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Tom Mix, Published August 30 2013

Fargo South opens football season with win over Mandan

FARGO – Fargo South head coach Troy Mattern thought the Bruins’ defensive secondary would be tough in 2013, returning four starters from a year ago.

He was right on the money.

Fargo South picked off four Mandan passes, helping it to a 48-14 North Dakota Class 3A football victory over the Braves on Friday at Fargo South High School.

“We are able to do a lot of things up front, which puts those guys in the secondary on an island by themselves one on one,” Mattern said. “We feel comfortable with that, and it showed (Friday) with the interceptions we had.”

Mandan (0-1) turned the ball over five times, and the Bruins (1-0) took full advantage.

South jumped out to a 21-0 lead by the end of the first quarter. South junior running back James Johannesson scored on runs of 5 and 15 yards in the opening quarter. Bruins senior quarterback Zach Kellen scored on a 2-yard keeper.

Mandan responded with a 20-play drive that started late in the first quarter and took up a large chunk of the second. A 13-yard touchdown pass from Trever Leingang to Jacob Marschner was nullified due to an inedible receiver downfield penalty.

Facing a third-and-goal from the 18-yard line, Leingang took the 20th snap of the drive and hurled a ball into the flat that found the arms of Fargo South junior defensive back Ty Brooks.

Brooks returned the interception 90 yards for a touchdown.

“I was just waiting for the play to happen,” said Brooks, who also scored a 40-yard rushing touchdown. “My fellow defensive back Dallas Raftevold put a hit on the guy holding on to me to free me up. I just try to make plays.”

“We build our defense on bend don’t break,” Mattern added. “They were driving the football on us there, and to change the momentum on that plays was big for our football team. We expect Ty to make those plays.”

Dallas Raftevold, Dylan Raftevold and Monami Niyonkura also hauled in interceptions for the Bruins.

Dylan Raftevold returned his interception for a 65-yard touchdown.

“Our biggest issue in the game was our own mental mistakes,” Mandan head coach Todd Sheldon said. “Penalties, turnovers were our Achilles’ heel. … Our mistakes cost us this game coupled with the fact that (the Bruins) are a good football team.”

Johannesson finished with 160 yards rushing on 16 carries. The 6-foot-2, 210-pounder also caught two passes for 60 yards.

Kellen was 5-for-8 passing for 85 yards, including a 13-yard touchdown pass to Alex DuBord.

Mandan scored its first touchdown when Jake Carlson connected with Parker Harm for a 5-yard pass. The Braves recovered an onside kick after Harm’s touchdown and capped another scoring drive with a 4-yard touchdown run from Cam Christopherson.

The game was played during the afternoon heat that reached the low 90s.

“With the heat the way it was, it was hard to get any momentum or tempo going,” Mattern said. “I thought our kids responded well to the heat. It was really tough conditions.”

Mandan 0 0 7 7–14

South 21 13 7 7–48

FS–Johannesson 5 run (Johannesson run)

FS–Kellen 2 run (Weiler kick)

FS–Johannesson 15 run (kick failed)

FS–Brooks 90 interception return (Weiler kick)

FS–Dy. Raftevold 65 interception return (kick failed)

FS–Brooks 40 run (Weiler kick)

M–Harm 5 pass from Carlson (Schafer kick)

M–Christopherson 4 run (Schafer kick)

FS–DuBord 13 pass from Kellen (Weiler kick)

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING: M, Gangl 9-31, Leingang 5-11, Effertz 18-91, Miller 2-9, Christopherson 10-39, Carlson 1-12. FS, Johannesson 16-160, Meyers 7-2, Kellen 3-17, Ryan 1-6, Brooks 2-43, Siaway 4-31, Solem 2-0.

PASSING: M, Leingang 7-16-3–78, Carlson 2-7-1–23. FS, Kellen 5-8-0-85.

RECEIVING: M, Harm 7-97, Hartman 2-4. FS, Johannesson 2-60, Dy. Raftevold 1-2, DuBord 2-23.


Readers can reach Forum reporter Tom Mix at (701) 241-5562