PREP FOOTBALL: Polk County West on the verge of offensive line shuffle

Polk County West is on the verge of an offensive line shuffle. The first-year co-op concludes its regular season with a 7 p.m. game today at Clearbrook-Gonvick. That is a 9-man game, as have been all of PCW's games. Once playoffs start in a few w...


Polk County West is on the verge of an offensive line shuffle.

The first-year co-op concludes its regular season with a 7 p.m. game today at Clearbrook-Gonvick. That is a 9-man game, as have been all of PCW’s games. Once playoffs start in a few weeks, the 1-5 team switches to Section 8A 11-man.

“It will definitely be a change for us,” PCW coach Darrin Byklum said. “We’ve tried to run an offense that we think will adapt easily to 11-man.

“I’m sure there will be some learning curves. The biggest thing is we haven’t seen any of those teams before. That could be a good and a bad thing. We don’t know their tendencies. But those teams don’t know our tendencies.”


The big change for PCW will be on the offensive line, as two more interior blockers are thrown into the mix.

Brandon Kassa will remain at center. Big starting guards Zach Cameron (6-foot-2, 260 pounds) and Jonan Garcia (6-4, 285) become tackles. Kane Perrin (6-0, 190) switches from tight end to guard. Two reserves, fullback Joe Sullivan (5-9, 200) and lineman Tyler Johnson (5-8, 225), figure to share time at the other guard spot.

“We have some depth, so it won’t be as big an adjustment as we first thought it would be,” Byklum said. “Cameron and Garcia are big kids, so tackle suits them better in 11-man. And Perrin was a guard last year.

“It would have been nice to have been able to play at least one 11-man game. But what do you do?”

Sacred Heart and Climax-Fisher, both 9-man teams last season, decided to co-op last spring. At that time, it was too late to fill an 11-man schedule.

Defensively, Byklum said, the big change will be facing more run-oriented offenses. “It’s more ground-and-pound than what we see,” he said.

But the bigger field could help the PCW passing game. Devin Evavold has thrown for 763 yards (53-of-102). Byklum estimates that’s more passing yardage than any team he’s coached in the past 10 seasons. “That could help us in 11-man. We’ll have a little more field to work with,” Byklum said.

Leading receiver Eddie Bushaw has 15 catches for 176 yards. Riley Wavra has a team-best 460 rushing yards on 65 carries.


“It will be different, but I think the kids are excited about it,” Byklum said.

In other games involving Greater Grand Forks football teams this week, all scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday:

Red River (3-3)
at Devils Lake (2-4)

Big-play potential abounds at Devils Lake.

The Firebirds line up Bradley Davidson, the runner-up in the 100 at last spring’s state track meet, in the backfield. Jacob Mertens has been a big-play thrower for DL.

“Their speed is something we have to be aware of,” Roughriders coach Vyrn Muir said. “They have Davidson’s speed. And they’ve been opportunistic in getting big plays in their passing game.”

Red River counters with Austin Reynolds. In each of the Riders’ last two games, Reynolds has had two touchdowns covering more than 50 yards. “Austin has those explosive-play capabilities,” Muir said.

GF Central (1-5)
at Fargo South (6-0)


The Knights were beaten 57-0 by West Fargo last Friday. The schedule doesn’t get any easier, as top-ranked South is the defending state champion.

South is led by a backfield with a pair of future Division I college football players. James Johannesson has committed to play at University of Minnesota, while Ty Brooks has a verbal commitment to North Dakota State.

“We knew going into the season that this would be a very difficult stretch,” Central coach Bill Lorenz said. “Those teams are ranked in the top five in the state for a reason.

“West Fargo is the most physical team we’ve played. South has more speed. Johannesson brings size, speed and power to the table. Brooks has speed and shiftiness. We have to find a way to contain them.”

EGF Senior High (1-5)
at Park Rapids (1-5)

The Green Wave will try to build off their first win of the season, a 21-7 victory over Roseau on Friday.

“You have a little confidence after you get a win,” Senior High coach Ryan Kasowski said. “You want to keep that feeling, to keep winning. But we still made mistakes that we can’t afford to make against Park Rapids. They’re a good team.”

Both teams beat Roseau for their only win. Both teams’ offenses are built around their quarterbacks, Trevor Selk for Senior High and Jordan McCollum for Park Rapids.


“He’s a good athlete,” Kasowski said of McCollum. “He’s a threat as a runner and as a thrower.”



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