Mustangs roll past Spartans for EDC football victory
FARGO-In West Fargo Sheyenne's short varsity history, the Mustangs have relied on a ground-and-pound offense and a stout defense. They've had the offensive part down almost all season and might finally have found their stride as a defense.The Mus...
FARGO-In West Fargo Sheyenne's short varsity history, the Mustangs have relied on a ground-and-pound offense and a stout defense. They've had the offensive part down almost all season and might finally have found their stride as a defense.
The Mustangs ran the ball effectively and gave up minimal gains on defense as they cruised to a 42-14 road victory against Fargo North in Eastern Dakota Conference football on Friday, Sept. 22.
"(The defensive line) really worked their butts off tonight," Sheyenne middle linebacker Zach Rodgers said. "That's what really helped us."
After the Mustangs (3-2, 2-1 EDC) allowed just 14 points and 271 total yards to the two-time returning state champion Bismarck Century in their season opener, Sheyenne allowed Bismarck Legacy to score 44 points on 476 total yards, and West Fargo to score 49 points on 383 total yards in back-to-back losses.
Sheyenne's defense is trending upward now after giving up just 12 points to Fargo Davies and 14 points and 217 yards to North (2-3, 0-3). Sheyenne allowed 122 yards to the Spartans in the first half, including North's 58-yard touchdown pass from Caleb Fritel to Griffen Carlson late in the second quarter.
"All 11 of us played really well together," said Rodgers, who finished the game with a team-high four solo tackles. "We just game planned for their whole team because anybody can beat you on any given night."
The Mustangs relied on Jason Gaulrapp for steady yardage and he ended up with 167 yards on 27 carries for a 6.2 yards-per-carry average to go with a touchdown. He had 416 yards on 85 carries and eight touchdowns going into the game which put him second in the conference. Hunter Hoffner also added 80 yards on five carries and a touchdown and an 80-yard kickoff return for a touchdown. Nathan Goldade scored the game's first two touchdowns and ended with 44 yards on six carries. Parker Sander only needed to throw five passes and ended up with 63 yards of total offense and a rushing touchdown.
"Our O-line was really able to get the blocks on the edges, hook their guys and we were able to get around them," Gaulrapp said. "When I was running the ball, they were really getting off the ball and hitting hard."
The Mustangs defense bottled up North's Sean Swanson to 18 yards on seven carries. He was leading the conference with 432 yards on 94 carries for 108 yards per game going into the contest.
"They run a really efficient offense that obviously can do some damage," North head coach Adam Roland said. "And their defense was able to hold us to 14 (points) when we needed more."
Sheyenne ran 61 plays to North's 40 and dominated time of possession with more than 30 of the game's total 48 minutes. Sheyenne rushed for 377 yards and limited North to 72 yards rushing and forced a pair of fumbles. Rodgers credited a physical week of practice for their performance and said the Mustangs will have to keep it going if they want to keep winning.
"This week we amped it up a little bit," Gaulrapp said of this week's practices. "We were hitting harder and everyone was getting knocked around a little bit so we came out ready tonight."
WFS 14 14 14 0--42
FN 0 7 7 0--14
WFS - Goldade 8 run (Fenelon kick)
WFS - Goldade 14 run (Fenelon kick)
WFS - Sander 1 run (Fenelon kick)
FN - Carlson 58 pass from Fritel (Krom kick)
WFS - Hoffner 80 kickoff return (Fenelon kick)
WFS-Hoffner 1 run (Fenelon kick)
FN-Fritel 1 run (Krom kick)
WFS-Gaulrapp 5 run (Fenelon kick)