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Jason Miller / sports@forumcomm.com, Published September 07 2012

Lehmann leads Packers over Davies in high school football

FARGO – For high school students, homecoming is meant to be a time to remember. Friday was a night the Fargo Davies football team would probably like to forget.

The Eagles’ homecoming festivities were spoiled as West Fargo rolled to a 41-7 Eastern Dakota Conference football victory in front of a packed stadium on a beautiful but breezy night.

The Eagles made numerous mistakes – including dropped passes, turnovers and penalties – in the loss.

“A lot of dropped balls,” Davies head coach Jason Thielges said. “We gotta have guys step up and make some plays.”

Many of those miscues came in the first half as West Fargo opened up a 27-0 halftime lead.

“You just can’t spot the other team four extra series, four extra possessions,” said Packers coach Jay Gibson, referring to the turnover-plagued Eagles.

The play of the night came from West Fargo’s Brody Mertz, who sealed the game with a 30-yard interception return for a touchdown in the third quarter. The defensive end tipped a pass while rushing on the right side, caught it in mid-air and rumbled in for the score.

The play epitomized the Eagles’ tough night.

For the Packers (1-2), the decisive win was a step in the right direction.

“It’s an unbelievable win for us,” Gibson said. “We had a real tough year last year. The seniors have not experienced the confidence of winning football games.”

West Fargo’s Preston Lehmann was strong on both sides of the ball. A regular at defensive end, Friday night was his first conference start at running back. He finished with 60 yards rushing and three touchdowns. All three scores came on runs up the middle.

“The O line takes care of business for us and we just run through,” Lehmann said.

After starting the season 0-2, Lehmann was excited about the conference victory.

“Getting this first conference win for us right out the gate is confidence in our corner,” he said.

Gibson was pleased with Lehmann’s play and even compared his size and playing style to one of the school’s all-time greats, Ross Brennan. But the longtime Packers coach stopped short of saying he’s on that level.

“What he gives us is that 190-pound guy who’s not that easy to tackle,” Gibson said. “We’ve been looking for a Ross Brennan for a long time. Some big thug that you can give the ball to.”

For Thielges and Davies (1-2), the offense and playmaking needs to improve heading into next week.

“The defense played pretty well to start the game, the offense was pretty pathetic,” Thielges said.

West Fargo 7 20 14 0–41

Fargo Davies 0 0 0 7– 7

WF–Lehmann 9 run (Duncan kick)

WF–Lehmann 8 run (Duncan kick)

WF–Lehmann 2 run (Duncan kick)

WF–Mattila 15 pass from Roehrich (kick failed)

WF–Mertz 30 interception return (Duncan kick)

WF–Schulz 12 run (Duncan kick) FD–Hughes 15 pass from Hartness (Pauly kick)


RUSHING: WF, Lehmann 16-60, Roehrich 5-(minus-13), Scholl 2-3, Schulz 3-10, Hoy 3-22, Mugavero 3-27. FD, Arness 3-9, Hughes 4-5, Hartness 1-10, Groth 3-(minus-14), Welk 7-31, Irmen 6-27, Hjelseth 2-1.

PASSING: WF, Roehrich 7-15-0-84 yards, Hoy 0-1-0-0. FD, Hartness 5-15-3-45.

RECEIVING: WF, Heinen 1-25, Heisler 3-23, Gunderson 1-11, Mattila 1-15, Lehmann 1-10. FD, Groth 2-11, Peterson 1-(minus-4), Hughes 2-38.

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Jason Miller at (701) 241-5549