FARGO - Fargo Davies built a 14-point lead less than four minutes into the game on a chilly Thursday night. That fast start sparked the Eagles to a 33-14 victory against Fargo South in Eastern Dakota Conference football.
"It was good that our kids really jumped on them right away," Davies head coach Jason Thielges said. "That was awesome."
The victory also gave Davies (5-3, 4-1 EDC) an inside track to at least a No. 2 seed from the East for the North Dakota Class 3A postseason. The Bruins (5-3, 4-1) lost their first conference game this season.
South hosts West Fargo Sheyenne (7-1, 5-0 EDC) next Wednesday to close out the regular season. The Bruins still could finish in the top two in the conference with the win.
Davies closes out the regular season at West Fargo next Wednesday.
"It was very big for the seniors because a home playoff game, that's the best," Davies running back Isaac Balvitsch said. "If we would have lost this game, we wouldn't have had a chance at a home playoff game."
Balvitsch rushed for 118 yards and two touchdowns on 10 attempts. His 50-yard run in the fourth quarter set up a Jesse Forknell 1-yard scoring run with 6 minutes, 9 seconds to play in the fourth quarter. That gave Davies a 27-14 lead. Balvitsch added a 5-yard touchdown run that gave the Eagles a 33-14 lead with 4:32 to play.
"It's fun to coach really talented athletes like Isaac," Thielges said. "He makes you look really smart."
South cut the Davies lead to 20-14 after sophomore Sibomama Enock scored on a 2-yard run with 10:51 to play in the fourth quarter. The Bruins forced a three-and-out on the ensuing Davies drive.
The Bruins, however, fumbled after moving the ball into Davies territory. Eagles sophomore Reid Hartness made the recovery. Three plays later, Balvitsch had his big run that set up the Forknell scored. Davies forced five South turnovers, including three interceptions and a snow-frosted field.
"With the conditions the way they were, you knew it was going to be important to take care of the football," Thielges said.
Davies used its ground game to build a 13-point halftime lead. The Eagles scored on their first two drives. Balvitsch scored on a 3-yard touchdown run to give Davies a 7-0 lead. Senior running back Brett Vetter added a 2-yard run to give the Eagles a 14-0 lead with 8:10 to play in the first quarter. Vetter scored four plays after a South fumble gave Davies a short field.
The Bruins countered with a 9-yard Robert Leslie touchdown catch from quarterback Wyatt Hanson on the final play of the opening quarter, cutting the Davies lead to one touchdown.
Davies junior Ty Satter scored on a 19-yard scoring run that gave the Eagles a 20-6 lead with 6:01 remaining in the first half.
Satter added an interception in the end zone that spoiled a South scoring chance with a shade over 3 minutes to play in the second quarter.
"It was huge," Thielges said. "It could have been a whole different game if they get that touchdown there."
FS 7 0 0 7--14
FD 14 6 0 13--33
FD--Balvitsch 3 run (Satter run)
FD--Vetter 2 run (Satter run)
FS--Leslie 9 pass from Hanson (Enock kick)
FD--Satter 19 run (kick failed)
FS--Enock 2 run (Enock kick)
FD--Forknell 1 run (Satter kick)
FD--Balvitsch 5 run (kick blocked)