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Tom Mix, Published November 02 2013

Wahpeton tops Beulah in 2A football quarterfinals

WAHPETON, N.D. – A big first quarter proved to be very important for Wahpeton on Saturday.

The Huskies scored three touchdowns in the opening 12 minutes of the game. It was more than enough to help Wahpeton post a 52-16 win over Beulah during the quarterfinals of the North Dakota Class 2A football playoffs.

“Coming into the game, we were worried about their offense and whether or not our defense would be able to stop it,” Wahpeton head coach Brian Dokken said. “So jumping out on them early was important. We scored on our first three possessions, which was huge and big for our momentum.”

The No. 5-ranked Huskies (8-1) advance to the semifinals. It is Wahpeton’s first trip to the semifinals since 2011. Beulah eliminated Wahpeton in the quarterfinals a year ago.

Wahpeton’s offense scored 1 minute, 42 seconds into the game. Senior quarterback Jack Christensen connected with Kameron McNary for a 42-yard touchdown, which capped a three-play, 43-yard drive.

“Offensively we took it to them early, but our defense really allowed us to get off to the fast start,” said Christensen, who finished 8 of 14 passing for 179 yards.

Fifth-ranked Beulah (6-4) turned the ball over on downs three times in the first half and also lost three fumbles.

“We shot ourselves in the foot a few times in the first half,” Beulah head coach Jim Dooley said. “We had to be much better offensively for us to be successful and, more importantly, to keep them off the field. We just didn’t do that.”

Wahpeton capitalized on Beulah’s miscues and established its running game.

Senior Brock Lingen rushed for touchdown runs of 54 and 50 yards in the first quarter. Lingen added a 70-yard touchdown run – his fourth touchdown of the game – in the third quarter and finished with 210 yards on the ground.

“Our offensive line dominated the line of scrimmage,” Christensen said. “Our passing game wasn’t always there, but the line allowed us to get our running game going.”

Beulah senior running back Kamron Unruh finished with 102 yards rushing on 19 carries. Junior quarterback Casey Walcker was 5 of 10 passing for 123 yards for the Miners and connected with senior wide receiver Landon Battest for a 63-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter.

B 0 8 0 8–16

W 24 14 8 6–52

W–McNary 42 pass from Christensen (Christensen run)

W–Lingen 54 run (Wixo run)

W–Lingen 50 run (Lingen run)

B–Blood 1 run (Unruh run)

W–Lingen 10 run (McNary pass from Christensen)

W–Wixo 3 run (pass failed)

W–Lingen 70 run (Erickson run)

W–Yaggie 15 run (run failed)

B–Battest 63 pass from Walcker (Unruh run)

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING: B, Unruh 19-102, Blood 4-13, Krizan 6-5, Walcker 4-12, Suter 2-10, Nelson 1-5, Hoherz 1-3. W, Lingen 14-210, Christensen 6-17, Zarak 6-33, Wixo 4-17, Krause 2-5, Erickson 1-(-1) Dallman 3-4, Yaggie 1-15.

PASSING: B, Walcker 5-10-0–123. W, Christensen 8-14-1–179

RECEIVING: B, L. Battest 5-123. W, McNary 3-63, Zarak 2-21, Irwin 2-68, Krause 1-27


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