West Fargo Sheyenne shuts out Red River 34-0

Mustangs return the opening kickoff for a touchdown en route to the shutout

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Roughriders quarterback Gunnar Heuchert (12) is repelled by the West Fargo Sheyenne Mustangs defense during a carry late in the second quarter of a N.D. East Region prep football game at Grand Forks' Cushman Field on Friday, September 23, 2022.
Nick Nelson / Grand Forks Herald
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GRAND FORKS – West Fargo Sheyenne won last season’s North Dakota Class AA football title. And there is no sign the Mustangs, who are quickly becoming one of the top programs in the state, won’t be knocking on the door for another state title again this season.

That certainly was evident at Cushman Field on Friday night, where the Mustangs dismantled Grand Forks Red River 34-0.

It took only seconds for the Mustangs to take control. On the opening kickoff, West Fargo Sheyenne’s Race Wilson ran straight up the middle for an 82-yard touchdown. The depth-laden Mustangs kept rolling, using six running backs with five or more carries.

The final touchdown came when Barry Kpeenu scored from 43 yards out with 8:15 to go. What made that play special was that it came with Mustangs facing a third-and-40.

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West Fargo Sheyenne running back Barry Kpeenu (28) keeps Red River's Cade Wigestrand (13) at bay on a second quarter run during a prep football matchup at Cushman Field in Grand Forks on Friday, September 23, 2022.
Nick Nelson / Grand Forks Herald

Red River’s only scoring threat of the game came on the last play of the first half. The Riders’ 41-yard field goal attempt, however, sailed wide left.


“They’re good; they’re one of the bigger schools in their division and they're a program that won a state title last year so they’ve got that moxie in their program,” said Red River coach Vyrn Muir.

“They’ve got two of the top rushers in double A and we saw plenty of them tonight. It’s just a physically tough matchup for us. They’re really tough up front and now they have to make a run at their level and they’re set up pretty good to do that.”

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Red River head football coach Vyrn Muir talks with Roughriders running back Jaden Rustad (45) between plays in the second quarter of a home football game against West Fargo Sheyenne at Cushman Field in Grand Forks on Friday, September 23, 2022.
Nick Nelson / Grand Forks Herald

With all of Sheyenne’s depth, individual stats for the (4-1) Mustangs weren’t eye-popping. Kpeenu, a junior, rushed for 76 yards.

Two years ago, the North Dakota State High School Activities Association approved reclassification for high school football.

The old Class A system was broken into Class AA and Class A. Most of the bigger schools in the state went to Class AA, while Red River, Grand Forks Central, Fargo South, Fargo North, among other similarly sized schools, went the Class A route.

Red River came into the matchup with a No. 3 ranking in Class A and had a 4-1 record.

Red River still has a lot to play for and are in decent shape to reach the state Class A playoffs, as they did last season.

Red River plays at No. 2-ranked Fargo North next Friday


“That’s a huge game for us,” said Muir. “We match up with them a little better, with the number of guys we play and all that. This game was an anomaly on the schedule. It is what it is. But we have to refocus and get the intensity back that we had the weeks prior to this one.”

The Riders were led by Quinn Nelson, who finished with three receptions for 13 yards while Mason Bimler rushed for 19 yards.

West Fargo Sheyenne finished with 384 yards of offense while Red River ended with 60, including four first downs.

Related Topics: PREP SPORTS
Wayne Nelson is the sports editor at the Herald.

He has been with the Grand Forks Herald since 1995, serving as the UND football and basketball beat writer as well as serving as the sports editor.

He is a UND graduate and has been writing sports since the late 1970s.

Follow him on Twitter @waynenelsongf. You can reach him at (701) 780-1268 or
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