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Eric Peterson, Published September 21 2012

West Fargo shuts down No. 3-ranked Red River

WEST FARGO – The Grand Forks Red River defense had the marquee billing heading into Friday’s game against the West Fargo Packers.

By the end of the chilly, windy evening, it was the West Fargo defense that was the headliner.

The Packers held the No. 3-ranked Roughriders to 107 yards from scrimmage en route to a 27-0 victory in Eastern Dakota Conference football.

Red River (4-1, 2-1 EDC) had allowed only seven points over it first four games, including three shutouts.

“That kind of gave us some fire to get the shutout on them,” Packers senior Preston Lehmann said.

The Packers (3-2, 2-0) have won three consecutive games, including back-to-back shutouts.

“Red River is a good football team,” Packers head coach Jay Gibson said. “Keeping them out of the end zone shows a lot about our football team.”

The Roughriders had been averaging 32 points per game prior to playing the Packers.

“We just had a hard time trying to get anything going, but give credit to them making plays,” Red River head coach Vyrn Muir said. “We weren’t able to make plays, and part of that was us, but a lot of it had to do with what West Fargo was doing.”

West Fargo scored 21 of its points in the first and fourth quarters when it had a gusting wind at its back.

The Packers pushed their lead to two touchdowns late in the second quarter. Senior running back Miles Scholl scored on a 3-yard touchdown run to give West Fargo a 13-0 lead with 1 minute, 58 seconds to play until halftime.

Packers senior Chaz Gunderson set up that important score with a 71-yard punt return to the Red River 20-yard line. Three plays later, Scholl found the end zone, the only points scored into the wind.

“It was a big return,” Gibson said. “To me, that was the game.”

Red River looked in position to climb back into the game after West Fargo fumbled the second-half kickoff. That gave the Roughriders the ball at the West Fargo 28. The Packers defense, however, held firm. Red River gained three yards on the next four plays and turned the ball over on downs. With less than a minute to play in the third quarter, the Roughriders missed another scoring chance. Red River had the ball at the West Fargo 45. The Roughriders ran a halfback pass, but failed to connect on the play even though they had a receiver wide open downfield.

“We just couldn’t make that play or enough plays to keep things going for us and West Fargo was able to,” Muir said.

Lehmann rushed for 62 yards and two touchdowns on 20 attempts. He also completed a pass for 44 yards and caught two passes for 14 yards. The Packers play at Fargo South (4-1, 3-0) next Friday.

“I think we’re improving each week,” Lehmann said. “This is a good win for us, but now we’ve got to look toward South because we are a tough team, too, so we have to bring it to them.”

Red River 0 0 0 0-0

West Fargo 7 6 0 14-27

WF-Lehmann 1 run (Duncan kick)

WF-Scholl 3 run (pass failed)

WF-Lehmann 9 run (Duncan kick)

WF-Olsen 5 run (Duncan kick)


RUSHING: RR, Dingle 17-54, R. Bothun 4-12, Lizotte 3-11, Reynolds 4-1, Bartosh 3-(minus-13). WF, Lehmann 20-62, Scholl 8-52, Schulz 8-52, Roehrich 3-9, Olsen 1-5.

PASSING: RR, Bartosh 8-24-1 42 yards, Lizotte 0-1-0 0. WF, Roehrich 9-21-1 79, Lehmann 1-1-0 44.

RECEIVING: RR, Lizotte 3-17, L. Bothun 2-10, R. Bothun 1-7, Hoplin 1-5, Robson 1-3. WF, Blotsky 1-44, Gunderson 2-38, J. Heisler 3-16, Lehmann 2-14, Heinen-Lugert 1-6, Scholl 1-5.

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Eric Peterson at (701) 241-5513.

Peterson’s blog can be found

at peterson.areavoices.com