Grand Forks Red River won the turnover battle Saturday. That wasn’t enough to slow the speed of Fargo South High School’s football team.
The Bruins’ big-play offense handed Red River a 37-6 setback at Cushman Field.
South had four turnovers, one more than Red River. When the Bruins maintained possession, they scored on six of their eight drives.
“Today was our worst day as far as turnovers and penalties (11 for 121 yards),’’ South coach Tyler Kosel said. “We shot ourselves in the foot too many times.
“But our defense responded well and we made some big plays. We have some speed, some playmakers. But we also strung together some long drives. We kept (the Riders) on their toes with our ability to pass and run.’’
Peyton Kessel passed for 168 yards for South on 9-of-15 accuracy, being intercepted twice. On the ground, Sibomana Enock and Bakarr Fullah led the ground game with 191 and 76 yards, respectively.
“The turnovers helped us in the first half to have a chance,’’ Red River coach Vyrn Muir said. “We had good field position early. But we couldn’t take advantage.’’
Red River took possession at midfield on each of its first two possessions, the first time after a Cole Ogren fumble recovery and the second time on a kickoff following a 72-year touchdown pass from Kessel to Bless Flomo.
But Red River was unable to get a first down on either of those first two possessions. South answered with a 5-yard touchdown run by Robert Leslie, set up by a 55-yard run by Enock, and, on the first play of the second quarter, a 28-yard field goal by Tate Simpson.
“That was huge when we weren’t able to do anything with good field position early,’’ Muir said. “We couldn’t convert first downs and they made big plays and scored.’’
Red River pulled within 17-6 at halftime on a 6-yard scoring pass from Parker Monette to Cole Benson while the Bruins were turning the ball over on their final three possessions of the second quarter.
But South had rushing touchdowns by Fullah (40 yards), Danny Lahai (9 yards) and Enock (4 yards, set up by his own 81-yard run) to pull away in the second half. South had 11 plays with double-figure yardage, six of them for 20 or more yards.
“As a team, that’s probably the fastest collection of kids we’ve played,’’ Muir said. “South has really good skill-position players. They’re really gifted, talented athletes.’’
The biggest offensive threats for Red River were Monette (11-of-32 passing for 66 yards) and Tanner Bernhardson (46 rushing yards). South finished with a 458-183 advantage in total offense.
Red River dropped to 1-5 in the East Region and 2-6 overall. South improved to 4-2 in the region and 6-2 overall.