Davies holds off late charge to beat South in EDC football
FARGO — Fargo South made a charge, but Fargo Davies held on as it defeated the Bruins 21-20 in North Dakota Class 3A East Region football on Friday at Fargo Davies.
The Eagles went from nearly sealing the game, to struggling to hang on in the blink of an eye late in the fourth quarter. Quarterback Reid Hartness had his tight end wide open in the end zone on a play-action pass from the 16-yard line with a 21-14 lead with six minutes to go. But when he went to throw the ball, it wasn’t there. The ball — slick from a game-long downpour — slipped from his hand just as he began to throw. South defensive lineman D’Andre Watson pounced on the loose ball at the 22-yard line.
Two plays later, Fargo South quarterback Peyton Kessel hit receiver Kameron Arechigo on a 53-yard strike to put the Bruins in the red zone. And two plays after that, the quarterback found Arechigo again for a 13-yard touchdown to make it 21-20 with 4 minutes, 29 seconds to go after a missed extra point.
“We took a shot, it was maybe a little bit of a gamble, but I think our tight end was open,” Davies coach Wayne Werremeyer said. “If Reid is able to release that ball — we’ve still got to catch it, nothing is given to us. But now it’s time for the defense to go make a play. That’s why you have a team.”
The Eagles ran three minutes off the clock with five straight runs and a mishandled snap, and they punted the ball back to South with 1:39 to go and a 1-point lead. But Davies’ defense was up to the task.
Kessel completed a 6-yard pass to Braeden Neumann on the sideline and stopped the clock. But the Eagles forced three straight incompletions to seal the game.
“We got maybe our best punt of the game and the defense came through with maybe its best stop of the game,” Werremeyer said.
Senior running back Colten Alme stepped up and carried the load for the Eagles in the absence of standout running back Ethan Entze who will miss the remainder of the season. Alme rushed 29 times for 202 yards and two touchdowns and had a first-quarter interception on defense.
Entze has rushed for a combined 334 yards and six touchdowns in the first two games.
“It was great blocking up front,” Alme said. “I had a ton of holes. It’s really easy to run behind holes like that.”
“Alme played a nice big game,” Werremeyer said. “He slid into that spot that Ethan has been playing in. Losing Ethan is a major blow to us and we had to retool some things in practice. And then Alme had just a whale of a game. He’s a great kid and he’s been waiting two years to get a chance to be the featured guy and I think he did a really nice job tonight.”
Werremeyer said the Eagles wanted to get off to a fast start. His team did just that after Alme intercepted Kessel on the opening drive and then ran in for a 3-yard score to cap a 14-play, 72-yard drive that ate up more than six minutes.
The Eagles then made it 14-0 on a quarterback sneak by Hartness early in the second quarter.
“It feels nice to make plays,” Alme said. “The D-line forced the quarterback to scramble out, and he made a throw and I was just in the right place at the right time.”
Alme and South running back Bakarr Fullah exchanged long runs in the second quarter. The Eagles’ back made it 21-7 with a 45-yarder and the Bruin answered right back with a 62-yarder two plays later.
Alme took a handoff left out of shotgun, found a lane and was off to the races. And then Fullah was ready to one-up him. He took a handoff to the right, broke a tackle near the line of scrimmage, cut to his right and exploded away from the defense as he tip-toed down the right sideline.
Fullah rushed for 168 yards and the score, while Kessel passed for 129 yards and a touchdown with an interception. Arechigo was the Bruins leading receiver with 102 yards and a score.
Bruins standout running back and defensive back Enock Sibomana, a North Dakota State commit, had an interception in his return to action after being injured in the season opener.
FS 0 14 0 6 — 20
FD 7 14 0 0 — 21
FD — Alme 3 run (kick good)
FD — Hartness 1 run (kick good)
FS — Kessel 12 run (kick good)
FD — Alme 45 run (kick good)
FS — Fullah 62 run (kick good)
FS — Arechigo 13 pass from Kessel (kick failed)