Tom Mix, Published September 07 2012
Shanley defeats defending ND Class 2A champs Grafton in football
He was on the sidelines when the Deacons failed in their bid to win a third North Dakota Class 2A state championship, losing in the title game to Grafton at the Fargodome last November.
Fast forward 10 months, and Montplaisir now runs the Class 2A No. 2-ranked Shanley offense and is starting to get comfortable in the top spot on the QB depth chart.
Montplaisir was 11 of 24 passing for 253 yards and three touchdowns in Shanley’s 42-24 win over Class 2A No. 1-ranked Grafton on Friday at Sid Cichy Stadium.
“I felt a lot more comfortable than I had in the first two games,” Montplaisir said. “Our pocket was a lot cleaner. I thought the guys did a great job of getting open when I had to improvise.”
Montplaisir got the Deacons of the board, hooking up with sophomore receiver Tre Fort for a 34-yard touchdown toss with 3 minutes and 33 seconds left in the first quarter.
It was the first time the defending champions Spoilers (2-1) had trailed in a game this season.
Deacons head coach Rod Oksendahl said his sophomore quarterback has continued to progress in the starting job early on this fall.
“He has played well,” Oksendahl said. “He missed some the first few games we have played, but every game he is getting better. You can just see it. The confidence is there. We had guys open all over the field tonight and I think he would be the first to admit he missed a couple, but he hit a lot more than he missed and that is the most important thing.”
The Spoliers hung tough in the first half with senior quarterback Christian Lunde rushing for an 8-yard touchdown and connecting with Matt Mendoza on a 28-yard TD pass.
But it was in the final minutes of the first half were the Deacons started to separate.
With 1:19 remaining in the half, the Deacons started a drive at their 19-yard line. Six plays later Montplaisir connected with Fort for a 51-yard scoring strike with 32.1 seconds left before halftime.
“(Tre) got open,” Montplaisir said. “They played man and I didn’t think they were going to. I just put it over the top and he found the ball. It was a great catch. We hadn’t closed out the first half very well in the first two games, and we finally got some momentum going into the second half to finish the game.”
Fort finished with 97 receiving yards. Blake McGovern added 85 yards receiving on two catches, including a 17-yard yard touchdown for the Deacons (2-1).
The Spoilers had a depleted secondary with Austin Conteras out with an ankle injury, allowing the Deacons’ passing attack to operate at ease.
“We knew they were going to throw the ball,” Grafton head coach Tom Maus said. “Montplaisir had a good game and they have four good receivers. We had a few injuries in the secondary, and I don’t know if we could match up very well. It just came down to their guys making big plays.”
Lunde finished with 198 yards rushing and two touchdowns for Grafton.
The Deacons’ running game was in full gear, with sophomore Danny Stasch running for 172 yards and two touchdowns.
“We just really needed a pick-up game,” Stasch said. “This was a good spirit lifter and it really helped out.”
Up next is homecoming against Kindred, but the win over the Spoliers was hard to downplay, even for Montplaisir.
“This is probably the biggest win we’ll have all year until the postseason,” Montplaisir said. “I think this is a great way to get the ball the rolling. Now we will ride it and manage the highs and lows.”
G 6 6 6 6–24
FS 7 14 7 14–42
S–Fort 34 pass from Montplaisir (Strom kick)
G–Lunde 3 run (run failed)
S–Stasch 4 run (Strom kick)
G–Mendoza 28 pass from Lunde (run failed)
S–Fort 51 pass from Montplaisir (Strom kick)
G–Lunde 8 run (pass failed)
S– McGovern 17 pass from Montplaisir (Strom kick)
S– Simon 15 run (Strom kick)
G–Lunde 7 run (run failed)
S–Stasch 9 run (Strom kick)
RUSHING: G, Ju. Martinez 6-39, Lunde 28-198, Mendoza 5-26. S, Laske 2-1, Stasch 29-172, Simon 3-25, Montplaisir 2 (-4), Fort 1-8, Burd 2-14.
PASSING: G, Lunde 4-12-0–60, Baldwin 3-4-1–30. S, Montplaisir 11-24-1–253.
RECEIVING: G, Ju. Martinez 2-4, Mendoza 3-74, McMartin 1-1, Boura 1-11. S, Arnold 5-70, Caga 1-1, Fort 3-97, McGovern 2-85.
Readers can reach Forum reporter Tom Mix at (701) 451-5651