ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Prep football: Riders blow past Mandan

Grand Forks Red River's 2-0 start to the high school football season might not be that surprising. But the way the Roughriders got there Friday night certainly was shocking. Red River's 35-0 dismantling of Mandan at Cushman Field tied the Riders'...

Red River football
Red River's Will Gorman (58) hits Mandan quarterback Trey Nadeau just as he releases the ball in the first quarter Friday night. Herald photo by John Stennes.

Grand Forks Red River's 2-0 start to the high school football season might not be that surprising.

But the way the Roughriders got there Friday night certainly was shocking.

Red River's 35-0 dismantling of Mandan at Cushman Field tied the Riders' largest margin of victory this decade.

"We knew we had this kind of potential to put up points," said Red River running back Tyler Gefroh, who finished with a game-high 115 rushing yards. "This is definitely a morale boost . . . something to build on."

Things went Red River's way right from the get-go. On Mandan's third offensive play, Braves quarterback Trey Nadeau was hit as he was throwing a pass and Red River lineman Evan Mahar got the interception at Mandan's 14-yard line.

ADVERTISEMENT

The Riders quickly turned the turnover into points. Red River wide receiver Elby Pope caught a 6-yard touchdown pass from Sam King to make it 7-0 less than four minutes into the game.

Red River scored on its next possession when Gefroh broke multiple tackles and ran 41 yards into the end zone to make it 14-0.

"Our offensive line got a really good push in that first half," Gefroh said. "We were able to pound the ball at them."

Mandan, meanwhile, only recorded four first-half first downs. Nadeau threw two of his three interceptions in the first half.

"Red River beat us in every facet of the game," said Mandan coach Pat O'Brien, whose team beat West Fargo 36-28 last week. "They deserve all the credit. I'm not going to make any excuses for this. We got outplayed. Period."

Red River tacked on another Pope touchdown reception before the end of the first half. On fourth-and-8, Pope ran a crossing pattern and King found him in the end zone for a 21-0 lead.

Pope finished with three catches for 32 yards. Those were the only completions for King.

"With this same group last year, we made mistakes and didn't make the big plays," Red River coach Vyrn Muir said. "Now, we're doing a lot better job on those things. We're making the plays when we have to."

ADVERTISEMENT

The second half went much like the first as the Riders chewed up clock with methodical drives. Red River went to running back Chris Waind most of the second half. Waind finished with 76 yards on 13 carries.

Red River added touchdown runs by Brian Ericson (15 yards) and Matt Loehr (16 yards) in the fourth quarter for the final margin.

"You need to play this game with enthusiasm, and we didn't do that," O'Brien said. "We played with emotion, and that's where you get the highs and the lows. We can't play with emotion. We needed to play with enthusiasm."

Mandan's Billy Binstock led the Braves offense with 70 yards on 18 carries.

Red River's last victory by 35 points came on Sept. 29, 2006, when Red River shut out Devils Lake 35-0.

Red River 35,

Mandan 0

Key play: Elby Pope's 17-yard TD catch from Sam King on fourth-and-8 for Red River's third score.

ADVERTISEMENT

Key player: Tyler Gefroh, 15 carries, 115 yards, TD.

Related Topics: FOOTBALLPREP SPORTS
Miller has covered sports at the Grand Forks Herald since 2004 and was the state sportswriter of the year in 2019.

His primary beat is UND football but also reports on a variety of UND sports and local preps.

He can be reached at (701) 780-1121, tmiller@gfherald.com or on Twitter at @tommillergf.
What To Read Next
Featuring area men's and women's basketball results, college hockey scores, local college tennis results and much more!
Featuring boys wrestling results, prep hockey scores, area college basketball results and much more!
Girls basketball
Thompson is now 16-1, while Rugby falls to 15-2.