GGF football this week: David Larson adding balance to Polk County West rushing attack

Polk County West (3-1) and Ada-Borup (3-1) meet in a matchup of similar teams Friday at 7 p.m. in Ada.

PCW's David Larson runs through Fosston defenders Thatcher Palubicki, left, and Luke Sannes in the first half of their 2021 playoff game at Cushman Field in Grand Forks. Eric Hylden / Grand Forks Herald
We are part of The Trust Project.

EAST GRAND FORKS — The Polk County West offense runs through Mike Gapp, who has run for at least 200 yards in three of the four games this season.

But the Thunder are starting to find a little balance to Gapp's heavy workload.

Sophomore David Larson is coming off a 17-carry, 129-yard showing in a win over Bagley last Friday.

"He helps us not be so one-dimensional," PCW coach Darrin Byklum said. "He ran hard for us as a freshman, but he had a little ankle injury early in the year. He's at 100 percent now."

Polk County West (3-1) plays Ada-Borup (3-1) at 7 p.m. Friday in Ada. Both teams have one loss, both falling to Mahnomen-Waubun, a team ranked No. 2 in QRF in Minnesota Class A.


The game will be a contrast in styles as Ada-Borup likes to throw the ball, while PCW is run-oriented.

On the season, Gapp has 124 carries for 781 yards through four games.

"It'll be a good battle," Byklum said. "It seems like it comes down to the last possession with them. I think a big key for us will be to finish long, sustained drives."

Thief River Falls at East Grand Forks

East Grand Forks Senior High could also be in a tight matchup with Thief River Falls visiting for a 6 p.m. Friday kickoff.

Both teams are 1-3. The Prowlers are No. 32 in QRF in Minnesota Class AAA, while EGF is No. 37.

"I think it's going to be a really good matchup," EGF coach Ryan Kasowski said. "Overall as a team, we have to play better in the second half. We've had leads at half and come out and turned it over or given up a big third down. We've focused this week on getting our guys in position to respond and be ready to go out of half."

Both teams like to run the ball, with the Prowlers' offense featuring a full-house look without traditional wide receivers.

"The offense is designed to make you look the opposite place you should be and sneaking out for a big gain," Kasowki said. "Practice has been busy this week, making sure to know our jobs."


Red River at Fargo North

Grand Forks Red River will play in a matchup of Top 5 teams when the No. 5 Roughriders visit No. 3 Fargo North at 6 p.m. Friday.

The Riders are 4-2, coming off a blowout loss to Class 11AA West Fargo Sheyenne, while North is 4-1 and coming off a loss to new No. 1 Fargo South.

North running back Peder Haugo leads 11A East in rushing with 81 carries for 565 yards for an average of 7.0 yards per carry. Haugo has 10 touchdowns and 113 yards per game.

"You can't let Haugo go north and south," Red River coach Vyrn Muir said. "He's fast, and he's a bigger kid. He runs hard and has an uncanny balance. We have to try limit his gains."

North quarterback Ethan Welk is the second-leading passer in 11A East at 46-for-82 for 674 yards, 10 touchdowns and no interceptions.

The Spartans' big-play target at wide receiver is basketball star Jeremiah Sem, who has 22 catches for 324 yards and four touchdowns.

West Fargo Horace at GF Central

After starting the season with a win over Watford City, Grand Forks Central then played four teams ranked in the Top 5 in the state.

After a bye week last Friday, the Knights' final four games of the season features just one ranked in the top five in No. 4 Valley City.


The Knights host West Fargo Horace at 6 p.m. Friday at Cushman Field.

The Hawks are 0-5 and haven't scored more than 14 points in a game this season. Horace, in its first season of existence and playing without any seniors, lost 56-0 to Valley City last Friday.

In Central's last game, a 19-9 loss to rival Red River, Cole Barta had a breakout game with six catches for 108 yards.

"Cole has been waiting to do something like that all year," Central first-year coach Jake Schauer said. "He's a great athlete for us. He's a kid who's passionate about Grand Forks Central. He's put in the work, so it's nice to see him put up numbers."

Related Topics: SACRED HEART
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, or on Twitter at @tommillergf.
What to read next
The Roughriders used 45 points from the 1-2 punch of Reis Rowekamp and Zachary Kraft.
GRAND FORKS – In the expanded gym complex at Grand Forks Central, the 48th Sertoma Wrestling Tournament is underway this weekend. Programs across North Dakota and Minnesota are gathered here in what used to be the Knights of Columbus Tournament. Throughout the years, the tournament has been one of the best wrestling weekends across the North Dakota-Minnesota region.
After scoring one goal last season, the sophomore defender has three already this year.
The Eagles will look to replace two 1,000-point career scorers in Sam Gapp and Kobe Tomkinson.