WEST FARGO — Minot had no magical answer for the Mustang stampede that ground away in a steady rain Friday at Essentia Health Mustang Stadium.
West Fargo Sheyenne dominated the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball en route to a 37-0 win over Minot and its third shutout of the year.
“That’s North Dakota,” senior fullback Josh Henricks said. “We live for this, we prepare for this. We’re always ready for it.”
Not even the slick conditions could slow Sheyenne — or Henricks — down. Henricks barreled through Minot’s defense throughout the East-West crossover, rushing for three touchdowns to lead Sheyenne’s high-powered offensive attack.
“It feels good, but that’s all my O-line,” Henricks said. “They put it out there for me and I just ran hard.”
The Mustangs (6-0) found the end zone in all four quarters to keep their undefeated season intact. Their potent ground game that has given countless defenses fits was on display Friday, as the Mustangs used it to amass a 24-0 halftime lead.
Sheyenne quickly marched down the field in its first possession after forcing a three-and-out on Minot’s opening drive. The Mustangs went 65 yards in two and a half minutes, picking up all the yardage on the ground. It was senior night at Sheyenne, but it was Junior Konner Entz who finished off the drive with a 7-yard touchdown run to start the scoring.
The Magicians (2-4) punted away their second possession, while Sheyenne capitalized on its. Henricks pushed his way into the end zone from four yards out to cap the 83-yard drive. The Mustangs got a big gain through the air midway through the drive when senior quarterback Grant Warkenthien hit junior Kaden Rahr for a 30-yard completion.
“Minot, they’re a good program, so to come out here and put up a score like that, it just feels awesome,” Warkenthien said. “Especially on senior night, we’ve been with these guys for four years now. I know someone was above watching over us, our late classmate.”
The Sheyenne student section honored their late classmate Ben Merck on Friday, who died in 2019 at 16 years old from ALS. Instead of school colors, they wore T-shirts made in honor of him or red, Merck’s favorite color. Merck would have been a senior this year.
“He was kind of the life of our grade, as everyone says, so it’s nice that we could honor him and then get the win,” Warkenthien said. “And I’m sure he helped out.”
Minot made its first trip to the red zone halfway through the second quarter, but were unable to capitalize. The Magicians decided to go for it on fourth down, but Minot quarterback Jayden Speraw’s pass into the end zone was broken up.
Henricks bowled his way into the end zone in the ensuing drive to give Sheyenne a 24-point halftime lead. With 30 seconds on the clock, the Magicians drove into field-goal range, but the kick from 50 yards out went wide right.
The Mustangs had the ball to start the second half and were set up at the 38-yard line. Warkenthien moved the chains with his arm as he connected on back-to-back passes of 19 and 17 yards. He capped the drive with his legs from nine yards out.
Sheyenne’s sizable lead was never at risk of slipping away. Trailing by 30 points late in the third quarter, the Magicians punted on their next possession. Henricks, who needed several Magicians to pull him down Friday, added his third score of the night minutes into the fourth quarter.
Minot, still looking for its first score halfway through the final frame, got within striking distance on a 28-yard reception from Speraw to Ty Kinchen. But the attempt was spoiled as the Mustangs got another fourth-down stop.
Sheyenne now holds the advantage in the all-time series between the teams, which sits at 3-2.
WFS 8 16 6 7—37
M 0 0 0 0—0
WFS — Entz 7 run (Menz pass from Entz)
WFS — Henricks 4 run (Rahr run)
WFS — Henricks 3 run (Samarzja run)
WFS — Warkenthien 9 run (Duttenhefer kick failed)
WFS — Henricks 15 run (Duttenhefer kick)