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Kramer brings Huskies to win

WAHPETON, N.D. - Mandan had the running back named Rocky, but Wahpeton was the team Saturday with the knockout offense. Led by 157 yards from senior fullback Jon Kramer, the No. 4-ranked Huskies rushed for 373 yards en route to a convincing 32-7 ...

Jon Kramer carries for a gain

WAHPETON, N.D. - Mandan had the running back named Rocky, but Wahpeton was the team Saturday with the knockout offense.

Led by 157 yards from senior fullback Jon Kramer, the No. 4-ranked Huskies rushed for 373 yards en route to a convincing 32-7 North Dakota Class 3A football quarterfinal victory at Frank Vertin Field.

Wahpeton (9-1) plays at No. 2-ranked Minot (9-1) next Saturday for a berth in the Dakota Bowl.

"I've never come into a game with more excitement," said Kramer, who finished eighth in the Eastern Dakota Conference with 393 yards rushing this season. "We came in so intense and so fired up. We just pounded the ball like we always do."

The Huskies, whose only loss came against top-ranked Fargo South in Week 4, set the tone with its first drive.

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Thanks to a 41-yard run up the middle by Kramer on the game's second snap, Wahpeton needed only four plays to take a 7-0 advantage in the first quarter. Fullback Cory Iverson scored from 1 yard out with 10 minutes, 34 seconds to play in the first quarter.

On their next possession, the Huskies ran 12 times on a 13-play, 55-yard scoring drive to go ahead 13-0.

Those kind of statistics are nothing new for Wahpeton, which has three of the top eight running backs on the EDC's rushing chart.

The Huskies' biggest blow to the Braves was landed late in the second quarter.

It was a methodical 22-play, 89-yard scoring drive that took 11:01 off the clock, and ended with a 3-yard touchdown pass from Tim Friskop to Pat Coyne to make the score 19-0.

The drive helped limit Mandan to 16 offensive plays in the first half. Only eight of those plays went for positive yardage. The Braves had 69 yards of offense in the first half.

Wahpeton - which ran the ball 66 times - sealed the win with a 16-play, 98-yard drive that took up half of the third quarter and led to a 25-0 lead.

Rocky Bullinger led the Braves with 48 yards on 13 attempts.

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"Our best defense is our offense," Huskies coach Mike McCall said. "Those kids just keep pounding the ball. Towards the end, (Mandan players) were getting worn down. Our kids just keep going."

Mandan 0 0 0 7- 7

Wahpeton 13 6 6 7-32

W-Iverson 1 run (Agayev kick)

W-Wetzel 6 run (kick failed)

W-Coyne 3 pass from Friskop (kick failed)

W-Tischer 1 run (pass failed)

W-Kramer 51 pass from Friskop (Agayev kick)

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M-Baesler 77 pass from Hoff (Koppy kick)

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING: M, Bullinger 13-48, Fleck 4-31, Hoff 1-8, Pletan 1-4. W, Iverson 10-39, Kramer 14-157, Wetzel 22-118, Tischer 9-22, Friskop 2-4, Pratt 3-14, Mauch 2-6, Cook 1-8, Larson 3-(-2).

PASSING: M, Hoff 8-14-2 140 yards. W, Friskop 4-8-0 89.

RECEIVING: M, Fleck 2-2, Belohlavek 2-34, Miller 1-12, Baesler 2-91, Bullinger 1-1. W, Wetzel 1-10, Coyne 1-18, Braun 1-11, Kramer 1-50.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Heath Hotzler at (701) 241-5562

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