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Tom Mix, Published November 08 2013

Johannesson runs for 315 yards as Bruins advance to Dakota Bowl

FARGO – Entering its North Dakota Class 3A football semifinals matchup with Fargo South, Minot’s defense had only allowed one ball carrier to exceed 100 yards in a single game this season.

South junior running back James Johannesson became the second member of that club on Friday, but he didn’t stop at 100, or 200, or even 300 yards.

Johannesson rushed for 315 yards and two touchdowns during South’s 38-28 win over the Magicians at the Fargodome.

“We had to switch it up on offense,” Johannesson said. “Our linemen created wide-open holes and made amazing blocks in the second half. We were getting five yards a play. That’s all we needed to keep going and keep scoring.”

The victory earns the No. 4-ranked Bruins (8-3) a berth in the Dakota Bowl. South will play No. 1-ranked Bismarck in the 3A state championship game at 6:40 p.m. Friday at the Fargodome. It is South’s first trip to the Dakota Bowl since 2010.

Johannesson eclipsed the 100-yard mark on a 72-yard touchdown run with 2 minutes, 45 seconds left to play in the first quarter.

The 6-foot-2, 210-pound ball carrier got off to a fast start, but South head coach Troy Mattern wanted to make sure Johannesson would have something left in the second half.

He had a lot left – 175 yards to be exact.

“Our goal was to keep James fresh heading into the second half,” Mattern said. “We did that, and I think everyone saw what kind of athlete he is when he is fresh. He is an amazing kid. I’m just so proud of our football team.”

Minot committed four turnovers: an interception and three fumbles. The Bruins turned three of the four turnovers into points.

Penalties also hurt the Magicians (9-2).

“We didn’t play well enough to win,” Minot head coach Barry Holmen said. “We had to play our best game of the year, and we sure felt good about our chances, and I think we did a lot of good things.

“They had some trouble stopping us at times, but those penalties and turnovers cost us. You are not going to overcome that many mistakes.”

South senior strong safety Dallas Raftevold intercepted Minot sophomore quarterback Ben Bolinske to end Minot’s first possession of the game.

Four plays later South senior quarterback Zach Kellen found Ty Brooks for a 38-yard touchdown pass, putting South up 7-0.

“Turnovers came up big,” Raftevold said. “Our offense capitalizes big on those.”

The Bruins never trailed in the game. Minot got to within three points of the Bruins early in the fourth quarter when Brady Lampert scored on a 1-yard run to make it 24-21 with 9:40 left.

M 7 7 0 14–28

FS 14 3 7 14–38

S–Brooks 38 pass from Kellen (Weiler kick)

M–Lampert 2 run (Love kick)

S–Johannesson 72 run (Weiler kick)

M–Bolinske 1 run (Love kick)

S–Weiler 27 field goal

S–Brooks 2 run (Weiler kick)

M–Lampert 1 run (Love kick)

S–Kellen 2 run (Weiler kick)

S–Johannesson 2 run (Weiler kick)

M–Benjamin 2 pass from Bolinske (Love kick)


RUSHING: M, Lampert 30-139, K. Larson 1-3, Nagel 2-5, Bolinske 8-46, Benjamin 3-24, Gorney 2-2, Team 1- (-2). FS, Johannesson 30-315, Brooks 4-4, Kellen 3-9, Niyonkuru 1-1.

PASSING: M, Bolinske 14-20-1–154. FS, Kellen 5-13-0–111.

RECEIVING: M, Kinchen 5-76, Benjamin 5-32, Holmen 2-29, Larson 1-3, Lampert 1-14. FS, Nyborg 2-25, Brooks 3-86.

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