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GGF football this week: Logan Okstad adds to No. 4 Red River's offensive balance

Okstad's 116 rushing yards, including a 52-yard touchdown run in the third quarter, helped Red River pull away from Wahpeton last Friday.

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Roughriders running back Logan Okstad tries to push past the Fargo South defense on a second quarter carry during a home footbal game on Friday, September 17, 2021. Nick Nelson / Grand Forks Herald
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GRAND FORKS — In Grand Forks Red River's 2022 season opener, running back Brett Feller had nearly 200 yards rushing in a win over Williston.

But the No. 4 Roughriders have shown offensive balance during a 2-1 start, with the lone loss coming on the road at No. 1 Jamestown.

Logan Okstad, a 5-foot-7 senior, racked up 116 rushing yards, including a 52-yard touchdown run in the third quarter, helping Red River pull away from Wahpeton 44-20 last Friday.

Mason Bimler, who's also a 5-7 senior, added 11 carries for 90 yards, while sophomore quarterback Pearce Parks finished with 11 carries for 74 yards.

"(Bimler) is pretty good, too," Red River coach Vyrn Muir said. "We thought if we roll (Feller, Okstad and Bimler), we'll always have fresh legs later in the game."

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Okstad and Bimler are Red River's shiftier backs, while Feller provides the straight-ahead power.

"All those guys play defense, so it's another way to find rest for them," Muir said. "We're not playing a lot of kids right now so it's a lot of offense and defense. Any way you can get rest to make sure they have a get-up-and-go in the fourth, it makes our team better."

Red River hosts Turtle Mountain at 7 p.m. at Cushman Field. The Braves are 0-3, coming off a 56-12 loss to Jamestown.

Detroit Lakes at EGF Senior High, 6 p.m.

East Grand Forks Senior High opened the 2022 season last week at Pequot Lakes, struggling with Patriots quarterback Grant Loge, who threw for about 200 yards.

The Green Wave have an even tougher quarterback assignment this week.

University of Minnesota commitments Ethan and Mason Carrier of Detroit Lakes combined for six touchdowns last week in a rout of Fergus Falls.

Ethan ran for three touchdowns and returned a kick for a score, while Mason ran and threw for one touchdown each.

"The quarterback is a dual-threat guy," East Grand Forks coach Ryan Kasowski said. "He's scary as a runner because he's big and fast. When he breaks through a hole, he's tough to bring down but he's also tough to catch. He has that mix of speed and strength. He's a very talented player as advertised."

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Senior High's Clyde Anderson was the team's top offensive weapon in the season opener against Pequot Lakes, rushing for 81 yards on 18 carries.

"When we watched (the Pequot Lakes) game, it was about not holding a block or not finishing a tackle," Kasowski said. "I think we have to focus on the little things. It was assignment things that would've helped us have some points or get off the field on third down. We're going back and looking at scheme and being assignment-sharp, so we can play fast."

GF Central at Jamestown, 7 p.m.

Grand Forks Central is in the middle of a tough stretch of the schedule, where the Knights will play four straight games against Top 5 teams in North Dakota 11A.

After losing to No. 2 Fargo North and No. 3 Fargo South, the Knights face No. 1 Jamestown this week, followed by No. 4 Grand Forks Red River next week.

Central lost to South 31-6 last week.

"There's no quit in us, and we'll always play to the horn," first-year Central coach Jake Schauer said. "South can go with anyone athletically. I thought we played hard, but I don't think we played our most complete game.

"Looking forward, we're going back to fundamentals and start nailing down some things and building toward our goal of making the playoffs."

The Knights are hoping to find a more consistent rushing attack. Central passed for 148 yards against South but ran for minus-5.

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Leo Strandell, the brother of UND wide receiver Sam Strandell, had a second-straight big game in the loss to South. After going catch-less in the season opener, Strandell had nine catches for 118 yards against North and seven catches for 71 yards against South.

Warroad at Polk County West, 7 p.m., in Climax

Polk County West started the season with a loss at Mahnomen-Waubun, but there was still plenty to be excited about during a 22-7 loss to the defending Minnesota Section 8A champions.

Junior Mike Gapp ran 27 times for 145 yards and a touchdown.

"Obviously, our line did a nice job making holes for him," PCW coach Darrin Byklum said. "He's more of a downhill runner with some speed and good vision."

Warroad, who PCW beat 34-6 last season, is coming off a season-opening win over Roseau.

The Warriors are expected to ride 6-foot-3, 215-pound running back Gaabi Boucha.

Byklum said his key this week is consistency.

"The kids played hard, and it was a physical game (against Mahnomen-Waubun) but we had a few too many miscues against a team like that," Byklum said. "We liked what we saw overall, and we're only going to get better."

Related Topics: GF RED RIVER
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.
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