Spitza: Games to watch in Week 6 of North Dakota prep football season

Three matchups between ranked teams plus a Region 1 clash in 11B highlight this week's slate

Kindred quarterback Max McQuillan takes the snap against Central Cass on a picture perfect night for high school football at Jerlow Field in Kindred on Friday, Sept. 17, 2021. David Samson / The Forum
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FARGO — Week 6 of the North Dakota high school football season is upon us and there's no shortage of games to follow this Friday night.

The slate features a battle of ranked teams in 11AA, a battle of ranked teams in 11A, a battle between the top-ranked teams in both of those divisions, and a battle between the top Region 1 teams in 11B.

Here are the games to head out to or follow along with this week:

No. 4 Fargo Shanley (4-1) at No. 5 Bismarck Legacy (4-1), 7 p.m.

So many unknowns in 11AA still. Will this be the game that finally tells us something? Eh, probably not. I feel like we won't have any idea of who might win the state championship this year until that team is crowned Nov. 11 at the Fargodome.

And the history between these two teams? There is none. This is the first time the Deacons and Sabers will square off against each other. Perfect year to do it as both teams are solid.


Shanley senior quarterback Michael Rostberg still leads the way in the Eastern Dakota Conference passing category with 1,016 yards and 14 touchdowns through five games. He can thank his receivers — junior Sam Ovsak and senior Vuciri Hakim — for playing a part in that. The duo has combined for 524 receiving yards and nine of those TDs from Rostberg.

Fargo Shanley's Michael Rostberg hands off to Adam Leininger against West Fargo Sheyenne during their football game Friday, Sept. 16, 2022, at Sheyenne.
Michael Vosburg/The Forum

Since losing their opening game to West Fargo Sheyenne, the Sabers have rattled off four straight wins. Legacy has a dual running threat of senior quarterback Logan Miller and senior running back Carl Henry, who have combined for nine touchdowns and 690 yards on the ground. Miller also has six passing TDs and 504 yards through the air.

Two solid offenses could turn this one into an East-West shootout.

No. 5 Grand Forks Red River (4-2) at No. 3 Fargo North (4-1), 7 p.m.

The Spartans spent one week atop the North Dakota Associated Press Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association weekly 11A poll before falling to rival Fargo South by three points last week.

"We showed a little bit of a weakness of ours, I guess — something I didn't think we had," North head coach Adam Roland said following the loss. "I didn't think we had to worry about that, but it looks like we do. So we've got to go back and we need to have a good week of practice next week and get onto the next opponent."

That next opponent — the Roughriders — won't make it any easier for them. Red River brings with it the No. 1 offense in the EDC with 1,937 total yards. The Spartans, however, are a close second with 1,927 yards this season.

Fargo North’s Peder Haugo runs with the ball while getting tackled by Fargo South’s Damarion Semanko on Friday, Sept. 23, 2022, at Fargo South High School.
Alyssa Goelzer/The Forum

Junior Peder Haugo is still the top running back in the EDC with 10 touchdowns and 565 yards for the Spartans. Leading the Roughriders is senior running back Brett Feller with five rushing TDs and 373 yards, while sophomore quarterback Pearce Parks is the fourth-best in the EDC A division with 579 yards and one passing TD. He's also tacked on six rushing scores.

North took this game 42-8 last season while Red River finished below .500. With the Roughriders having a better team this year, expect this to be a good matchup.


11AA No. 1 Fargo Davies (4-1) at 11A No. 1 Fargo South (4-1), 7 p.m.

This should be a really interesting matchup and definitely the game to head out to if you're looking for one.

The Bruins have faced two 11AA opponents this season, opening the season with a 45-6 win at Williston before being shut out by Shanley two weeks later in a 49-0 rout.

Difficult to say what will happen this time around. South lost to the Eagles last season 33-7, but obviously that means nothing this year.

Fargo Davies’ senior Luke Lorenz celebrates his touchdown against the West Fargo Packers on Friday, Sept. 16, 2022, at West Fargo High School.
Alyssa Goelzer/The Forum

Davies has the second-best offense in the EDC AA division with 1,771 yards. The Eagles are led by sophomore quarterback Mason Klabo, who has 656 yards and six passing touchdowns this season, while adding 354 yards and four scores on the ground.

Junior quarterback Kolby Nissen leads the South offensive attack with 394 passing yards and three touchdowns. Junior running back Damarion Semanko has 356 rushing yards and three TDs, including the game-winner against North last week.

Fargo South’s Kolby Nissen makes a pass during their game against Fargo North on Friday, Sept. 23, 2022, at Fargo South High School.
Alyssa Goelzer/The Forum

South's only loss to date was the blowout to Shanley, while Davies dropped its season opener to Mandan.

No. 1 Kindred (6-0) at Central Cass (5-1), 7 p.m.

The Vikings visit their Region 1 rival for the right to sit atop the standings.

Kindred has not left the No. 1 spot in the 11B poll this season, and no team has been able to solve the Vikings since Hillsboro-Central Valley handed the defending state champions their last loss on Aug. 27, 2021 — a team the Vikings later beat in the Dakota Bowl to earn their first state title.
The Vikings won this game 37-0 last season, but the task won't be as easy this time, facing the Squirrels on the road.


My prediction? Sorry, Squirrels fans, but until someone dethrones the Vikings, it's hard to pick against them. I'll take Kindred 31-20 this time around.

Kindred's Caleb Klabunde intercepts a pass intended for Central Cass' Anthony Wisnewski at Jerlow Field in Kindred on Friday, Sept. 17, 2021. David Samson / The Forum

Ryan Spitza joined The Forum in December 2021 as a sports reporter. He grew up in Marquette, Mich., a city of 20,000 on the southern shore of Lake Superior. He majored in multimedia journalism and minored in public relations at Northern Michigan University, graduating with a Bachelor of Science in May 2019. While attending college, Spitza gained real-world experience covering high school and college athletics for both The Mining Journal and The North Wind.

Spitza can be reached at 701-451-5613 or Follow him on Twitter @ryspitza.
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