a 5-yard run to make it 14-0 for the Deacons (0-1). Stasch finished with 108 yards on 14 carries.

Shanley scored on its first possession of the second half when Joe Laske – who finished with 78 yards on the ground – scored on a 1-yard run. The extra-point kick failed due to a wide snap.

After that, it was all Davies (1-0). Sophomore quarterback Aidan Hartness connected with Dylan Hughes for his first career varsity touchdown pass with 4 minutes, 46 seconds left in the third quarter.

As the game continued the Eagles clamped down on defense and Groth took another shot at making a big play.

In one series on offense in the fourth quarter, Groth rushed for carries of 15 and 12 yards, then had the 52-yard touchdown burst.

“I feel like I can make those plays most of the time,” said Groth, who finished with 135 yards rushing. “Whenever I see that hole, I just try to hit it as hard as I can and break loose.”

The win is just the third varsity win ever for the Eagles.

“I think we found out some things about ourselves that we had to figure out,” Thielges said. “I know we got tons of room for improvement. We got to get a lot better.”

FD 0 7 7 7 – 21

S 7 7 6 0 – 20

S – Arnold 13 pass from Montplaisir (Strom kick)

S – Stasch 5 run (Strom kick)

FD – Groth 72 fumble recovery (Pauly kick)

S – Laske 1 run (kick failed)

FD – Hughes 14 pass from A. Hartness (Pauly kick)

FD – Groth 52 run (Pauly kick)


RUSHING: FD – A. Hartness 5-16, Hughes 8-30, Sufficool 1-5, Welk 4-4, Arness 4-7, Groth 12-135, Hjelseth 2-3, Boe 1-8. S – Laske 19-78, Simon 4-8, Stasch 14-108, Montplaisir 5 (-1), Caga 1-0.

PASSING: FD – A. Hartness 5-12-0–108. S – Montplaisir 8-17-0–133.

RECEIVING: FD – Hughes 2-20, Barta 1-37, Peterson 2-51. S – McGovern 16, Arnold 5-87, Laske 1-9, Simon 1-21.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Tom Mix at (701) 451-5651