PREP FOOTBALL: Riders fall to Devils Lake
DEVILS LAKE -- After four years in Class AA, Devils Lake finds itself at the top of the Class AAA East Region in the Firebirds' first season back. Devils Lake used a 1-yard touchdown run by quarterback Nathan Mertens and a 5-yard Austin Schall sc...
DEVILS LAKE -- After four years in Class AA, Devils Lake finds itself at the top of the Class AAA East Region in the Firebirds' first season back.
Devils Lake used a 1-yard touchdown run by quarterback Nathan Mertens and a 5-yard Austin Schall scoring run -- both in the second quarter -- to knock off Grand Forks Red River 14-12 on Friday.
The Roughriders entered the game ranked No. 5 in the latest state poll. Red River and Devils Lake both moved to 4-3 on the year.
Red River pulled to within 14-12 with about five minutes left in the fourth quarter when running back Dayton Marek scored on a 27-yard run.
With a chance to tie the game on the two-point conversion, Red River quarterback Taylor Steen and wide receiver John Hoplin couldn't connect.
The Riders attempted an onside kick, but didn't recover.
Then with about 90 seconds remaining and the Firebirds facing a fourth-and-short situation, Red River jumped offsides to allow Devils Lake to pick up the first down and run out the time.
"I'm very disappointed," Red River coach Vyrn Muir said. "I felt like we were the team that opportunities to take control of the game. We weren't able to do that. Some of that was Devils Lake and some of that was ourselves."
Devils Lake's offense didn't muster many big plays, but the Firebirds methodically were able to eat clock and yardage.
"They would get 15 yards here or there once in a blue moon," Muir said. "But it was more that they were converting third and sometimes fourth downs. Some of that was our self-inflicted penalties ... blocking in the back or roughing the passer.
"It wasn't things that were out of our control. These are the same mistakes we've been making all season. (Penalty yards) might seem one-sided but that's because we were the only team making mistakes."