Chris Murphy is a sports reporter for the Forum. He's covered high school and college sports in Chicago, North Dakota and Minnesota since 2009 and, for some reason, has been given awards for doing so.
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MOORHEAD—Concordia running back Chad Johnson was a bit timid heading into Saturday's Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference matchup with Gustavus. He wasn't afraid of the Gusties. Two touchdowns away from jumping coach Terry Horan for career touchdowns, the senior was afraid he wasn't going to get the ball. "He said we were going to pass the ball the rest of the year," Johnson said with a laugh.
MOORHEAD—Willmar had just tied No. 7-ranked Moorhead in Friday's football matchup on a 21-yard touchdown pass on fourth-and-10. The touchdown was set up by a Spuds turnover on their first play from scrimmage of the second half. Moorhead assistant coach Paul Cragg pulled senior Otis Weah aside and told him to be the playmaker he is and to go out there and make a play. Weah went 60 yards for a touchdown on the next play from scrimmage, and Moorhead never looked back, topping Willmar 36-20.
FARGO—The last time Fargo Shanley beat Bismarck St. Mary's in high school football, current Moorhead coach Kevin Feeney was the coach of the Deacons. In 2002, the Deacons beat St. Mary's 24-14—their first win in a season opener in five years. Mark Gilbertson took back an interception for a touchdown, Butch Blahosky rushed for two touchdowns, Andrew Knoll added a touchdown and Logan Schmitz had 11 tackles for the Deacons. They are 0-8 against St. Mary's since. The Deacons head to Bismarck for another matchup at 7 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 29.
Rothsay, Minn. Rothsay senior running back and linebacker Wyatt Curtis used to be afraid on the football field. He was the smallest guy on it in seventh grade. After years of work, the 5-foot-9, 170-pound senior runs with no fear. "I was nervous before games," Curtis said. "It's crazy to think only a few years ago I was the smallest guy on the field, so I was trying to avoid the contact. Now, I just go right at it."
MOORHEAD—The all-too-familiar sight of Minnesota State Moorhead's defense breaking seemed to be a foregone conclusion Saturday against Concordia-St. Paul. The rain came down hard on Scheels Field at Alex Nemzek Stadium in the second half of the football matchup, as did the Golden Bears on the MSUM defense.
GLYNDON, Minn.—The Pequot Lakes football team came to Glyndon, Minn., Friday to face a Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton team that had beaten the Patriots in four straight section championship games. The Patriots came to Glyndon having lost a delayed football game on Monday to Perham, in which the Yellowjackets scored 14 unanswered points. The Patriots came to Glyndon angry. And they took it out on the No. 10-ranked Rebels in the form of a 35-7 win in Minnesota Class 3A action.
ELLENDALE, N.D.—Two of the best running backs in the state of North Dakota will go against each other on Friday, Sept. 22, as defending Class 1A state champion and top-ranked Ellendale-Edgeley-Kulm will host Fargo Oak Grove at 7 p.m. And the forecast calls for rain. "You can expect a lot of grinding it out in this game," Oak Grove coach Melvin Whitney said. To go along with the backfield matchup between Oak Grove senior Ben Hoggarth and E-E-K senior Clayton Grueneich is the fact both teams are 4-0.
Perham, Minn. Perham 6-foot-4, 290-pound offensive and defensive lineman Logan Richter sat in the back row with his sister, mom and dad, as University of Minnesota football coach P.J. Fleck spoke at TCF Bank Stadium.
LAMOURE, N.D.—LaMoure-Litchville-Marion's volleyball team was a point away from losing to Central Cass on Saturday in the Valley City Optimist Tournament. Loboes coach Laurie Good called a timeout, as the team trailed 14-11 in the deciding third set. This is where the back-to-back Class B state champions know what they're doing. Senior Anna Holen looked at everyone in the huddle and said, "OK, let's do our thing."
MOORHEAD—Moorhead boys soccer coach Ben Patrie calls senior forward Abdifatah Ibrahim a game changer. "He's super, super dynamic," Patrie said. "There's a lot of guys with skill on this team, but not that many guys who can change a game with that level of skill. When he's one-on-one we expect him to beat a guy at least nine out of 10. When his mentality is on, he will score goals."