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Oak Grove tips Northern Cass with late drive

The leaves were still on the trees. The fans were wearing T-shirts. The mosquitoes by the Red River were still clinging to life. It wasn't North Dakota playoff football at the Fargo Oak Grove-Park Christian football field on Friday night.

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The leaves were still on the trees. The fans were wearing T-shirts. The mosquitoes by the Red River were still clinging to life.

It wasn't North Dakota playoff football at the Fargo Oak Grove-Park Christian football field on Friday night. It just looked like it between the lines.

The Grovers pieced together a late fourth quarter touchdown drive to defeat Northern Cass 12-6 before a packed crowd.

The Grovers moved to 3-0 and own the distinction as Fargo's only undefeated high school team.

It didn't come easy.

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"There were some pretty big hits out there," said Oak Grove running back Heath Horpedahl. "I don't think I've ever been hit that hard."

Horpedahl, however, did his talking with his hands and feet. His three-yard touchdown run on fourth down came with 59 seconds remaining.

He took a quick pitch and had one Janguar between him and the corner of the end zone.

"I knew I had to get in there," he said. "That one was for the team."

That was just one of three big plays Horpedahl had on the drive. He hauled in a 14-yard pass from quarterback Zack Larson on second-and-13 that got the Grovers to the 28. Then, facing third-and-11, Larson found Horpedahl along the sideline for a 15-yard gain to the 14.

"He got open when I needed him," Larson said.

It capped a Grover rally that almost saw them go down by two touchdowns in the first half. Northern Cass struck first on a 20-yard pass from quarterback Dustin Moen to Cody Peterson. The Jaguars reached the Grover 5 on their next drive only to lose it on downs.

"We had our chances in the first half," said Northern Cass head coach Ron Leraas. "It was definitely a hard-fought battle by both teams. Both teams were fighting tooth and nail."

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The Grovers tied it on a 66-yard drive that started at the end of the third quarter. Running back Bryce Meyer did most of the damage getting eight carries on the drive that ended with his three-yard touchdown run.

"One thing about our offense, if we don't execute, we won't have success," said Oak Grove head coach Kyle Bakken.

Meyer finished with 104 yards on 26 carries. Horpedahl went over 100 on running and receiving combined.

"It was awesome high school football," Bakken said. "It almost feels like a playoff atmosphere."

Except for the leaves, t-shirts and bugs.

Northern Cass 0 6 0 0-- 6

Oak Grove 0 0 0 12--12

NC--Petersen 20 pass from Moen (kick failed)

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OG--Meyer 3 run (kick blocked)

OG--Horpedahl 2 run (kick failed)

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING: NC, Hansen 18-85, Pederson 3-47, Moen 9-42, King 3-2. OG, Meyer 28-110, Horpedahl 12-91, Peterson 1-(-1), Larson 11-(-12), Beutow 1-(-1).

PASSING: OG, Larson 10-20-1 152. Moen 3-7-118.

RECEIVING: OG, Horpedahl 4-64, Meyer 1-16, Pennick 3-53, Hvidston 1-8, Stensgard 1-10. NC, Pederson 2-(-2), Petersen 1-20.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Jeff Kolpack at (701) 241-5546

Jeff would like to dispel the notion he was around when Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press, but he is on his third decade of reporting with Forum Communications. The son of a reporter and an English teacher, and the brother of a reporter, Jeff has worked at the Jamestown Sun, Bismarck Tribune and since 1990 The Forum, where he's covered North Dakota State athletics since 1995.
Jeff has covered all nine of NDSU's Division I FCS national football titles and has written three books: "Horns Up," "North Dakota Tough" and "Covid Kids." He is the radio host of "The Golf Show with Jeff Kolpack" April through August.
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