Miller has been with the Grand Forks Herald sports department for the past 10 years. He's also a Grand Forks native and UND graduate.
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The Grand Forks Central boys hockey team saw its best test of the season Thursday night against Fargo Davies. The Knights, though, were talented enough to stave off an upset. Four different Central players scored goals and goalie Kaleb Johnson made 19 saves to lead the Knights to a 4-1 win over Davies at Purpur Arena. Lucas Kanta, Gunnar Gibbs, Grant Johnson and Tyrese Murph scored goals for the Knights, who improved to 3-0. Central hadn't played a game in eight days and missed a couple of practices this week due to the recent blizzard.
After the 2015 UND football season, Leave No Doubt seemed to be the mantra for the 2016 season—a nod at the Fighting Hawks' omission from the 2015 FCS playoffs. In 2016, UND earned a No. 7 seed in the FCS playoffs and completed an unbeaten record in Big Sky Conference play before bowing out of the postseason tournament with a 27-24 loss last Saturday to Richmond. UND hits the offseason this week and the Leave No Doubt phrase has been outdated, so what's the slogan for 2017?
Blizzard Alivia hit Grand Forks on Tuesday, preventing many fans at the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center from seeing a former North Central Conference rivalry renewed between UND and South Dakota State. Those that did brave the storm were shown why the Jackrabbits have become a dominant regional power. SDSU's potent 1-2 punch of Macy Miller and Madison Guebert combined for 51 points to lead SDSU to an 83-72 win over UND in front of an estimated 1,200 fans.
A lot of the talk leading up to UND's first FCS playoff appearance was the Fighting Hawks' 21-day gap between games. UND had a bye the final week of the regular season and then was awarded a bye as a No. 7 seed in the FCS playoffs. The Fighting Hawks had to point to reasons other than rust in Richmond's 27-24 win on Saturday at the Alerus Center. UND led 17-7 at halftime and took a 24-7 lead on the first drive of the second half.
In a year seemingly full of the UND football team winning on improbable comebacks, the Fighting Hawks' season came to an end Saturday night by surrendering one of their own. Griffin Trau's 18-yard field goal as time expired were the winning points as Richmond scored 20 unanswered points in the second half to beat No. 7 seed UND 27-24 in the second round of the FCS tournament at the Alerus Center.
Griffin Trau's 18-yard field goal as time expired gave Richmond a 27-24 victory over No. 7 seed UND in the second round of the FCS tournament on Saturday at the Alerus Center. The Fighting Hawks led 24-7 in the third quarter. Richmond advances to face Eastern Washington in the quarterfinals next weekend in Cheney, Wash. Richmond wide receiver Brian Brown led the Spiders with six catches for 171 yards and a touchdown.
Former UND quarterback Kelby Klosterman recalls 15 years ago, standing on the sideline as UC Davis quarterback J.T. O'Sullivan battled the Alerus Center noise in an NCAA Division II playoff semifinal. "I remember thinking how tough that would be," Klosterman said. "I was really glad I wasn't them." The home-field advantage fueled a 14-2 win over UC Davis in 2001 and led to UND's first and only national championship the following week against Grand Valley State in Florence, Ala. At 5 p.m. today, playoff football is back at the Alerus Center after a nine-year wait.
Richmond football coach Danny Rocco couldn't have imagined he'd spent this much time thinking about the state of North Dakota. Rocco has been preparing for an FCS second-round matchup with UND, while working to avenge last season's semifinal loss at North Dakota State. "There was something about going to North Dakota that was really meaningful for our football team," Rocco said. "We were a highly motivated team last week. We're working hard here to find a way to win and beat a really good football team."
A year ago, Michael Coe was in Silver City, N.M., playing for NCAA Division II member Western New Mexico University. On Saturday, the 6-foot-3, 300-pound offensive lineman will lead UND into the school's first FCS tournament appearance. The Fighting Hawks play Richmond at 5 p.m. at the Alerus Center. And there's a chance UND's run in the FCS tournament won't be the final playing days for the senior graduate transfer. Coe, a Carlsbad, Calif., native, is receiving interest from NFL scouts.
Before 6:30 a.m. Tuesday, UND head football coach Bubba Schweigert took to Twitter to tell students the Fighting Hawks need them in attendance for the school's first FCS playoff appearance Saturday at the Alerus Center. Since his hiring three years ago, Schweigert has said the thought of once again packing the Alerus Center has kept him up at night. According to the numbers so far, Schweigert's vision is slowly becoming reality.