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Tom Mix, Published October 19 2013

South edges Davies in EDC football

FARGO – After not scoring a touchdown in five quarters, Fargo South got bold on offense during the second half Saturday.

A key fourth-down conversion deep in its own territory early in the second half helped propel the Bruins to a 17-14 Eastern Dakota Conference football victory over Fargo Davies at Sid Cichy Stadium.

South, down 7-3 at halftime, opened the second half with an 11-play, 91 yard drive that ended on a 24-yard touchdown run by junior running back James Johannesson.

The Bruins (5-3, 4-1 EDC) faced a 4th-and-2 on their 17-yard line three plays into the drive. South lined up to go for it instead of punting. Johannesson picked up the first down on a three-yard run and seven plays later, the Bruins took the lead and never gave it back to the North Dakota Class 3A, No. 4-ranked Eagles (5-3, 4-1).

“Getting that touchdown on the first drive of the second half was big for momentum,” Fargo South head coach Troy Mattern said. “We had to punch one in there. I thought we played on our heels a bit in the first half, but credit Davies for that.”

South picked up four first downs on the drive, one coming on a seven-yard keeper from senior quarterback Zach Kellen.

“One of the things we always like to do is score first in each half and try to get a stop on the other end,” Kellen said. “Getting a touchdown on that drive was big and it really carried us the rest of the half. We needed it.”

Johannesson finished with 276 yards rushing on 40 carries.

Davies’ first drive of the second half was stalled by an incomplete pass on a fake punt attempt on 4th-and-10 at the 50-yard line. The Eagles got the ball back four plays later when Johannesson fumbled on the Davies’ 34-yard line.

Davies got down to South’s 44-yard line, but junior quarterback Aidan Hartness was intercepted by South’s junior linebacker Connor Ryan.

South cashed in on the turnover, executing a 5-play, 53-yard scoring drive, which ended on a 2-yard touchdown run from senior running back Chris Prisinzano with 10 minutes, 11 seconds left to play.

“It was a big play,” Mattern said of Ryan’s interception. “Any turnover is great for moral, and that gets our offense right back on the field, which is a good thing.”

Down 17-7, Davies responded when Hartness lofted a 2-yard touchdown pass to junior tight end Kaden Steiner with 4:28 left.

Davies never got the ball back. South tallied four first downs on its final drive, draining the clock.

“South played very physical,” Davies head coach Jason Thielges said. “It’s always hard to get them off the field. They lean and lean on you. It’s just so tough to stop them.”

South junior kicker Josh Weiler connected for a key 27-yard field goal with two seconds remaining in the first half to put South on the scoreboard.

Hartness finished 8 of 17 passing for 100 yards and also rushed for a team-high 59 yards on 11 carries.

Davies senior running back Alek Groth finished with 37 yards rushing including a three-yard touchdown in the second quarter.

“I’m proud of the way the guys played,” Thielges said. “They battled. We just missed a couple opportunities to score points in the first half, which would have been nice to get.”

Davies 0 7 0 7–14

South 0 3 7 7–17

D–Groth 3 run (Boe kick)

S–Weiler 27 field goal

S–Johannesson 24 run (Weiler kick)

S–Prisinzano 2 run (Weiler kick)

D–Steiner 2 pass from Hartness (Boe kick)

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING: D, Hartness 11-59, Groth 9-37, Jochim 6-36, Hughes 3-23, Melby 4-20, Hjelseth 1-6. S, Johannesson 40-276, Brooks 1-28, Kellen 6-22, Meyers 3-6, Prisinzano 1-2.

PASSING: D, Hartness 8-17-1–100. S, Kellen 3-9-0–20, Team 0-1-0–0.

RECEIVING: D, Vetter 2-43, Drake 2-31, Groth 2-15, Melby 1-9, Steiner 1-2. S, Nyborg 2-12, Meyers 1-8.

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Tom Mix at (701) 241-5562