LaMoure-Litchville-Marion 'hungry' to win 1st state football title in more than 3 decades
LaMoure-Litchville-Marion hasn't won a state football championship since the 1991 season.
LAMOURE, N.D. — LaMoure-Litchville-Marion has been a dominant force this high school football season, averaging more than 50 points per game, while limiting opponents to less than four points per contest.
The Loboes have scored 74 points or more in three games and also recorded eight shutouts through 11 games. Senior quarterback Corban Potts said a blue-collar mindset has played into those gaudy numbers.
“We’re gritty,” Potts said. “If the air game is not going, we’ll pound it on the ground. If they’re moving the ball on us, we’ll hit you even harder on defense. We’re gritty and we’re hungry.”
The Loboes are hoping that desire leads to the program’s first state championship since 1991. LaMoure-Litchville-Marion (11-0) plays Cavalier (11-0) at 9 a.m. Friday, Nov. 12, for the North Dakota 9B state championship at Gate City Bank Field at the Fargodome. The Loboes last played in the Dakota Bowl in 2003.
“We’ve been working towards this since we were fourth-, fifth- and sixth-graders,” Potts said. “We’ve been talking about it since then.”
The Loboes have been motivated by a 46-38 state semifinal loss against eventual state champion Linton a season ago.
“It stung a lot, that loss from last year,” Potts said. “It stung all year I think for everybody on the team. … We all know what it took last year to get to that semifinal game. This year we grew up a little bit and we knew what it would take to get to the state championship game.”
The 6-foot-3, 190-pound Potts is a three-year starter and has completed 80 of 131 passes for 1,636 yards and 28 touchdowns. Senior wide receiver Charlie Bowman and sophomore tight end Colton Ness have been his two favorite targets. Bowman has 15 catches for 464 yards and 11 touchdowns. Ness has 22 receptions for 476 yards and 10 touchdowns. Junior running back Brady Lettenmaier has rushed for 1,657 yards and 22 TDs on 202 attempts, averaging 8.2 yards per carry.
“We’ve really had a one-team mentality that we’re all working together as one and I think that’s shown throughout the season,” said Loboes head coach Andrew DelaBarre. “It’s not been just one guy that’s been our playmaker. … That makes it tough on defenses when you have the capability of multiple athletes making plays.”
Loboes assistant coach Matt Hebl played for the 1991 state championship team and his son Garrett Hebl is a junior running back and linebacker this season.
“We’ve kind of let history lay where it’s at,” said DelaBarre, a former North Dakota State tight end. “I think we’ve built upon the foundation that we’ve built here in program history. Our goal is for this year and trying to bring home a state title.”
Bowman said the team has fed off community support throughout the season as the Loboes have powered their way to the Dakota Bowl.
“It’s such a great feeling to have the whole town on our side and supporting us so well,” Bowman said. “We know we can do something that hasn’t been done in forever and I think that’s a big motivating factor for us.”
The Loboes are averaging nearly 400 yards per game and have rushed for 2,646 yards and 41 touchdowns on 349 attempts. Eight different players have scored rushing TDs this season. Six different Loboes have TD catches.
Sophomore Tate Mart has rushed for 329 yards and five touchdowns on 38 attempts and also caught 17 passes for 210 yards and two TDs.
“We’ve got weapons everywhere,” Bowman said.
“We have athletes that are insane all over the field, from our linemen to our skill guys,” added Potts, who has rushed for 108 yards and five touchdowns on 32 carries. “We’ve all been playing together since we were young, so that helps.”
DelaBarre said the team is saturated with multiple-sport athletes who have had success in other sports like baseball, basketball and wrestling.
“Those programs are feeding off each other,” DelaBarre said.
“It’s just the drive to play at a really high level and play for a state championship,” Potts added.