AREA PREP NOTEBOOK: Grafton looks at Shanley win as a stepping stone
Tom Maus isn't dwelling on one of the biggest wins in recent Grafton High School football history. The Spoilers are 3-0 after handing two-time defending North Dakota Class AA state champion and then-top ranked Fargo Shanley a 48-14 setback last F...
Tom Maus isn't dwelling on one of the biggest wins in recent Grafton High School football history.
The Spoilers are 3-0 after handing two-time defending North Dakota Class AA state champion and then-top ranked Fargo Shanley a 48-14 setback last Friday. The victory vaulted Grafton from unranked to No. 2 in this week's AA state poll.
"It's a good start," said Maus, the Spoilers' coach. "But we don't want it to be the highlight of the season. We have bigger goals. It's a stepping stone, something I hope we can build on.
"We expected to be able to beat them if we played our game. I think we matched them physically and wore them down later in the game. It's the best game we've played this season."
Zach Burns rushed for 165 yards and scored four touchdowns, while Jake Hanson threw for 160 yards and two scores to lead the Grafton offense. But the key area, Maus said, was on the line.
"The biggest concern for us going into the game was them controlling the ball with their big line and wearing us down," Maus said. "I think that's what everybody will try to do against us, control the ball and keep our offense off the field. Our skill guys are good. They have the potential to make big plays.
"But, for the most part, our defense held up and got the ball to our offense. That's what they've been doing. We're physically stronger this year. The kids are a year older, a year stronger. They had a good summer in the weight room and that's made a big difference."
Bagley eyes turnaround
After going four straight seasons in which it never won more than two regular-season football games, Bagley is off to a 2-0 start. For Flyers coach Andrew Brouwer, the early success is part of a building process.
"Most of these kids have been starters for the last two or three years," Brouwer said. "They've had to play; our average senior class has been around four kids playing. Now these kids have the experience. They're good athletes, and we have good backups at almost every position."
The springboard for success may have been the 2010 playoffs. Bagley was the No. 7 seed, but scored a 28-0 quarterfinal win against second-seeded Frazee before being eliminated in the semifinal round.
"When I got here, you could see that this year's senior class was loaded with good athletes," Brouwer said. "I think (the playoff win) showed the kids that they can win. To get that idea in their heads has been a long process."
Senior Kris Skersick leads the ground game, rushing for more than 100 yards in each of the first two games. Nick Neeland has been an effective passer, while 6-foot-4, 380-pound junior Jake Powell anchors both lines.
Shootout in Lakota
Drayton/Valley-Edinburg scored 54 points last Friday -- and lost a football game.
Lakota/Adams-Edmore held off one last drive to edge Drayton/Valley-Edinburg 56-54.
"You'd like to think that if you score that many points, you'd have a good chance of winning by a couple touchdowns," D/V-E coach Murph Thompson said.
"The offenses were clicking. It was a track meet, just running back and forth. It was an exciting game for the kids and the fans. It was nerve-racking for the coaches. We just couldn't stop them."
Drayton/Valley-Edinburg's Kilen Flanagan had 424 rushing yards and six touchdowns. Teammate Jeremy Ulvog added 147 rushing yards and two touchdowns.
Lakota/Adams-Edmore had a little more balance. Chris Miller, Jaron Moor and Eric Haugland rushed for 140, 111 and 104 yards, respectively. Haugland was 2-of-3 passing for 103 yards, with Moor getting both receptions. Miller rushed for two touchdowns, while Moor scored four TDs, two on runs and two on catches.
Lakota/Adams-Edmore went ahead 56-54 on a 60-yard scoring pass from Haugland to Moor with just under two minutes left, with Miller running in the 2-point conversion. Drayton/V-E turned around and drove to the Raiders' 30 before time expired.
"There was no defense," L/A-E coach Joe Harder said. "If you like offense, it was a good game to watch. The big difference is that we got all of our extra points. When you score seven touchdowns, those extra points are huge."
Larimore senior Chris Arvin doesn't need a lot of touches to make an impact in a football game.
On Friday, Arvin got his hands on the football six times and scored four touchdowns in a 49-23 win against Langdon-Munich. He rushed four times for 123 yards, including scoring runs of 65 and 46 yards. Arvin also had a 59-yard touchdown on his lone pass reception and returned a punt 43 yards for a score.
"Our blocking was great," Polar Bears coach Paul Peterson said. "And Chris is really fast. Once we get him in the open field, he's gone."
Arvin is one of the speedsters in the state, finishing third in the 200 at last spring's Class B state track meet.
DeVillers reports on sports. Reach him at (701) 780-1128; (800) 477-6572, ext. 128; or send e-mail to email@example.com .