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West Fargo pulls away from Central for 32-13 win

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West Fargo tight end Marcus Gulley gets taken down by Central's Austin Braun (#44) in the first quarter of Thursday night's football game at the Alerus Center. Nick Nelson / Grand Forks Herald2 / 6
Central wide receiver Everett Peterson gets taken down by West Fargo's Kenneth Ray-Jones (#13) as a hail-mary pass goes dead Thursday night at the Alerus Center. Nick Nelson / Grand Forks Herald3 / 6
Grand Forks Central wide receiver Maxxwell Danks breaks through the pile during Thursday's home football game against West Fargo at the Alerus Center. Nick Nelson / Grand Forks Herald4 / 6
Grand Forks Central Head Coach Bill Lorenz gathers his players prior to Thursday's home game against West Fargo at the Alerus Center. Nick Nelson / Grand Forks Herald5 / 6
Grand Forks Central's Anthony Rosell evades the West Fargo defense Thursday night at the Alerus Center. Nick Nelson / Grand Forks Herald6 / 6

The football game went one quarter too long for Grand Forks Central High School on Thursday.

The Knights clung to a 13-12 lead after three quarters. But West Fargo, behind three fourth-quarter touchdowns by running back Declan Genova, pulled away to a 32-13 win at The Alerus Center.

"They wore us down,'' Central coach Bill Lorenz said. "We had some of our starting linemen go down with injuries. They kept running and running at us. It's tough to defend when your linemen don't get a break.

"It wasn't for lack of effort. We were just getting tired.''

Three Knights starting linemen left the game with injuries and missed extensive playing time in the final two quarters.

Genova took advantage. In the second half, he had eight carries that covered nine or more yards. In the final quarter, the 5-foot-8, 140-pound sophomore had a 13-yard touchdown run to put the Packers ahead 20-13. He had scoring runs of 30 and 5 yards later in the quarter.

He finished with 204 yards rushing, 97 of those in the final quarter.

To put that yardage into perspective, "none of our rushers had a season total of 100 yards coming into tonight,'' Packers coach Jay Gibson said. "But he started to see holes. Those things open up when your line keeps pounding away.

"He's not a big back. But he is pretty quick. I was pretty happy to find somebody who could get the yards.''

West Fargo had two first-half touchdowns on passes from Cooper Sahli to Marcus Gulley (20 yards) and Luke Lennon (15 yards).

Central got a pair of field goals from Sylvester Osodo. The senior, after playing in the state soccer tournament earlier in the day, hit from 21 and 30 yards.

Central went ahead 43 seconds before halftime on a fullback option pass from Austin Braun to Everett Peterson. The 15-yard score was the first time Central used the play this season.

"We put that play in this week,'' Lorenz said. "If the opportunity presented itself, we were going for it. West Fargo's defense pursued hard. We faked to our back, they bit on the sweep and Everett was wide open.''

Central also nearly scored on a receiver option pass, just overthrowing on the play. "We were saying at halftime that we hoped they didn't have any more trick plays,'' Gibson said. "We don't cover them very well.''

Braun led the Knights with 93 yards rushing. Jaxton Lorenz was 9-of-14 for 83 yards.

The outcome left both teams with 2-6 records.