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Greg DeVillers / Forum Communications , Published October 17 2012

Red River rallies past Fargo South in EDC football

GRAND FORKS – Vyrn Muir was worried that missed opportunities would come back to haunt his Roughriders.

Instead, Grand Forks Red River came back in the fourth quarter to beat Fargo South 14-10 on Tuesday at Cushman Field.

Two Chad Bartosh touchdown passes in the fourth quarter – the second to Loren Bothun with 5 minutes, 4 seconds remaining for the lead – rallied Red River from a 10-0 deficit after three quarters.

The regular-season closing win gave the Roughriders a share of the Class 3A East Region high school football title with the Bruins and West Fargo, all at 5-1. Tiebreakers result in Red River taking the region’s No. 3 seed into the 3A playoffs.

South, behind workhorse running back James Johannesson, led 10-0 after three quarters. Twice in the first half, South’s defense stopped Red River drives inside the Bruins’ 20-yard line. Four other Red River drives in the game moved inside the South 35 but came up empty.

“We had our chances, especially in the first half,” said Muir, the Red River coach. “We just weren’t able to punch it into the end zone. The way things were going, I didn’t know if we’d get many more scoring chances.”

Red River got on the scoreboard when Bartosh found John Hoplin on the left side for a 9-yard scoring pass with 7:59 left.

Then Red River got a short field when, on fourth-and-one on the Bruins’ 38, South fumbled the snap. Red River took over on the 30. A pass interference call gave the Roughriders 15 yards, then Bartosh connected for seven yards to Vashawn Pope before slipping a pass between two defenders to Bothun in the end zone.

“It wasn’t a pretty play,” Muir said. “The ball seemed to die in the air. I thought they’d pick it off. But Loren wound up hanging onto it.

“I wasn’t sure if we would be able to throw, with the wind and the rain. But Chad did a good job getting it where it needed to be and our receivers did a nice job catching it.”

Bartosh finished 14-of-28 passing for 139 yards. That production paled to Johannesson, however.

The 195-pound sophomore carried 48 times for 195 yards, scoring a 1-yard touchdown in the first half. The Bruins were without injured running back Zach Reich (ankle).

“Giving the ball to (Johannesson) was our best chance of winning,” said South coach Troy Mattern, whose 7-2 Bruins lost to a North Dakota opponent for the first time this season. “He’s a workhorse. He wants the ball.

“Red River just made plays at the end. They deserve credit.”

Red River improved to 8-1 overall.

FS 0 7 3 0–10

GFRR 0 0 0 14–14

FS–Johannesson 1 run (Weiler kick)

FS–Weiler 35 FG

GFRR–Hoplin 9 pass from Bartosh (kick failed)

GFRR–L. Bothun 8 pass from Bartosh (kick failed)

GFRR–Safety

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING: FS, Johannesson 48-195, Wicklund 3-33. GFRR, Dingle 24-57, Bothun 2-5.

PASSING: FS, Keller 0-5-0 0 yards, Johannesson 0-1-0 0. GFRR, Bartosh 14-28-0 139, Lunski 1-1-0 17.

RECEIVING: GFRR, L. Bothun 3-43, Hoplin 3-31, Robson 2-28, Pope 2-12, A. Bothun 2-11, R. Bothun 2-7, Bartosh 1-17.


DeVillers writes for the Grand Forks Herald