Big 2nd half sparks GFC
GRAND FORKS, N.D.
GRAND FORKS, N.D. - It took a half, but eventually Grand Forks Central's size advantage won out over West Fargo Friday night.
Top-ranked Central outscored the Packers 20-7 in the second half, rolling to a 33-17 Eastern Dakota Conference football win at Cushman Field.
West Fargo held Central running back Ryan Kasowski in check during the first half before he exploded on the Packers.
It was a different story in the second half, when Kasowski took the opening kickoff 90 yards, and rushed for a touchdown and 110 of his 148 yards after halftime.
"We're quicker than they are and that worked for a while," said West Fargo coach Jay Gibson, whose linemen were outweighed by 50 pounds a player on both sides of the ball. "But eventually it shows when you give up that much weight on the line."
West Fargo trailed 13-10 after two quarters by intercepting two passes and holding Kasowski to 38 yards on 14 carries. Kasowski gave the Packers a lot of credit for their effort in the first half.
"They were the No. 1 defense (in the EDC) coming in so we knew they were tough," he said. "They fly around and hit you tough."
Central's size advantage also showed on defense. The Knights shut down the West Fargo offense for most of the game, aside form two big plays by Packers running back Gavin Schmidt - a 64-yard touchdown run on the first play from scrimmage and a 95-yard touchdown catch.
The Packers got an early 7-0 lead when Schmidt broke a tackle at the line of scrimmage and scampered into the end zone.
"They (offensive line) opened it up for me and I took off from there," Schmidt said.
Central responded on its next possession when Jake Landry capped an 11-play, 44-yard drive with a quarterback sneak. The Knights fumbled the snap on the kick and West Fargo held onto a 7-6 lead at the end of one quarter.
The Packers added to the lead early in the second quarter on a 21-yard field goal by Tom Bischoff. The field goal came after Ben Wolden returned a punt to the 2-yard line.
Central took a 13-10 lead less than a minute before halftime when Landry hooked up with tight end Tony Svare for a 6-yard touchdown pass.
Kasowski started his damage to West Fargo on the second-half opening kickoff.
"That kickoff took the wind out of us," Schmidt said. "That's not a good way to start the second half."
Schmidt brought the Packers to within 21-17 later in the third quarter on a 95-yard screen pass on third-and-12. He took a screen pass on the goal line and broke a tackle near the first yard marker before finding daylight down the right sideline.
An 18-yard run by Kasowski nearing the end of the third quarter brought Central's lead back to 10 points.
Landry found Andrew Schultz for a 34-yard touchdown pass at 7:00 of the fourth quarter to put the game away.