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Tom Mix, Published August 27 2013

Fargo Davies football preview

Fargo Davies entered the 2012 season with hopes of earning a second consecutive berth into the North Dakota Class 3A football playoffs.

The season opened with a 21-20 road win against Fargo Shanley, but the Eagles couldn’t sustain the early success losing their next four games.

After going 2-1 following the four-game skid, Davies was in position to clinch the final playoff berth entering its final regular-season game against Devils Lake.

Devils Lake snatched the final playoff spot with a

26-13 win over Davies, ending the Eagles’ season.

“I thought we improved as a program,” Davies head coach Jason Thielges said. “It was a disappointing ending because our goal was to make the playoffs. We were pretty beat up the last game and we were missing a couple key guys in that final game. That hurt us, but Devils Lake came after us.”

Senior tight end/linebacker Eric Peterson was named to the all-state first team. Offensive and defensive linemen Chris Ennen and Gunnar Kollman earned all-state second team honors.

Outlook

Davies enters its fourth year as a varsity program with a healthy group of returners eager to return to the playoffs.

“We have a lot of experience,” Thielges said. “A lot of our guys have had a lot of varsity playing time the last few seasons. If we can stay healthy and mesh things up we think we are going to be an improved team.”

The areas with the most experience returning are the offensive and defensive lines and the Eagles’ backfield.

Junior quarterback Aidan Hartness also returns after starting as a sophomore.

“(Aidan) is a year older,” Thielges said. “He struggled early last year, but he got better as the season progressed. He looks a lot more comfortable this year and is a lot more in control of everything.”

Hartness will have plenty of options to hand the ball off to this fall with the Eagles’ quartet of senior running backs Dylan Hughes, Alex Groth, Daylon Melby and Jordan Hjelseth.

“We return almost all of our ball carriers from last season,” Thielges said. “We have some depth there and we’ll be able to rotate guys at that position.”

Davies’ entire offensive line returns and will be anchored by all-state second-teamers Ennen and Kollman.

This fall marks the first season Davies will play a complete Class 3A schedule, something Thielges said his team is looking forward to.

Davies hosts Bismarck Century at 7 p.m. Friday to open the season.

“That will be a good measuring stick to find out where we actually are as a team,” Thielges said.

Players to watch

Aidan Hartness, Jr., QB/DB

Gunnar Kollman, Jr., OL/DL

Chris Ennen, Sr., OL/DL

Dylan Hughes, Sr., RB/DB

Alec Groth, Sr., RB/DB

Jordan Hjelseth, Sr., RB/DB

Caleb Wagner, Sr., TE/LB