PREP FOOTBALL: Red River clinches playoff berth with 53-14 win over Fargo North
Even offensive linemen were getting into the end zone Saturday for Grand Forks Red River. The Roughriders accumulated 430 yards in total offense and achieved a season scoring high in a 53-14 high school football win against visiting Fargo North. ...
Even offensive linemen were getting into the end zone Saturday for Grand Forks Red River.
The Roughriders accumulated 430 yards in total offense and achieved a season scoring high in a 53-14 high school football win against visiting Fargo North. The win clinched a Class AAA playoff berth for Red River, which improved to 4-2 in the East Region and 5-3 overall.
Red River scored eight touchdowns. One of them was by starting offensive tackle Marquelle Tandeski. The 6-foot-3, 280-pound senior, lining up in the backfield, powered in a 3-yard run in the fourth quarter, putting the Riders ahead 47-14.
“I never thought I’d get close to touching the football,’’ Tandeski said. “They (coaches) told me to get in and go three yards. I went in straight up. It’s not anything that will probably happen for me again.’’
If Tandeski’s score was out of the ordinary, the first six were par for the course.
Austin Reynolds rushed for three touchdowns, on 47-, 38- and 18-yard runs, giving him 13 TDs this season. And the Derek Murph-to-Braedan Hanson combination hooked up for scoring passes covering 35, 3 and 21 yards. Hanson has 10 scoring receptions this season.
“We started flat,’’ said Murph, who finished 11-of-16 passing for 125 yards. “Then it sort of occurred to us - we had to win to make the playoffs. And everything started clicking.’’
Reynolds, who finished with 154 rushing yards, got the points rolling with 3:30 left in the first half. He started up the middle, cut outside to the left and, with a Hanson block on the perimeter springing him, went 47 yards for his first score. The senior went 38 yards on a pitch play for his second score with 11 seconds left in the first.
“Austin’s first touchdown jump-started us,’’ Red River coach Vyrn Muir said. “We were grinding things out up to that point. But any time you get a big play, it gets you going.
“This is how we’ve been going lately. This is our fourth straight game where we’ve had over 300 yards of total offense.’’
On North’s ensuing possession after Reynolds’ second TD, Lucas Nuelle blocked a Spartans punt, with Vince Davila-Jordahl recovering on the North 35. It took one play to make the score 20-0, with Murph finding Hanson open inside the 10-yard line behind the North secondary.
“That (blocked punt) was a big momentum play, too,’’ Muir said. “We want to make something happen right away offensively after a play like that.’’
Red River led 20-6 at halftime and 41-14 after scoring on its first second-half possessions.
North was able to move the ball. Adam Hummel rushed for 116 yards and Mike Boutain was 8-of-18 passing for 121 yards, with scoring passes of 34 and 46 yards to Willy Roman.
“We talk to the kids about field position,’’ North coach Adam Roland said. “We gave it to them on turnovers and special teams. We couldn’t weather those storms and win.’’
North dropped to 3-3 in the region and 3-5 overall.